Learning How to Sell by Taking My Own Advice

At Your Talent Advantage one of the things we pride ourselves in is that we live the theory. By that we mean that we integrate into our personal and business lives the very things we coach others to do.

First and foremost on the list of things we coach others to do is to discover what you are good at and do more of it. Number two is that the most effective way to excel in any role or position is to do it in a way that is supported by your natural skills and talents. In other words, “Do it your way.”

DoItYourWayFor the most part we do a very good job of following our own advice. So, even though I know that personal development is a lifelong affair, it took me by surprise when I suddenly found myself excelling in an area I had long ago accepted was not and never would be an area of talent for me – sales.

Sales falls into a category of interaction we call Transactions. It is one of three developed preferences, Operations and Resources being the other two, which everyone has the capacity to do. But they are developmental and an individual’s preference order is established early in life.

I grew up as the child of two doctors who started their practice in the mid-1940s. At that time, professionals did not have to market their practices, and in fact it was considered unethical. Needless to say, much has changed since then, but I was raised with little or no support or reinforcement for my natural Transactions skills.

It has always been my weakest of the three Preferences for Interaction, and I have struggled in the marketplace because of it. I discovered my deficit early on in my professional life and tried to learn what I had missed. After wasting a great deal of time and effort in seminars, on books, and with coaches, all with the same lack of success, I concluded several years ago that sales skills were not to be mine and decided to stop hitting my head against the wall.

Paradoxically, it was when I gave up trying to develop my sales skills that I discovered how to sell my way. When I stopped trying to use someone else’s “no fail” sales techniques (Just like we always coach our clients!) I was free to be myself. And just like we always coach our clients, being yourself and using your own natural skills is the key to success in any pursuit.

What I discovered, quite by accident, was that when I stopped trying to figure out what and how I could sell someone, listened with an open and loving heart about their situation, genuinely cheered their success, and then candidly asked them how I could help them, they would tell me what they wanted. At that point, the only barrier to a sale was whether or not I could provide it.

I have always been skilled at assessing what a client needs. It is a part of my natural skill set and of my professional training as a psychologist. The problem is that telling clients or potential clients what they need rarely makes them want it.

Opening my heart and focusing on them, their lives, and their story allows me to connect with the person I am listening to. It should not come as a surprise to me that people are more receptive to what you have to offer when they feel heard, understood, acknowledged, and validated.

I am not offering this up as a sales technique for you to emulate. In fact the point of my story is quite the opposite. I was just doing what I am naturally skilled at – listening to people and making them feel heard. It was a reinforcement of what I have been coaching for years and a wake-up call to take my own advice:  “If you want to be successful, do more of what you do best.”

Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.

To find out more about the services we have available to help you find the success you want and deserve go to www.YourTalentAdvantage.com.

About Gary M. Jordan Ph.D.

Gary M. Jordan, Ph.D. is a premier authority on behavioral theories and assessment construction. He has over 32 years of experience in clinical psychology, behavioral assessment, individual development, and coaching. Gary earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology – Berkeley, and spent 18 years in private practice where he specialized in helping angry adolescents, couples in conflict, and individuals searching for more meaning and satisfaction in life.
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