I recently watched a TED talk by Seth Godin and it spoke on purpose and connection. I encourage you to watch it, if you have a few minutes. But if you don’t, what it said to me, and how it applies to our industries, was this. We are used to seeing the business model of a top person in charge, creating many ideas, but only creating average ideas. They throw a lot of money towards ad campaigns with the intent of hypnotizing everyone into purchasing their product. But there’s something big missing here. The TED talk used an example of a tribal peoples’ need to connect as a community. They understood what their people needed and therefore they created quality ideas that worked within that community. They built a culture of connection to one another that were not forced for selfish motives, but were desired by all.
A connection can equal any one or more of the following few examples: trust, friendship, compatibility, a long term relationship, admiration, respect, compassion, empathy, listening…the list goes on. People want and need to be valued. They want to really feel that the other person is truly interested in them and understands who they are.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey
They need us to listen with the intent to understand. They want to feel that the salesperson is compelled to listen instead of expressing their own agenda. A person desires a relationship that is fun with someone excited about speaking with them. Where a good sales pitch may result in a sale, a connection results in a long term member of a family of good, true and dedicated customers who will not only buy from you once, they’ll buy from you more than once, and they’ll also become your greatest advocate. This is what you all know as a “Lifelong Customer.“
Another clear and necessary understanding is that a connection is not what people want, it is what they need. They need, in order to fulfill their own desires for connection, to make connections. So, for a moment, ask yourself what is the primary goal of successful salespeople and what is it that they actually need to accomplish? Assuming their message is heard by enough prospective customers, what MUST they ultimately achieve to sustain success?
The one-on-one salesperson is yearning for more meaningfulness in their vocation to fill up their ‘emotional tanks,’ but are disconnected from it in some ways. We’ve heard the used-car salesmen jokes and the pokes at their insincerity and dishonesty. But most salespeople don’t see themselves in this light, nor do they want to be portrayed this way. Dealerships spend a ton of time and money on their showroom, inventory, advertising and website, in an effort to build traffic, increase leads, improve conversions, and increase sales; but, it’s all emotionally meaningless. Salespeople need to find a single way to bridge the gap between their prospects needs for connection, and their own need for connection. These two elements for success and fulfillment go hand in hand.
So what will accomplish spanning this gap? The salesperson’s connection to as many people as possible and the permission for them to use that opportunity to express their belief to that individual: the reason why they are different, why they are unique and why that person, that shopper, should choose their dealership to fulfill their needs. Whether it be freedom (a new RV), identity (a new bike) or security (a new car) for instance, salespeople don’t win when they focus on selling a thing. They can’t hypnotize, mesmerize, sweet talk or strong arm them into saying yes, and they definitely can’t sales-pitch them into it. They might get a few small successes using outdated tactics, but they will never be winners this way. The problem is they are not driving their efforts toward the one thing that customer absolutely requires: that they are connected to the person or persons who will strive to meet or exceed their needs.
This is what has been missing… Connection.
We all need to make a clear and concise change towards connection. And in order to make this change we need to practice 3 small things: empathy, generosity and authenticity. The root concept from which these values originate reflects an age old, instinctive and primitive need that we should care for and nurture our and our neighbors success while building sincere, meaningful relationships. How can we do that more? How can we do that today?
Need a better way to connect? Connect with Holly at LeadCrafters 954-861-0206.