The idea of selling something feels sort of dirty to a lot of people, especially if you’ve been on the wrong end of a heavy-handed salesperson. Getting your arm twisted until you succumb and make the purchase. Promises made that turn out to be empty about the benefits of buying something. Ugh!
But good sales experiences actually help you. Great salespeople make you feel confident and secure in your decisions. And — this is the odd part — much of what makes for success in sales also does so in relationships.
Sales skill: Taking the time to ask open-ended questions makes prospects more likely to let down their guard. Asking clarification questions about the responses the prospect lets them feel their opinion really matters to the salesperson, and that the salesperson is present and listening.
Relationship tip: This is also true in personal relationships. Slowing down and taking the time to deeply understand the other person’s point of view makes you become more attractive to that person.
People love to tell you how they think and feel about things if you make them feel that you care about what they are telling you. Follow-up questions are a powerful way to do that.
Sales skill: The best salespeople — the ones who successfully selling big-ticket items — go through the sales process slowly. When this is done exceptionally well the buyer often butts in and says “I’m convinced. How can I buy what you are selling? I don’t need to hear anything beyond what you have told me.” Bingo!
Relationship tip: When wooing someone, taking it slowly is much more effective than moving too quickly. Being a fast-paced person, I have to constantly remind myself to slow down when interacting with my wife Nina. The slower I go and the more focused I am on her and what she’s saying, the better she feels about our relationship. I’m not as good at doing this as I would like to be but I keep on working at it.
Listening, not telling
Sales skill: The phrase, “Telling is not selling,” is so true. When a salesperson offers too much information and solutions that don’t motivate for the buyer, the sale goes nowhere. That salesperson is likely to complain that the potential buyer simply didn’t “get” that what the salesperson was selling was the perfect solution.
Relationship tip: Listening opens minds and hearts. Like Stephen Covey says in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
By doing so you learn more about your partner, which makes it easier to connect with them.
The challenge is to set aside your natural inclination to want to get your point across. Slowing down, listening and asking clarification questions — while not providing solutions — makes your partner open up.
When that happens, check in and see if they want to hear what your idea of a solution is or if they simply wanted to be heard.
Life is simple and complicated, all at once. When creating or nurturing a relationship, one step at a time with no agenda in mind except to make who you are interacting with feel heard, great possibilities are the outcome, in both sales and life.
Want More Secrets to a Healthy Working Relationship?
Paul and Nina Winans will lead a Couples Retreat Workshop in Scottsdale, AZ, on February 7-8, 2019.
Join 10-15 couples who will learn how to deal with conflict, argue effectively, and set goals for yourselves. We have a few spots left so Click Here to learn more & register!