We are all selling.
Whether you are a “professional salesperson” or not makes no difference. Every day we are selling our thoughts and ideas. Our vision of how things should be. As a leader, you are selling your products, services, time, and influence.
Imagine the sale of your product or service being the top of a large mountain. Your customer is the mountain climber and you are their sherpa.
The destination may seem unattainable at first but one step at a time and you slowly make progress toward it.
Much like the mountain climber knows his destination (up), a customer knows theirs. They want your product of service to achieve their goals, but they too fear the path ahead. As their sherpa, you must demonstrate your knowledge of the path, and assure them that you can deliver their desired results. The sherpa can do this because he has been trained in the assent. As the seller, it is your job to get your mountain climber to the pinnacle safely and give them guidance along the way and help the climber avoid the dangers of the trail. If you as the sherpa and the customer as the mountain climber are successful then everyone goes home with what they wanted.
But how as the sherpa how do we “close the deal” or get the result we desire?
It's all in the ask. When and how you approach the “ask” will help determine your success. You can’t control the results, BUT you can control the effort. You can guide individuals along the journey. But it is based on the give and take.
People as a general rule don’t like to be “sold” on anything. As autonomous beings, we prefer to reach our conclusions and destinations on our own. (I think this is why men have a hard time asking for directions).
In order to receive, you must first guide and give. Take an introduction for example,
“Hi my name is ______ and you are?” Before we obtain someone else’s name we must oftentimes give our own. You must give to get. You are also offering an open-ended question which guides your mountain climber to the next part of the trail. Throughout the sales process, we must give regularly as we guide to build our buyer's confidence. If we lead with “Hi my name is ______ sign here for your purchase” it won’t go over nearly as well with your buyer.
Always be prepared to guide and give. The more you guide and give the more you can ask for in return. “It sure is pretty” won’t sell a $25,000 diamond. The jeweler must make sure that the buyer understands the value behind the price BEFORE the ask for the sale occurs. Build the benefit and value by giving.
Practice guide, give then ask and see if it helps you close that next deal.