Is Having Meaningful Business Conversation A Lost Sales Art?Sep 04, 2023
Mark Twain was never at a loss for words, as he once said,
"A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation."
How would people describe your conversations?
What words would they use?
Furthermore, what adjectives would they use?
Conversations become the catalyst to deeper connections, fresh ideas, and a better understanding of your clients' business world.
When you have the courage to move beyond small talk and explore issues at deeper levels, you will grow from the experience.
According to research published by the American Psychological Association,
"People benefit from deep and meaningful conversations that help us forge connections with one another, but we often stick to small talk with strangers because we underestimate how much others are interested in our lives and wrongly believe that deeper conversations will be more awkward and less enjoyable than they actually are."
From the boosting of one's confidence to elevating one's self-expression, meaningful conversations enhance relationships and will grow your sales.
In addition, conversations help to get you on the same page, as you explore different points of view and air your thoughts so you can each be heard.
Tough conversations are a journey.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the conversation and communication with your clients?
Without meaningful and rich conversations, where do you believe the relationship sits with your clients?
You never know when one conversation will lead to exponential sales growth.
The way you open conversations, carry on conversations, and strengthen conversations has a direct impact on what happens next.
The direction of those conversations along with the intentionality behind them; all will have a direct bearing on your sales opportunities, referrals, cross-selling, relationship building, and your prospecting success.
Have meaningful, deep and genuine conversations become a lost sales art?
Now, let's look at this through a different lens... Conversations are the strongest sales tool salespeople have to effectively build C-level and executive level credibility.
Conversations build relationships and relationships build sustainable business with executives.
Here's something for all of you to think about... How comfortable are you making people feel about you, so in turn they become comfortable enough sharing their uncomfortable business concerns?
A meaningful conversation is a business adventure into the unknown. This is where you allow the conversation to flow, unscripted, not guarded and you welcome in what you uncover.
This is where new possibilities and opportunities to help await you.
Conversations are organic, sometime a bit chaotic and not scripted.
I would like for you to think about the conversations you're having and now ask yourself... Is there any substance behind my communication that's helping me to uncover more than I anticipated?
Are you paying close attention to what excites your clients?
Are you paying even closer attention to what excites senior level executives?
Do you ever notice how their eyes light up as well as the emotion in their voice when they say certain things?
If you answered no, then I encourage you to start paying attention. What you will start to uncover is pure gold and relational betterment.
EARN THE RIGHT TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS
Are you worthy of having a conversation with an executive?
Do you believe in yourself to engage in conversation with senior level executives?
To consistently engage with executives, I believe it's the combination of confidence, communication, high doses of business acumen and value articulation, all while showcasing Selling From the Heart.
It’s about engaging in and driving conversation like an executive. The best way to speak to and with executives is to speak their language.
This my friends is the wholly sales grail.
Projecting and portraying an executive presence, combined with the way you deliver your message, will cause executives to take notice.
MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS GAIN YOU ACCESS
Are you brave enough to start conversations that matter?
Are you having breakthrough moments with your conversations?
And why this quote from Margery Wilson drives home the conversational point,
"Conversation is much like a tennis game except that in tennis you try to put the ball in the most difficult position for the one who must hit it while in conversation you must try to put it where it will be easy to hit."
If you expect to get a seat at the business table, then you must be prepared to bring meaningful, rich and deep conversations to the forefront or face the door being closed in front of you.
- Eight out of 10 executive buyers say the sales meetings they take are a waste of time, according to Forrester Research. And while salespeople claim their meeting preparedness merits a “B” grade on average, C-level buyers rate them an “F”!
- It’s no wonder – salespeople don’t demonstrate knowledge of their buyer’s business (according to 75% of executives), nor do they present solutions that address specific issues buyers face (per 77% of executives), also according to Forrester.
For the most part, people enjoy having conversations with people they perceive as having similar characteristics, challenges, and experiences to them.
This is why I believe to engage in C-level, executive type conversations on a more consistent basis, you must walk, talk, live, breathe and look like an executive worthy of a conversation.
If you wish to sit with executive leaders, you need to learn, consume and mirror their characteristics.
If you want to achieve equal business stature with executives, then you should strive to be someone they think has their best interest at heart for their company.
Now granted, not all sales require C-level or executive access. However, engaging at this level is critical if your goals are to build strategic relationships, be perceived as a trusted professional and to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Do you have what it takes to gain a seat at the table?
Reflect upon the following quote from Marc Miller, the author of "A Seat at The Table",
"In today's commoditized business world, customers only care about one thing: value. To offer real value you must stop being a salesperson and become a businessperson who sells."
ARE YOU HAVING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS?
The quality of conversations you have will ultimately make the difference between poor collaboration, average collaboration or excellent collaboration.
Through meaningful conversations, you could co-create, collaborate and confirm your understandings as you seek solutions to help executives do better business.
A meaningful conversation creates bonds of trust that build agreeable and collective consensus.
Meaningful conversations yield meaningful action.
A conversation becomes more meaningful when:
- You are willing and able to detach yourself of our own ideas as you offer them to the other person with an open mind as to what will happen next.
- You are expanding on things the other person has said.
- Speaking time is fairly distributed among all parties.
- You ask questions to understand each other better.
- You're able to "read the room" to find out what the mood might be and raise awareness to it if necessary.
Weak conversational skills yield you inconsistent sales results.
Having a meaningful conversation carries within it the intention to leave behind something of value.
So here sits the question... What types of valuable conversations are you having?
REAL MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS DRIVE REVENUE
Conversations are the most powerful tool you have at your disposal.
Are your conversations filled with business substance or just plain old sales jargon?
Meaningful conversations drive meaningful revenue.
Consistently engaging in meaningful conversations builds trust with executive decision makers.
Consistently engaging in meaningful conversations and demonstrating trustworthiness can lead to a positive reputation amongst executives.
When others hear about your trustworthiness from multiple executives, it can reinforce their trust in you.
Let's all rise-up and unite in how you connect with senior level executives to encourage healthy and meaningful conversations.
If you have followed me for any length of time, you know I'm a huge Craig Groeschel fan.
In a recent social post of his, he shared 3 questions to ask yourself before you communicate, and they are:
- What do I want them to know?
- What do I want them to feel?
- What do I want them to do?
Here's what I ask all of you to think about.... Would you agree that if you mentally ran these three questions through your mind prior to conversations with executives, do you feel your conversations would take on more meaning?
I will leave you with this... imagine for a moment connecting with real meaningful conversations with senior level executives, thinking together for business betterment, as you envision where all this exponential sales growth will take you?
Originally published on Larry Levine's LinkedIn.
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