Now That’s Better Linda!
Last week I broke with the usual and customary to write my feelings about political correctness and our hyper-racial sensitivity culture that had just gotten under my epidermis. While I got some very nice (and kind) comments; those who usual flock to read what I wrote were no where in sight.
I think they disappeared because as Christian business women; they look for something of substance gleaned from my over 40 years in the marketplace. Yet, being in touch with and sensitive to what is occurring in our culture is important to tuck into our briefcases. We never know when we’ll be invited to engage in such conversations in lieu of a sales pitch!
However, I’m thoroughly chastened by the silent dissent; thus I return to writing about something we would call “business-related”!
Sales and Protocol!
We know that sales is an art. Not everyone is an artist when it comes to opening a sales transaction. Even fewer are adept at the art of closing the deal! And some of us recoil at the very mention of the word “s-a-l-e-s”. The thought of trying to influence another to shell out a chunk of change for something of value I have in my possession is not to my liking.
I recall once having said the same to a volunteer at the hospital where I was the Social Service Director. She taught me a valuable lesson when she disputed my disdain for sales by telling me I did engage in sales; and furthermore I was very good at it. To my stunned reaction, she informed me that I “sold” myself to distraught families and hurting patients on a daily basis. Had I not done so, we would not have been as successful as our department was.
Her observation opened my eyes to a much broader understanding of “sales”. It also taught me that sales done properly is truly an art form.
So What Is This “Best Sales Protocol?”
Relationships! That’s the simple answer to “what is this best sales protocol”. And relationships are equally an art form. Reaching out to form a relationship with another takes a special touch that not everyone has. At least not everyone does it with such finesse born of natural ability.
The same is true for those of us who hang back waiting for someone to reach out to us. After all, if someone comes into our personal space; we must have something of value they want. And that makes us someone of value.
Rob Hatch’s Weekly E-Letter
Let me be perfectly honest! The inspiration for this post came yesterday in the form of Rob Hatch’s weekly e-letter. Rob is partner with Chris Brogan, well known business consultant. Rob is a coach and consultant whose e-letters are personally enjoyable and professional enriching. Yesterday he recounted a story about his relationship with one of his sons, neatly weaving it into the value of building mutually satisfying relationships as critically important in the sales process.
But it was his last powerful point that nudged me to write about the value of relationship-building as key to women’s business success.
Here’s what Rob had to say: “And look, I get that we all have a business and at some point, that means selling. But let’s focus on the relationships first, shall we? I think it makes everything that comes after a lot easier and far more interesting.”
Wow, that drives the point home for me. The truth is that our best business protocol is to focus on the relationship first! When strategic planning; put relationship-building first. When setting goals from month to month or year to year; make relationship-building the 1st thing on the list. When reading something you think would be interesting or helpful to a friend (or client); send it with a note of “thinking of you!”
Make The Relationship Your Most Important Business Decision!
Been searching for the perfect business protocol to create the success you desire. Look no further than the next opportunity to make a friend. Nurture her (or him) in ways that are mutually satisfying. Gain his or her trust and learn to trust in return,. Let your authentic hair down and be open to letting her do so too.
At some point in the relationship; you will have an opportunity to share what you do. It will be much easier after having built a solid caring relationship. And it just may be that you’ll close a sale you never thought possible.
You know I’d love to know your thoughts on this matter. Click comment and let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. . .
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building a Community of Christian Business Women
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