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“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou
“Every effective sales person knows that a script will only take you so far. Every parent or boss knows that you can’t argue people into commitment. Every leader knows the power of conviction and authenticity.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
Mindset has become the new sales buzz word for a reason: we now have the tools to measure the impact a person’s emotional state has on those around them and we can see what happens to participants when you walk into a sales meeting believing that you won’t make the sale.
In 2008, Alex Pentland published a book Honest Signals: How They Shape Our World based on his studies in non-verbal communications at MIT. While there have been other books on similar topics, this is the first publication to rely on brain technology and other tools to objectively measure these signals. He and his team measured the effect of that mysterious quality known as ‘charisma’ – a synthesis of mindset and comportment and discovered that they were able to make direct correlations between the depth and quality of the non-verbal signals people unconsciously emit and their results in:
There are two incredibly exciting implications of this research that apply to anyone who thinks of themselves as a leader (for whom sales is the #1 skill) or a sales professional:
I’m not a big fan of buzzwords. They carry too many loaded (and often inaccurate) connotations although they can also provide a useful shorthand for complex ideas. However, the first two of these words (Emotional Quotient – Charisma) are usually used as a statement of a fixed attribute: you either have them or you don’t. This means that they are used to assess candidates for leadership or sales as a threshold, rather than as a skill that can be learned and expanded.
That’s like saying, “I’m bad at maths so I’ll never learn to count.” Or “I’m not built to run a marathon.” I bet that even Mozart struggled to play a tune the first time he sat down at the piano.
In my book, Confident Closing: Sales secrets that grew a business by 400% in six months and how they can work for you! I tell the story about the sales team I was assigned to transform and how a diverse group of ‘sales failures’ learned to create powerful personal connections and deliver sensational results. What I don’t mention in the book is that the exercise wasn’t actually a last-ditch effort to salvage a failing team… it was a calculated plan to lay off those team members as non-performers and to return the business to the 1980’s style pressure sales techniques preferred by the Head of Sales. I knew before I took the role that these talented people struggled to connect, but I believed that I could solve their problem – and I proved my point.
You can’t always predict when a conversation that should have been straightforward will become unexpectedly tense and difficult – and even when you know a conversation will be challenging you can’t accurately discern all the twists it may take in advance. That’s why you need to develop your ability to read the body language, energetic field, and tone changes of your companions as well as their words.
If you are following a script – or AI prompts, – you may avoid the awkward silence that comes when your offer is rejected or deflected and you don’t know what to say next, but you will also lose the opportunity to discover what is really happening in your prospect’s life. Not only will that leave people feeling neutral or negative towards you, but it also eliminates the ability to scope out opportunities and initiate future conversations. There is no denying that AI is powerful and that it has many valid applications – BUT the best way to future-proof your life and career is to focus on creativity, emotion, and the skills that make humans human.
The day may come when machines take over the earth and nothing human has any further value, but that is still a long way off. For the foreseeable future, there is no substitute for skilled human connection. The problem is that the fascination and safety of our electronic devices and communications has done a great deal of damage to our ability to read and respond to other people. While the sales and communication skills we teach at Life Puzzle are based on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), we are not merely teaching a system or a set of scripts. We equip our clients with the ability to amplify their human skills and to accurately observe and respond to prospects in ways that build trust, liking, and confidence based on authentic communication.
If you’d like to learn more about amplifying your human superpowers and becoming an expert in active listening skills, join our email list and get semi-weekly emails with communication skills as well as regular updates on upcoming courses and events so you can become a communication superhero.
*Remember to check out Part 1 of this series HERE: Unleash Your Communication Superhero and Boost Your Sales Naturally
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