If you just answered “yes” then today’s post is just for you. I’m sharing an important part of the sales process with you, which is seldom talked about. It’s something that you can use, in order to develop great relationships with your clients, contacts and the marketplace in general.
Let’s look at esteem
One of the basic human needs is esteem. In business, we know that boosting the esteem of others, by showing them respect, is a powerful way to build great relationships. It improves how people feel about us and because business is all about people, it’s of massive commercial value.
The opposite is also true. If people feel we’re trying to lower their self-esteem, by disrespecting them, it can ruin relationships and damage just about every part of our business. I wrote about that here: How to avoid arguments and build great client relationships.
Here’s a great example of how important esteem and respect are. It was sent to me by a reader and I’m sharing it with is permission.
Here’s what happened
Apparently, George [not his real name] wore his new Apple Watch to a meeting with a prospective client. The meeting was just to iron out a few formalities and get a significantly large contract signed.
“[…] I realized during the meeting that the prospective client was becoming increasingly prickly with me. In previous meetings he’d been friendly and cool. This time he’d started off that way but for no reason his mood got worse. After half an hour, even though he’d invited me there to sign the deal, he’s now saying that he wants another 48 hours to make the decision!!”
George went on.
[…] A few hours later I got an email from him saying he’d reconsidered and wasn’t going to sign the deal with my company. To say I was shocked is an understatement and he gave me no reason. I then emailed him back to ask what the reason was and he said that clearly the contract didn’t matter to me because during the meeting I kept signalling for him to hurry up. He was wrong. I’d never do anything like that and this was a big deal for us in every way. So I called him and asked what he meant. He said that I kept looking at my watch as if to say “come on, get on with it I ain’t got all day”!
I then realized what happened. I’d set my Apple Watch to silent but it was tapping my wrist every time I got a message during our meeting. It was the first time I’d wore the watch out and the taps on my wrist were new to me. I must have been glancing down at it each time I got a tap and to the other guy, it looked like I was constantly checking the time. I explained what happened and thankfully he understood.”
2 valuable lessons
I think there are 2 valuable lessons here.
- When you are speaking with someone, make sure they have your full attention. Maintain eye contact and listen patiently without butting in [or checking your watch / phone]. By giving people your full attention, you are demonstrating that you respect what they have to say. This boosts their esteem and improves how they feel toward you. It also helps you develop rapport with them, which makes business conversations flow far easier.
- Make sure that if a prospective client chooses not to hire you [or buy from you], their reason is valid. If somehow they’ve missed a key point or they misunderstood your offering, you could needlessly lose their business, by failing to seek and deliver clarity. In the above example, a significant contract would have been lost, had George not followed up with a phone call.
I hope that you found this post useful. If you did, please share it with your friends.