Back in October, I attended a friend’s wedding and was on the outskirts of the dance floor sipping a drink deciding whether I felt mindless enough to mingle with some strangers. Out of pure procrastination, I caught sight of an acquaintance’s husband standing nearby. He reminded me of Christian Bale’s character from American Psycho so naturally I went over to introduce myself and literally within 5 minutes I had somehow divulged that not only did I sell my house but I made a profit as well. His eyes nearly rolled over white like a shark during an attack as he went into his role at a venture capital firm and how he’s raising funds for a promising startup “golf” channel. The whole time he talked, I stood back making sure my drinking glass was in a position to block a viscous assault on my jugular; he was going for blood with his sales pitch. I savored my drink by consuming it slowly; I was going to need every drop for this interaction.
Needless to say, it didn’t take advanced intuition to know that he didn’t give a crap about me or my life and don’t worry, no feelings were harmed during this occurrence. The point is, once I sensed I was being sold to and there was no reciprocation to be had there, I literally shut down. He was talking but the words weren’t registering in my brain, instead I was observing strange things, like how he eyeballed women strolling by as his wife was dancing with friends and how he leaned in too close to my shoulder when he thought he was hitting home his little secrets to prosperity and wealth.
“My company does this..” “I can do this for you…” “Blah, blah, blah, blah..” It’s all I hear. His wife finally comes over and tries pulling him on the dance floor. “Oh no no,” I say, “You should get out there, I need a new drink anyway, good talking to you.” The feeling of getting out of a situation you can’t stand being in is euphoric.
So how do you legitimately help someone if you haven’t shown genuine interest in helping someone? The answer is, you don’t, you’re just trying to benefit yourself by rushing to the end line. Don’t do it.
Now dragging this concept into sales, whether you’re speaking with prospects or clients, is easy. It’s a give-and-take sport. You give a cookie, you should get a cookie back. Look within your own verbiage, including voicemails and emails; are you using the word “I” too much? “I want to speak with you, I wanted to reconnect”. Look for ways to empathize and level with your contacts, don’t discredit the conversational exchange that is necessary to achieve your goals. In the end, if their goals aren’t met then yours aren’t either, regardless of whether you got “credit” for converting them or not.
When a prospect senses you are rushing to the “sale” their guards will instantly rush to the surface and you’ll realize you’re not the shark you once thought you were but the lazy mammal that lacks the means to find its own food. Starvation in the sales world is a slow and painful demise. The same goes with clients, if they sense you don’t have their best interests at heart then what reason do they have to continue the relationship on full faith? If you want good things, then make sure, you too, provide good things.
Mike Ricciardelli, a Director of Client Operations for AG Salesworks, has been working here since 2009. He is responsible for managing client relationships, daily reporting and project analytics, strategic marketing campaigns and ongoing training for Business Development Reps. Read his articles here. For more information on Mike Ricciardelli, see here.