Have you ever had the opportunity to spend time around someone who knows what they’re doing, and calls “BS” on people when they don’t? People react differently to a person like this; usually they are offended or sheepishly make themselves scarce for fear of being called out themselves.
But there are some that rise to the challenge and learn from such refreshing talent. Last weekend, the Masterminds team got to spend two days with Jeffrey Gitomer, world renowned sales coach and author, and it was a refreshing exercise of self discovery. He didn’t show up with a bag of tricks, some magic formula for success or a stack of books to sell us. He walked in the door, sat down and started building relationships.
“What’s your name, where are you from? Why are you here? Where do you see yourself in 3 years?” Jeffrey inquisitively prodded my team to learn more about them. He later commented, “I can learn a lot about the way someone will trust you based on where they’re from and some of their prior experiences.”
Where were the closing techniques? Where were the slick one-liners? “Relationships”, “Trust”…I thought we were going to talk about sales!?!
Early the next morning, Jeffrey and I walked into a bagel shop to grab a quick bite. Jeffrey bantered with the staff, running them through the paces to see if they were on their game. Visibly thrown off at first, the staff quickly became endeared to him. This was not your average walk in and go customer. I could see them thinking, “This guy is interested in what we do and how we do it.” We learned one of the cashiers is the owners’ daughter, and what their top selling bagels are. I’d bet money we could have sold them ANYTHING at that moment.
I finally got it. So simple, so obvious, once you see it in action. Sales is not about being slick, with cute PowerPoints and polished one-liners. It’s about connecting with who you’re talking to, genuinely having interest in their goals and dreams, and being a part of that plan for their success.
We talked about the ‘salesman switch’ – when you go from a normal, interesting human being to a soulless sales robot. “Mr. merchant, who currently does your advertising? What is your budget? Let’s talk ROI…” Ugh! Is ANYONE having fun in that conversation??
When asked on Monday what the greatest lesson I learned from Jeffrey was – it was to be authentic and true to myself. I love business, and I love to help people succeed. I am going to keep my “sales switch” to ‘normal Alex mode” and be myself. I challenge you to do the same.
You can learn more about my good friend Jeffrey Gitomer and some of his training courses at www.gitomer.com