It gives me great pleasure to share this article with you. I don't know about you but I know I've experienced exactly what Jeff is talking about - and it's not good! Once people understand that they have to earn the right, they'll be more effective and successful. Enjoy!
Have You Earned The Right?
Are you a business development professional who finds yourself thinking or ranting about the following common complaints: “I’m tired of people not calling me back.” “I don’t understand why people are unwilling to listen to my sales
pitch.” “I know my service can add value to their company, so why won’t they listen?” We’ve all experienced these situations during our careers, but we often fail to understand why they happen. Is it because people are rude, unwilling to improve their business or close minded? It’s easy to accept these excuses as truths. However, the problem often leads back to us for one simple reason…...we have failed to earn the right to ask, to pitch and to solve.
That’s right; whether we are selling products or services, looking for a job, or asking for a donation, we must earn the right before we ask for anything, including email and phone call returns! We erroneously assume that people automatically want to hear from us just because we think we have something important to discuss like a sales pitch, a donation request or help with a job search. In all of these situations, we are intruding on someone’s life or business because of something that we want (even if we firmly believe that it will benefit them as well).
I recently had a conversation with a business owner at a networking event, and this is what he shared with me:
I am tired of people meeting me and then following up to try to pitch me on their product or service. I don’t understand why they believe that I want to talk to them and hear their “story” merely because they met me. I didn’t ask them for more information or to be “sold,” but they seem to expect me to make time for them, to return their calls or emails, and to listen to what they have to say. I guess I’m just tired of all of these pushy people.
Of course, the sales professionals don’t see it this way, and this disconnect is one of the primary reasons for the discomfort that exists for both sides.
The problem comes back to not earning the right; whether you’re selling or asking (for anything) you must earn the right to ask or to sell, and we earn the right by investing in the other person. And to be very clear – having a product or service to sell that we believe is valuable does not equal earning the right! Earning the right is about the other person and their needs beyond what we have to offer.
Earning the right does not have to take a great deal of time, and does not necessarily involve a delay in moving forward. Here are some basic strategies for earning the right:
• Ask questions in order to understand the other person and listen with a sincere interest in the answers (not positioning to get what you want)
• Be consistent and committed in always looking for ways to help the other person (but not necessarily limited to your products, services, or “value”)
• Make it easy for them (it’s not their job to return your calls or emails)
• Always put their interests first, even if it means that you don’t get the sale or what you want
It’s pretty simple . . . basic lessons we learned (or should have learned) when we were young!
The next time you make a call, send an email, make a pitch, or ask for help, ask yourself this vital question – “Have I earned the right?” If you’ve earned the right, you’ll find that your calls are taken, your emails are responded to, your pitches are listened to, and you’ll often get the help that you’re looking for. Remember, earning the right begins and ends with you!
Jeff Nischwitz is the founder and Chief Question Officer of Think Again Coaching (www.thinkagaincoaching.com), a training, consulting and coaching company that helps people and organizations build relationships that drive results, discover their ?soul? (who and what they want to be), and map out plans to achieve their objectives. Jeff has been called the ?human LinkedIn? with an established reputation for building strong relationships to help others enhance their own success. Jeff is a national speaker and trainer on various topics including networking, relationship building, business development, building client centric businesses, the power of attitude, and different thinking.