Today I am introducing our first guest contributor, and I am pleased and honoured to have Jonathan Farrington be the first guest contributor. I have always found his view and understanding of business and sales to be of great value, I am confident you will too.
“If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him you are his sincere friend.” Abraham Lincoln
Nowhere is this truer than in selling, where you are trying to persuade another, often a stranger, to make a decision they may not even have considered prior to your meeting.
The buyer-seller situation – like any human contact – is an exercise in human relations: the interplay, cause and effect of behaviour by two or more people on each other. In the buyer-seller situation, the seller must be responsible for shaping mutual behaviour.
What’s the difference between human nature and human relations?
• Human nature is the instinctive behaviour that governs action concerned with the self and with self-interest.
• Human relations are concerned with how we think and act in terms of other’s interests.
Successful selling demands that human relations be dominant over human nature.
Selling is not something a salesperson does to a prospect. Selling is something you do with the prospect in a process of discovery and interaction – human relations at work.
The greatest barrier to success in this process is the “Egocentric Predicament”. This consists of being overly and unnecessarily concerned with self. Our ability to be perceptive and concerned about others is inversely proportionate to our self-concern.
When self gets unnecessarily in the way, the fruitful cycle of good human relations stops producing.
The key to understanding and accepting others, is to first understand and accept oneself – starting with the realisation that, rather than strive for an unattainable “I should be” image, we should settle for our real self as “I am” – accepting shortcomings along with strengths.
The following points provide a practical answer to the “I am” versus “I should be” conflict.
Recognise it – and recognise that its source is rooted in the views of others.
Either (a) accept your “I am” image or (b) decide on attainable, constructive steps to achieve “I should be” in the future.
Our behaviour is a reflection of our attitudes; and our attitudes grow out of our values.
Each is an integral part of the other. Do your life values make it easy for you to put the other person’s interests first?
Sincerity is a much-used word in relation to selling.
Integrity is a kindred word. Integrity implies a consistent kind of honesty: acting outwardly the way you truly feel inwardly. That’s why sound values are so important to your success with others. Remember: “People buy our product not so much because they understand the product… but because they feel that we understand them.”
There are many effective ways of doing this: The best way to create this kind of buying climate is to “transmit on their frequency.” This opens their mind to you…makes them willing – and eager – to listen.
A sincere, specific compliment on a point of real meaning to them gets the other person talking about things of interest to them. It opens doors.
“Before I sell my prospect what my prospect buys, I must first see my prospect as they see themselves.”
Empathy is the magical word in the lexicon of human relations. It means feeling as the other person feels, not just with them. It means putting yourself in their shoes and shaping your attitudes accordingly.
Beyond getting the order, the plus factor in selling is to make people look good in their own eyes and in the eyes of others. Rather than sell to them, we help them buy.
We do this best by building their self-image. This helps them grow. And as we help others grow, we grow. To do this, we must be open and honest – this is the essence of good human relations.
These concepts are applicable to every facet of our lives and in selling, they pave the way to the truest and most fruitful success.
Copyright © 2008 Jonathan Farrington. All rights reserved
Jonathan Farrington is a globally recognised business coach, mentor, author and consultant, who has guided hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals around the world towards optimum performance levels.
Formerly, Jonathan was the Managing Partner of The jfa Group which he established in 1994 and then early in 2007, Jonathan formed Top Sales Associates (TSA) to promote the very best sales related solutions and products. TSA is now a subsidiary of The Sales Corporation – www.thesalescorporation.com based in London and
Paris, where Jonathan is the Chairman.
The JF Consultancy – www.jonathanfarrington , launched early in 2008 and Jonathan’s highly popular daily blog for dedicated business professionals can be found at www.thejfblogit.co.uk