Someone has emailed you that they are interested in your work. Or, you have a list of potential contacts from your leads group. Or maybe you're thinking about someone you want to cold-call, because they could really use what you are offering.
You are headed towards a conversation, which will end, you hope, with the other person saying “Yes, I'm buying!"
These conversations can be very painful, because they end, more often than not, with an “Ummm. . . . I'll think about it. " I think the pain of this conversation ranks right up there with bone marrow transplants. Well, maybe not that bad. But, Lord it ain't good.
The pain of these conversations goes beyond awkwardness. It's so bad, because you really do want to help and be of service. I know I do. When I'm left feeling as if I'm bothering someone, I just want to quit. I didn't get into business to bother people- and if that's what I'm doing, I'll go back to being a paramedic.
This October, 2005, contains an extraordinary spiritual double-header. Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, began at the same time as Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashonah leads into the Days of Awe, ending with the fasting on Yom Kippur. Ramadan and the Days of Awe have the same spiritual purpose of internal purification.
Both Ramadan and Yom Kippur have an amazing process. It's called “fasting. " Fasting is the process of abstaining. Abstaining from food, yes, but more than that. It's also an abstention from judgement, from “impure thoughts, " from anything that fosters disconnection from your heart and from Spirit.
What do these holidays have to do with sales? The reason sales conversations are so awkward, is because there is an inherent inequality. Your prospect has a problem, and you have a solution. This puts you in a “superior" position.
And, the other side of the coin is that your prospect has money to pay you, and you don't have that money. This puts her (or him) in a “superior" position.
If you choose to be superior, they will choose to be superior, too. And, you end up butting heads. “I've got the answer!" “I've got the money!" And both of you trying to be superior, means everyone loses.
Take your cue from these Days of Awe- empty yourself. Have as close to “nothing" inside as possible. Abstain from superiority. Abstain from inferiority. The “nothing" of being empty, means that you have space to receive who your prospect truly is. You become the glass that can be filled, and your prospect can feel truly received. Connection: the first step in a successful sales conversation.
How do you empty, and then connect?
Keys to Connection
* Emptying yourself is an internal process, and it's best to do it before the conversation. One way to do it is to take a sheet of paper and list all of the thoughts, beliefs, and “voices" you hear about the conversation or the other person. “Why would a big company want to hire a pipsqueak consultant like me?" “She doesn't like me. " “I charge too much. " List all of these down, and take time noticing how they make you feel.
Make space for the emotions. And then bring in the Remembrance or other heart-centering practice, and turn all of these beliefs over to the Divine.
* Take some time to connect your heart to the Divine. Let yourself feel your neediness for the sale, your neediness for approval, your neediness for love, and bring it all to your heart.
These are legitimate needs. The problem is, your prospect won't be able to fulfill them. Instead, let your heart fulfill them directly through your spiritual connection.
* Bow in service. If you really are here to help, then take a moment and let yourself bow to this person you'll be speaking to. Dedicate yourself to only helping them, only caring about what's best for them.
You will need to be humble here, because the best thing for them might be to let the sale go. And, the best thing for them might be for them to buy your most expensive, most premium product or service, because that's what they really need.
It takes humility to do that.
Mark Silver is the author of Unveiling the Heart of Your Business: How money, marketing and sales can deepen your heart, heal the world, and still add to your bottom line. He has helped hundreds of people in small business succeed without losing their heart, through integrating1500 years of spiritual tradition with down-to-earth business practices. Get his free workbook, Getting to the Core of Your Business, online: http://www.heartofbusiness.com