Succeed or (Fail) Before You Say a Word. Part Three.

The third and final installment in my series on the intersection of sales culture and the power of presence.

Presence and the Science of Behavioral Economics

Sometimes people ask “Is Presence that powerful?” It’s a fair question. The answer is to think about how we feel when someone is not Present with us. We know what this looks like. The person seems distracted or sounds bored. He isn’t listening. He’s checking his watch or glancing at his phone
or looking around the room. Maybe he interrupts us. Maybe he starts telling us what he wants us to hear and not what we want to hear. He’s talking about the things that interest him and not finding out the things that interest us.

We know how this feels and it isn’t good. We don’t like it. It makes us think he doesn’t care. It feels disrespectful. We might feel insulted. We might even get a little angry. Did he make a good impression? Nope. What are the chances we will ever say “yes” to this person or agree to help him? Zero point zero.

The proof for the Power of Presence goes beyond these examples and anecdotes. A lot of the research in the field of behavioral economics supports it too. Now I don’t want to oversimplify a complex subject, but one of the things behavioral economics research finds is that our decisions are influenced by our emotions and social norms.

We are not purely rational decision makers, and we are persuaded to say “yes” by things other than just objective facts and numbers and calculations.

That’s why making powerful positive impressions and building strong relationships are so important, because we are putting people’s emotions and social expectations on our side. When we walked toward a person with open body language, when we are relaxed and confident, when we are smiling and reaching out our hands, before say “hello” and introduce ourselves and listen to and remember the person’s name, we are laying a solid foundation for our success. When we commit ourselves to every interaction we have, to really listening and finding genuine ways to help people and make them happy, we make that success strong and enduring.

How Do We Become More Present?

Like many things in life, “be Present” is easy to say and not always so easy to do. That’s because Presence little picture is about “paying attention on purpose” to what’s happening right now like Dr. Kabat-Zinn says while Presence big picture is basically the impact of our whole selves as human beings.

Presence is where we start and where we end. Presence is the “A” and the “Z” in the Sales Culture alphabet and all the letters in between – and there are literally about 24 different mindsets and behaviors that help us create a Sales Culture – build from and toward Presence. And Presence is about,
as we said earlier, always offering our best selves to people.

So I bet you’ve figured that presence little picture is easier to talk about and easier to get started doing. In fact, it’s really easy. When you finish reading this paragraph, let’s do something simple together. Put this white paper down, sit up straight, close your eyes, and take three slow deep breaths. Ready? Okay, go.

How do you feel now? Much better right? You feel more relaxed, more focused, more ready listen. Maybe a little silly if you haven’t done this before. I am writing this in a coffee shop, and I took those breaths with you, and I can tell a couple people were looking at me funny when I did. However, that doesn’t matter because we both feel good now.

Presence and Sales Culture: Where Success Begins Today!

As I think you can tell, I’m passionate about Presence and Sales Culture because I truly believe they are essential to our success as individuals and to the success of our companies and organizations. We have lots of competition. We have to differentiate ourselves better – we have to sell ourselves better – if we want to thrive. Because people have so many demands on their attention because they are so over-connected and overwhelmed especially with messages on their smartphones, the real human connections which make us stand out and lead to success are harder to make and more important to make than ever.

Presence and Sales Culture help us make them. Embrace them and watch the success that follows!

Todd Cohen, CSP is an accomplished and sought after international keynote speaker, sales culture expert and author of “Everyone’s in Sales” and “ STOP Apologizing and Start Selling.”

Todd’s dynamic and motivational keynotes and workshops are based on the foundation that regardless of career path or position, everyone is a salesperson. You can also see Todd’s articles on Sales Culture in many magazines, trade journals and the Huffington Post.

For more information or to book Todd Cohen for your next meeting please You can also catch his Toddcast on Sales Culture on iTunes and his Toddcast site.

Follow Todd on Twitter @SalesLeaderTodd.

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