Is your Sales Process Psychologically safe?
A couple of weeks ago, I saw a post by a Business Leader making a point about the importance of because upfront and just saying NO if you don’t want to buy something.
His sentiments were in the right place, but the execution told me a lot about his business and his brand.
It told me his sales process was psychologically unsafe.
What do I mean by this?
Well, when we do sales right, we take the time with our prospect to understand their pain and diagnose the situation to make the right recommendation – to work with us or not.
The conversation (sales appointment) is usually offered for free.
However, just because no money is exchanged, doesn’t mean it is free for our prospect.
Beyond investing their time in the call, they also have to be open to sharing their confidential information and being vulnerable with us.
And that is not free. In fact, it’s the most expensive part of the exchange.
Firstly, they have to trust you with this information and that you will keep it confidential.
Second, they have to trust that you will be kind with this information. That you won’t judge them or use the information to point out how incompetent they are (trust me, I’ve experience it!)
Third, sharing this information with you maybe the first time they’ve spoken out loud and put words to what is happening for them. For this they need to be ready – not just for the call – but for what comes next.
Because now they are open a new awareness that they weren’t previously. And they are going to have to live with that, whether they work with you to find the solution or not.
By sharing this, they’ve cracked the situation wide open ready for examination, and there is no saying where this might take them.
From the outside, it might appear a simple issue/conversation about business. But for the individual, it might represent something much deeper within their psyche and their wounding.
And this wounding may lead them to say ‘No, I can’t afford your services’ when you know full well that they can.
They may have the money, or they may not.
But saying ‘I can’t afford it’ means a lot more than just money.
It could mean:
“I can’t afford to take action on this right now with how I feel about myself, my ability to cope taking on a new challenge ” Only the person themselves can speak of their emotional reserves and their ability to take themselves and their business on.
It could mean:
“I can’t afford to be vulnerable with you” – Perhaps you aren’t the right match for them.
A psychologically safe sales process means to accept people’s vulnerability and give them the respect to trust their own judgement about what is right for them – no matter the words they use to say ‘no’ to you.
What it is not is to make them wrong for turning you down, for not being brave enough to tell you their truth (because they may not know if for sometime yet). It is not to judge them for not getting out of their own way and choosing their own BS over changing their situation. Or to criticise them for what they do end up spending their money on.
It’s to honour them for the brave step they’ve taken speaking to you at all and to create a path for them to come back to you when they feel ready. it is to nurture them with content that can support and inspire them as they embark on this journey of self-discovery and healing (themselves or their business).
Founder of The Expert Economy
Naomi Johnson is a LinkedIn Profile Expert who began her entrepreneurial career as a Life Coach in 2006. After making all the classic mistakes and writing her book Grassroots to Green Shoots about the lessons she learned, Naomi was determined to rectify her wrongs and master the art of winning new business as a solo-entrepreneur.
She went on the establish TheProfile.Company, becoming a world-leading LinkedIn Profile expert and writing her book What to Put on Your LinkedIn Profile. Before long, Naomi began to notice that not only did people tend to undersell themselves on their profile, but they were missing vital business components, that if put in place, would dramatically change their results. It was from here that The Expert Economy was born.
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