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Firstly, I would like to acknowledge 2 people who inspired my thoughts in writing this piece, @John Espirian and @Mark Schaefer.
Also a shout out to Noleen Thompson
I only “met” John and Mark recently but they have changed my thinking.
About 3 weeks ago, I had an interaction with John on Linkedin where I might have been too salesy when I approached him offering my services and he politely turned me down. Yesterday I picked up on a Linkedin post that John had written where he commented to me “I get that people want results but we’re in business for the long game. Being more human is the way to win.”
You see, I come from an old school way of selling – literally knocking on doors and trying to knock them down to make the sale, close or convince. Kind of like Jack Nicholson where he peers through the crack in the door in the film “The Shining”….
Lesson not learned yet….
Then yesterday, I had a coaching call with Mark Schaefer. I got in touch with Mark directly after reading his book “Known” (I finished it today Mark). For those of you who haven’t read the book, I strongly suggest you do. Mark has a very down to earth writing style and what he says makes a whole lot of sense when it comes to being “known” in business, arts, life or whatever you want to be “Known” for. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the way Mark writes about this subject. In the book, he also talks about John Espirian and his business….
I found this coincidence quite serendipitous!
Towards the end of “Known”, Mark quotes a few people on what it takes to be known and the consistent theme was helping, being selfless, always trying to offer value….to be kind?
And this brings me to my “aha moment”
To sell nowadays is to be kind, to be nice and to make sure that what you are offering has value.
It doesn’t mean: Pushing, knocking, forcing and being Wolf of Wall Street.
Of course, sometimes you need to “go out there” and approach people, but do it in a soft, gentle and kind way, thinking about their business needs first.
Sales kindness is a gentle invitation to follow based on value, respect, and understanding. You need to develop a sales presence that is forged in the hearth of kindness. If you do that then your target audience will knock on your door and be asked to let in, not the other way around.
A much more powerful and more sustainable way of doing things in my opinion – is what I have learned and what I will try to do from now on. I am not an expert yet and old habits die hard, but if sales kindness can make more people successful then why not?
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