I was finishing my morning walk and stopped in to the local Starbucks and saw some people having a heated discussion where one person was obviously trying to convince the other to adopt his view on whatever it was they were talking about. The discussion was very emotional (and quite passionate), and it started me thinking about how we as a sales community use our emotions in the course of selling. There is a difference between being emotional and passionate and it can be a fine line. That’s a subject for another time….
When you are working with clients or prospects, do you let your emotions get in the way? I can say that in my earlier selling years, there were a few times when clients have said or done something that I might have misconstrued or misinterpreted and taken offense. This colored how I felt about them and directly affected my ability to communicate effectively. When that happens, it becomes very difficult for the client to communicate back, and then the sales campaign becomes tenuous.
I have seen salespeople on my various teams get upset and emotional with clients or prospects after a call because they are upset at things that occurred during the call. Even more dangerous is a salesperson going on a call carrying some emotional baggage based on something that has occurred during the sales campaign. I think it’s normal for us to get upset at times. It’s important that we are judicious about what we get upset about. Clients not calling or emailing us back in a timeframe that we would like, is one example I have heard sales communities complain about for years. The frustration that builds sometimes becomes anger and we get emotional. The fact is there could be and usually are myriad reasons why we are not called back – and it is rarely personal.
The key learning point here is to make sure that you don’t use emotions to create a difficult situation for the client and put yourself in a no-win situation. This is especially true if the emotions are not rooted in fact or reality.
It is critical that we as the sales community replace emotions with a cooler head. I love to tell people on my sales teams to “wear your business hat.” This means to use your ability to look at the facts of the situation and then rely on your business instincts to analyze the situation and react accordingly. A very good friend of mine always says to me “facts don’t lie.” If a client or prospect is “pushing your buttons,” then take the higher road and keep the sales campaign professional and respectful. As soon as we get emotional, we lose the upper hand and the sales campaign is crippled.
My last thought and another key learning point is that the better you are at proactively communicating throughout the sales campaign, the more likely you are to prevent any “emotional selling” and close more business.