As a sales professional (and we are all in sales), each interaction is an opportunity to influence the decision of another. Whether you are trying to close an enterprise deal, enlisting the support of colleagues for a project or, even, getting your child to eat their vegetables. It’s not just about what you want or the outcome that you desire, but a mutually significant and beneficial outcome for everyone involved. It will involve some time, some energy, some negotiation and a lot of listening.
Ultimately, it’s not about you, it’s about them. You are looking to satisfy their needs in conjunction with your own. If you focus on providing the best solutions and outcomes for them, you create deeper relationship equity and positioning for the satisfaction for your needs as well.
Understand your audience and spend time to learn more. Ask questions and listen. The only way to know what they want is to understand their position – from a market perspective to a pain alleviation perspective to a short and long term goals perspective. Clarify their agenda and be empathetic to their struggles to achieve.
Contribute, then sell. The old adage of ‘it is far better to give than to receive’ fits into this methodology. You have much value (in knowledge, expertise and information) that you can share with others to create more value for them. By sharing, you create a deeper step in the relationship that will allow you (both) to find the best solutions.
Get feedback. By learning from the process and eliciting information from the experience, you can improve your approaches in the future – whether with the same person or with others.
Perspective is key to finding success in sale and influence. If you focus only on your own, you will lose out on many opportunities.