Exploding Your Potential

Ineffective people costs companies money — the bigger the company, the bigger the amount. Whether it’s a few thousand or several million, it affects you. 

As an employee, lost revenues could mean layoffs; as a manager, lost revenues could label you as mediocre and deliver walking papers; and as an employer, lost revenues could shut you down. All, dismal outcomes.

At the core is sales — even if your job description doesn’t have “sales” in it, you need to realize that you and everyone else is in sales from the moment the day starts. Be it convincing yourself that you are going to tackle a problem that’s been looming; deciding between the chicken or taco salad; interacting with an irritated customer, colleague or boss; or wooing others to your point of view . . . you are selling — either to yourself or others.

And, that’s a challenge. The general public (and your coworkers and/or boss) often think of a salesperson as a liar, manipulator, fast-talker or selling cars and insurance. If your mannerisms/styles are those of the ”perceived” salesperson, trust and credibility take a hit. Long term relationships may never materialize. Rejection is in play.

According to Donna Cohen, author of Go BIG … or Stay Home, “When you can’t handle rejection, you become hesitant to pick up what you perceive to be a 250 pound phone.”

With all the electronic gizmos we have today for communicating, is phone contact necessary—be it good news or bad news? You bet. Outside of actual one-on-one contact or live video, phone interfacing is crucial—hearing voice tones adds a significant dimension to any words that flow. Cohen’s visual of a 250 pound phone weighs heavy.

In the workplace, any type of “sale” will get dinged when you get grounded in letting rejections pull you down, bury yourself in busy activities vs. actual productivity and not embracing the company/product/concept as a partner. 

Rejecting Rejection
Author and business leader Steven Covey says “Begin with the end in mind.” Sounds good — what does it mean? Cohen adds, “Be clear on the specific goals you want to achieve and then determine the specific activities necessary to attain those goals.”

Her steps to dealing with rejection include common sense solutions:

• Separate what you “do” in your role (salesperson, manager, account executive, Mom, Dad, golfer, etc.) from who you “are” as a human being — i.e. self-worth and self-esteem. Regardless of whether or not someone chooses your solution — you are still the same human being…..creative, dependable, funny, generous, etc. 

• Set your goals, set them high and go for it. Rarely do you excel unless you stretch yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot achieve. Be clear on your personal vision and goals, have a plan to achieve them and refuse to let anyone or anything stand in your way.

Use a sales process that is focused on continually adding value and is all about the other party — something many talk about but few implement. Cohen calls it RELATE Selling™. It focuses on relationships, engaging, leveling, asking, tailoring and endorsing. It’s all about creating trust and credibility so you can quickly clarify, qualify and move forward.

Relationships are built on trust and credibility — with yourself and others. Cohen writes that being a member of the 4-H club is essential in building relationships — Humor, Humility, Honesty, and chutzpah. 

Engage others in something of interest about them. It’s all about THEM . . . not you. Do your homework and check out your client (or potential) industry, competition, client base. Information will be found on websites and Googling. Don’t forget to put your own name and company in for a Google search — what’s being said/reported that others have access to?

The axiom, knowledge = power is inaccurate. It’s knowledge + implementation = power. The more you know and you are able to use will put you ahead of the class. You will be about them so you are perceived as a “partner” versus a vendor or salesperson.

Level your expectations every step of the way. Gain mutual commitments about next steps. If there is no next step — stop. 

This is appropriate with almost any interaction for effective communications — whether a job interview, meeting with a co-worker/boss/peer or prospect. Ask, “What would you like me (or do I need) to do next?” Clarifying expectations eliminates confusion.

Asking questions is essential — lots of them. The more you know, the better you can provide a solution that fits the need. 

Tailor your solution to meet their specific needs — no more no less.

Endorsement — Gain it from everyone who will be affected by the decision. The more “buy-in” you have up front, the greater your chances of a successful implementation.

Whether you’re selling yourself or someone else’s products or services, these processes are the foundation for differentiating yourself and creating long-term relationships coupled with business success. A smart career move.