HOLD PEOPLE’S VALUE: Honoring Sales Conversation Touchstone #2

#2The 10-Touchstone Honoring Sales Conversation is the basis of the Soul of Selling Method. It’s a simple, easy way to make sure that we respect and appreciate people as we talk with them about our offer, find out what they would want from it if they bought, hear their objections, and close the sale.

This week we highlight Touchstone #2, Make the value you see in people the foundation of your conversation, whether or not they buy. This means that we continue to see in them the values we identified in Touchstone #1—courage, openness, good intentions, etc.—throughout the whole conversation, regardless of how they behave and even if they don’t buy.

The answer is compassion. Buying can be as uncomfortable as selling is. People aren’t always at their best when they show up to consider buying. They can get defensive, sullen, or even belligerent. Remember, they probably have at least as much baggage about buying and selling as we did. However, the chances of their having done Soul of Selling Step #1—Put down your baggage—are slim to none. And Slim just left town. Most likely, negative chatter about selling (and those who do it!) is still roaming free in their minds.

Our first impulse may be to strike back, but we know that this usually produces a bad result—and almost inevitably, that result is not a sale.

Paradoxically, our best antidote to their negative chatter is to honor and appreciate them. We don’t even have to say anything. In fact, engaging them in a discussion about how unaffected we are by their mental chatter would probably be counterproductive. Instead, we simply “be” the honor and appreciation. We just watch the mental chatter scamper around and around on the hamster wheel in their minds, and continue to see the best in them.

The worst thing that can happen is that they walk away shaking their heads about what an unusual encounter they had with us.

People are sometimes afraid that this touchstone will make them all gushy, squishy, or placating, and cause them to lose their edge. Exactly the opposite is true.

First of all, it doesn’t honor people to get all gushy, squishy, or placating. Touchstone #2 is not about flattery; it’s about standing clearly and confidently, even quietly, in the knowledge that people are valuable human beings—and that they remain so, regardless of whether or not they buy.

Far from making the presentation too soft, Touchstone #2 gives it depth.

Most conversations will be very pleasant, but Touchstone #2 does wonders when we run into people who may argue about the value of our product or service, or who tell us we’re not doing a very good job of presenting it. People usually calm down when we simply hear what they say without reacting and continue to see the best in them. If they don’t, we can always end the conversation respectfully and leave.

In any case, making the value we see in them the foundation of the conversation ensures that we’ve done our best and acted with honor. And the most likely outcome is that we experience a wonderful connection.

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