By Raju Mandhyan
SUCCESSFUL selling skills are a reflection of good interpersonal skills. Every sale achieved is an outcome of assessing, approaching, and navigating several interactions between a salesperson and her buyer. Manage and master your ability to connect, engage and ethically influence a prospect and he will become your customer for life.
Research on communication skills from several schools of thought has revealed fundamental practices followed by great communicators in managing their interaction with people so that a large percentage of their conversations rake in success and wealth.
An old story about Socrates goes like this: One day, he was walking the streets of Athens when an acquaintance ran up to him and shouted, “Socrates, Socrates! I have something to tell you about Demosthenes. It’s real juicy stuff!”
Socrates held up his hand and gestured for the man to stop and cool down. “Tell me,” he says, “the thing that you’re about to tell me about Demosthenes, is it a fact? Is it the truth and were you personally witness to it?”
Flabbergasted, the man splutters and stops in his tracks, “No, I wasn’t personally a witness to it; I just overheard some folks down the street talking about it.”
“Well then, in that case,” responded Socrates, “will the content of this juicy stuff do you, me or Demosthenes any real good?” His friend sank to the ground and muttered, “I’m not sure I… Uh, I don’t think it will benefit Demosthenes, you or myself.”
“So let me understand,” said Socrates, “you don’t know if the story you’re about to tell me is the truth and neither will it benefit you, me or Demosthenes. So, what exactly is your purpose in wanting to share this juicy stuff with me?”
Socrates’s acquaintance lowered his head, backed away, and disappeared into the crowded streets of Athens.
The point of the story is whenever we indulge in talk and conversation and prior to creating noise with our mouths, we must carefully reflect upon what we are about to say, why we want to say it, and what positive outcome we hope to generate from the conversation.
Good communicators and effective salespeople are crystal clear about their messages. They spend time researching, reading and pondering upon what to share and ask customers and partners and where to direct their conversations. Think before you speak. First, think through what you want, why you want it, and what it is you might create.
Crystal-clear purpose and well-thought-out objectives will take away anxiety and doubt in how you communicate. It will build confidence and discipline towards achieving positive results in business.
Raju Mandhyan is an author, coach and facilitator