We’re all salespeople. Regardless of what we doing for a living – doctor, computer programmer, manager – we are always selling something. Beginning with our job interview, we are constantly called upon to convince others to “buy” our points of view, opinions and decisions. The same is true in our personal lives in everything from building a strong relationship to dealing with a car salesperson.
There are a million sales training programs that promise to make us better at closing the deal. But the best advice I’ve heard in a long time was simple as can be. If you want to be a better salesperson, be a better person. To borrow from a certain piece of timeless wisdom: Be the person with whom you would like to do business.
Care about people. Demonstrating a true interest in people beyond the transactional aspects of your business builds connection and loyalty. Listen actively when customers or colleagues talk about their lives, hopes and concerns. Be empathetic. Show by your actions that you really do care. If a customer mentions a sick child during a lunch, ask how the kid is doing the next time you connect. And listen to the answer…
Be consistent. Treat everyone with respect and caring – not just customers and others who can do something for you. Employees, colleagues, sales clerks, waiters – everyone you interact with over the course of the day deserves your best self.
Keep it real. Be your authentic self. Always. People are desperate for authenticity in this age of relentless hype and packaging. That partially explains the appeal of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Besides, pretending to be someone you aren’t is exhausting.
Being authentic means being honest and transparent. Take ownership of mistakes and happily make them right.
Live by these simple rules and everything will be better – not just your career, but your relationships and peace of mind as well.