Over the Christmas holidays my family and I took a much-needed vacation to Hawaii. In order to obtain the significantly discounted rate that was associated with our “vacation package” (note to self – don’t ever use a vacation package again) we had to attend a 2 hour timeshare meeting. Now to those of you who have ever attended these meetings you know where I’m going with this post. It was a very memorable experience, but not in a good way.
When we arrived at our meeting we were quickly greeted by our “consultant”. She was kind at first and used some simple “breaking the ice” conversational tools to try to set us at ease. Shortly thereafter she launched into her attack trying with her very best efforts to convince us, and ushering every single possible reason to support her case, as to why we needed to spend $70,000 today to purchase a timeshare in their resort, and also why if we didn’t do it today then we would be making a huge mistake.
What happened to me as she launched her “attack” was the opposite of what I suspect she would have hoped for. The moment I felt pressured was the moment that I put up my defence. I guarded myself (and my wallet) because I didn’t want to be convinced of anything. The more pressure she applied, the more my guard strengthened. Truthfully had she met my requests (for example I asked if I could read the legal offering documents), I would have been more open to what she was selling, but because of her “convincing” I shut down, and literally stopped listening to what she was saying.
Many people think that sales is about convincing people to do something. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, and frankly it is the worst strategy that you could use. You can never convince anyone of anything. People are scared to embark on a sales based career because they don’t want to be “one of those types of people”.
Here is the paradox: the best salespeople in the world never convince anyone of anything, and they aren’t “those types of people”.
The best salespeople in the world learn what people want, and then help them to get what they want. The best salespeople in the world focus not on convincing (ie. getting), they focus on giving (ie. creating real value).
So in your selling efforts stop trying to convince. Start listening. Start creating value. Start giving.