By Will Kintish, Business Networking Skills And LinkedIn Authority
For people who’s main job isn't marketing and selling they see it as an activity. There are certain things you need to do and ask and say to get more business. Right? Well, only partially right; when you mostly focus on what you have to do, you usually won't do a great job.
The majority of ‘non-sales’ people look at selling as a necessary evil. All kinds of thoughts and emotions come up
regarding selling - and most of them are not so positive.
Are any of the following familiar to you?
- Selling is manipulative and dishonest.
- Selling only results in rejection.
- I don't want to be seen as pushy.
- If they really want this service, they'll ask me.
- It takes forever for a prospect to say "Yes."
Take a moment and make a note of your dominant belief about selling. It may be a variation on one of the above. But now let's look a little more deeply. It's not just the thought, but everything that goes along with the thought.
Your thought also triggers the following:
- Feelings - Inferior, confused, afraid, uncertain, reluctant
- Images - Being rejected, being ridiculed, being a failure
- Body sensations - Sweating, pounding heart, shallow breathing
- Behaviours - Avoidance, nervousness, talking too much
I think it's pretty obvious that if your experience of marketing and selling matches some of the above, this part of your work life is going to be a struggle for you. Your focus will be on what doesn't work, what you don't like. And you will attract what you put your attention on.
Here's an exercise to shift your thinking
Imagine an activity that you really love doing. You approach it with enthusiasm and excitement. You know you'll do it well. You're eager to engage in this activity and it's very fulfilling.
So pick an activity for yourself.
It might be a sports activity, spending time with good friends, cooking a meal, or working with your best clients. It doesn't matter, as long as you have very positive associations with that activity.
Now take a look at the experiential elements of this activity:
- Thinking - What thoughts do you think about this activity?
- Feelings - How do you feel when you do this activity?
- Images - What do you see when you anticipate this activity?
- Body sensations - What do you feel in your body during this activity?
- Behaviours - What exactly are you doing in the course of this activity?
To really get the experience of this, you might want to close your eyes and imagine fully participating in this activity when you enjoyed it the most.
Observe how you are thinking, feeling, picturing, sensing and behaving. Be aware of how much you enjoy this experience. Notice how great it feels. Experience it as deeply as you can.
In the next part you'll transfer the experience of your favourite activity onto the activity of business development. Imagine a selling situation and then map the experience of the favourite activity onto that situation.
Remember - you're creating this; you're making it up. So create it as great as you possibly can. Imagine sitting in front of a prospect, for instance, thinking, feeling, picturing, sensing and acting very much like you do when you're involved in your favourite activity. Really recreate that experience. Make it fun, exciting, engaging and fulfilling.
Did you get into it?
Did you actually start having positive anticipation of enjoying the selling activity? Ultimately you create what you experience. So why not create an experience that is uplifting instead of dispiriting? This is something you can do - a skill you can learn.
OK, now I'd like you to create a metaphor for selling that ties into your favourite activity. In a workshop I led recently, participants came up with the following metaphors:
- Selling is like a party where I've invited all my friends and I get to interact with them in a very personal, authentic way.
- Selling is like boating where I'm easily gliding through the water and steering where I want to go with virtually no effort.
- Selling is like making a beautiful handmade quilt and then offering it to a good friend.
- Selling is like tennis where we play hard but the feeling is one of friendly competition.
- Selling is like climbing a mountain. We go up steadily, step-by- step, ultimately reaching the peak.
- Selling is like playing jazz. It's a lively interaction that consists of both planned passages and free improvisation.
These images and metaphors will be effective only to the degree that you are able to embody them mentally and emotionally before you engage in a selling activity.
Do this exercise (thought, feelings, imagery and metaphor) right before your next attempt at business development.
Enough of the touchy feely stuff. THE BOTTOM LINE..get more business.
The author of this article is Will Kintish, leading UK authority on effective and confident networking both offline and online. If you’d like Will to speak at your conference or training workshops, call him on 0161 773 3727. Visit www.kintish.co.uk and www.linkedintraining.co.uk for further free and valuable information on all aspects of networking