Bless me Father for I have sinned. That was the easy part. Once uttered, my little Timmy brain was on automatic pilot and the sins came out as if they had been documented on the back of a baseball card for all to see.
Pre-confession anxiety was a given for me. It just felt weird “purging my soul.” I’m pretty sure I even made up a few things to sound like a legit sinner. You know, lyin’ about my lyin’. It’s funny how the brain works when it’s time to come clean.
Truth be told, I felt good each time I walked out. Shoulders raised, burden gone. Scared Timmy in, brave Timmy out. That piece of magic had to do with the with the person on the other side of the curtain – the priest. They made me feel okay, like judgment wasn’t coming from them. No shame, no humiliation. Just, “Breathe little brother, all is calm, all is bright.” That “okay” thing was key.
What’s the confessional box got to do with selling? Plenty. The goal in every business meeting you have – whether customer or prospect – is to create and build transparency. Transparency is the skill of skills for best-in-class performers. Lack of transparency is behind every blindside.
The challenge is your buyers insist on complete transparency from you. They demand your pricing, detailed information, adherence to their schedule and well, obedience. The parent ego in them effortlessly draws out your child ego so you’ll be a good boy or girl. And just like a parent, they don’t feel compelled to share all they know with you. Sort of, “Because I said so!”
Developing transparency is the highest level of fine-tuning your sales game. It requires four simple things:
1. Get rid of you, your products and services. Their narrative is much more important than yours. Earn the right to present.
2. Take responsibility for the buyer’s OK-ness. One-upmanship breaks contact much faster than a high price.
3. Be a heat-seeking missile for their core values. You’ve got to be incredibly present as you listen. People speak in codes, filters and patterns, and as transparency evolves they’ll reveal their “cores.” You actually present to their core values, not the shameless play of features and benefits.
4. Listen empathetically. Empathy comes in lots of degrees. There are those sales reps who are overly empathetic and would give the business plan away “if it helps.” And there are those who feign empathy yet couldn’t care less about your headaches.
Developing transparency renders you the credibility of “confessor.” Buyers want their business challenges healed. They are more than willing to share with someone who feels their pain and can prove they’ve heard and understood it.
At Sandler Training Trustpointe we teach our clients the role of transparency in building trust. To learn more about purged souls, subservient ego states and “cores,” contact Tim Roberts at 317-845-0041 or email@example.com.
Then say, “Three Hail Mary’s, two Our Father’s and…”