by Tim Connor
Before I get started, if you have never read the best selling book, The Four Agreements by M. Ruiz, I urge you to buy it and spend the next few days devouring his very wise counsel. To this day out of all of the books I have read this is still one of my favorites. So what do the four agreements have to do with selling? First the four agreements are;
-Be impeccable with your word.
-Make no assumptions.
-Take nothing personal.
-Always do your best.
Let’s take a look at what these simple concepts (they may be simple but they can have a profound impact on the quality of your life) have to do with selling as a career.
-Be impeccable with your word. Essentially this agreement deals with the integrity of your word or what you say, how you say it and when you say it. When you lack this integrity you will tend to say what you feel is in the best interests of your ego or your need to succeed, look good to others or even be accepted by others. Selling is not about words but building and maintaining trust and when your words lack integrity or authenticity you will tend to send mixed and even wrong messages to others.
It is often difficult to always be impeccable with your word as we all have a variety of agendas, needs and desires we want satisfied or filled. But if you want to maintain relationships grounded in trust this agreement is at the foundation of all four.
-Make no assumptions. We all make assumptions. We make them to satisfy our own fears, needs, objectives or agendas. An assumption is nothing more than an expectation of what you feel will happen, is happening or happened from your own very personal and yes prejudiced perspectives.
When you make an assumption and you act accordingly you will set yourself up for frustration, disappointment and often regret and even failure.
When you assume your prospect likes your product or service because they said so and you don’t follow-up with affirming questions you are making an assumption they are telling you the truth or the whole story. When you assume that someone is not interested in your product or service because they are difficult to get a hold of again you are assuming something that may be true but is not grounded in evidence but a guess on your part. If you assume a client is happy with their purchase because they don’t tell you otherwise, this is a setup for disaster. Making assumptions in selling are a recipe for personal failure.
-Take nothing personal. We all have egos and we all have needs and expectations about how others should treat us, respond to us or communicate with us. It’s common for someone to take a simple comment from another person in the wrong way or even be hurt by a comment that was not meant or given with a hurtful intention. We take things personal because we want, many people even crave, acceptance by others. As a result we tend to avoid people who we feel do not respect or honor us and our experience, knowledge or even our just being.
In sales taking things that others do, personally, will cause you to spend a great deal of personal time reflecting on your weaknesses, failures, problems or inadequacies. Everyone has a right to their own opinions but keep in mind just because they have them doesn’t mean they are right or are a correct description of us. One of the major areas where this impacts salespeople is in the area of rejection. When you are rejected the general first response is to take it personal. This is a mistake. Yes, the person may be rejecting you but the point is, this rejection is coming from their frame of reference or their reality and not the reality. To take others actions or words personally is to give them power over you - who you are, what you believe, how you behave etc.
-Always do your best. Doing your best is often a function of a variety of factors. If you are tired, stressed out, living in discouragement or are fearful of some situation - these mindset will influence your ability to do your best. If you feel insecure or you have low self-esteem you will tend to not do your best. If you have a need to please others more than please yourself – you will tend not to do your best. Doing your best doesn’t mean perfection or even doing it right or according to someone’s else’s expectations, needs or agendas it means simply doing the best you can with what you have, know or believe. Doing your best today doesn’t mean you won’t do it better tomorrow and doing your best doesn’t mean that what you do will please others but doing your best allows you to look in the mirror and smile and say to yourself – I did my best and mean it.
Doing your best in sales simply means that you always perform as well as you can regardless of how new you are to the profession, how much disappointment or previous failure you have experienced and always giving the best you can to every prospect and client.
Read the book.##
(Editor's Note: Tim Connor is a member of MHSpeakerTrainer.org)