Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Get into Gear!

Who isn't busy these days? With everything you have to do in a day, it's likely you've become the ultimate multi-tasker - firing off emails to "talk" to potential clients, making calls while picking up the kids, and checking emails during meetings. While they are certainly efficient, sales expert Colleen Francis believes these behaviors cause us to lose sight of the real purpose of sales; to create engaging and memorable relationships with everyone in our network.

"There is a difference between connecting with someone and engaging with them," says Francis. "That difference is trust. And creating trust requires being nice, staying focused on their needs and treating them with respect."

What is respectful behavior in your relationships?

1. If you receive an email that you feel is challenging or upsetting, pick up the phone and call. Speak with them with genuine curiosity and respect.
2. If you must deliver bad news to a client or a colleague, use the phone or meet with them face to face to have a real conversation with them.
3. Listen, do not interrupt. A simple rule to follow is wait three seconds after someone has finished talking before you start. This will ensure you don't jump in, interrupt or overrun their conversation.
4. If email is the only option, write it once, save as a draft. Sleep on it and review your text the next day. Better yet - send an email that only says, "please can we talk".
5. Keep your private communications private - no need to tell the whole office or your networking group about an incident you had with a client, prospect or manager
6. Show acknowledgement and appreciation. In Honesty Sells Steven and I teach a technique called "getting into Gear". This technique works for client and internal relationships and it goes like this:

G: Genuine. Say it only if you mean it. People know when you are being insincere.

E: Exact. Explain what you are you acknowledging exactly. Don't just say, "Thanks for doing a good job." Say: "I appreciate the work you did on the Jones project. Your attention to detail on the contract negotiation was outstanding!"

A: At once. Catch people doing something good and acknowledge it right away. Don't wait a week. Do it now. Even if you have to make a phone call or send an e-mail rather than acknowledging someone in person. An immediate acknowledgment is always better than a delayed one.

R: Regular. You cannot harm people by over-appreciating them.

"Your success will be directly determined by your willingness to communicate with your network in a trust building way," says Francis. "In good times or bad, the type of salesperson you choose to be is entirely up to you. Choose to be kind, honest, open, and supportive of your clients. You'll see consistent sales growth; you'll build an excellent reputation; and you'll become a leader in your field - regardless of your market or the state of the economy."

Colleen Francis, Sales Expert, is Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions. Armed with skills developed from years of experience, Colleen helps clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line. Start improving your results today with Engage's online Newsletter Engaging Ideas and a FREE 7 day intensive sales eCourse: www.EngagingIdeasOnline.com.

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