I’m writing to you from New Zealand, having left Sydney yesterday, returning this week.
I’ve been invited to speak at a large conference of distributors for a major pool manufacturer where I’ll be sharing breakthrough strategies of how my clients engage in new sales conversations, without ever experiencing resistance (yes, that is possible).
Seems all of a sudden, creating trusting relationships in business has become fashionable again.
Trust in selling has been the pillar of what I’ve been teaching for over a decade…so it’s interesting that with the gyrations happening in our economy, business leaders are going back to what always works: creating trust with prospects so they become happy paying clients.
During my flight from Sydney, I sat next to a friendly gentleman named John who is a court bailiff in New Zealand.
I mentioned to him that I teach a unique system of selling that is being successfully used all over the world and he said to me “Oh, I’m the last person in the world who could ever sell.”
I said “What do you mean?” and he said “I just don’t have the personality for it and it’s just not me.”
In my travels I hear this a lot.
So I changed the subject and started asking him about his job as a bailiff out of genuine interest.
He shared that his responsibilities include collecting unpaid fines issued by the courts.
Apparently, there are lots of people who have “forgotten” that they were fined for doing something unlawful (i.e. speeding and other minor infractions) and they are overdue on their debt to the court.
John continues to tell me that he spends his day driving to these people’s homes, knocking on their doors, introducing himself and asking them to make good on their debt.
“I go unarmed and without backup to some pretty seedy areas of town”, he said.
“Wow” I said, “that’s pretty brave, what do you say when they open the door and see you?”
John preceded to share with me his approach to creating a connection, building trust and getting them comfortable with paying off their debt.
And he says he doesn’t know how to sell!!
What you’re about to read is his “sales approach” to how he gets these folks to trust him and give him the money they owe…
If you find yourself battling with letting go of the old traditional way of selling, you’ll find this refreshing and insightful.
John told me that when they open their front door, he says “Hi, my name is John and I’m with the county court’s bailiff office and I’m hoping you can help me out for a moment?”
He continues to tell me that he waits until they respond with “Yes, what can I help you with?”
Then he says, “I’ve got an issue that I’m hoping you can help me solve. You’re late in re-payment of your fee to the court and I’m certainly open to any ideas you might have as to how we can resolve this together.”
I asked him, what was his thinking behind his approach, and he told me, “My goal is to build a connection with them at the human level. I don’t want to intimidate them or come across like someone who only cares about collecting their payment at the expense of their current situation. I want to be a facilitator to helping them solve their problem. I care about people, and if you approach them in a non-confrontational way, they usually treat you with respect and work with you.“
As I was listening to him describe his mindset as to how he approaches his “clients” as he calls them, I felt like I had found my long lost brother. 🙂
He was articulating his thoughts about creating trust in an eerily similar way to how I teach my Inner Circle members to approach new potential clients in the sales process.
I asked him what his success rate of collecting the fees were, and he says he is the highest “performer” in the office.
Of course I then asked him if he would like to work for me :), but he said he still would have no idea how to sell anything!
Someone who views himself as not a “sales person” is selling in a trusting way to help his clients solve their problems…and he is doing it with grace and elegance.
Grace and elegance are two words you’d be hard pressed to find in traditional sales books and CDs.
Why can’t most business owners and sales people think like John?
Here’s the reason: because they have only been exposed to one way of selling, the old way, with the main goal of “closing the sale” — instead of creating trust.
That sort of thinking is what created the whole negative “sales person” stereotype in the first place.
The world has changed around us.
And if you’re still selling the way you did before the world changed, you’re asking for a mountain of frustration.
Now is the time to clear your mind, break away from the way you’ve been “trained”, and join our community of business people and sales people who refuse to treat people as “targets” for their own gain.
Your comments are always welcome below.
To your success,