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6 Steps To Avoid Being Manipulative
Manipulation is all about controlling others for your own advantage. As a professional you definitely don't want people thinking you are manipulating them into buying your products and services. In fact, your fear of being perceived as being manipulative may be putting you off having some sales conversations.
So how do you ensure you are not being manipulative and that you are not being perceived as being manipulative? Here are 6 steps:
Step One - Work out the value of what you offer. Get really clear on the value you offer your clients and the results you deliver. The clearer you get the more passionate you will become and your confidence will naturally soar. People will notice your confidence, your passion and your authentic desire to help them and there will be no feeling - or presence - of manipulation in the conversation.
Step Two - Have a conversation with the intent of helping people get what they want. If you have a sales conversation with the intent of getting what you want - a sale - then your focus is on getting an outcome which is good for you and this is more than often perceived as manipulation. So forget about you and instead have a conversation solely to discover if the person you are talking to wants the results and value you can deliver. With this intent manipulation will be absent.
Step Three - Have a conversation with the intent of gaining a client versus making a sale. The difference is subtle but the long term ramifications on your business are enormous. Come from a place where you view the first sale as just the beginning of a long term relationship where they are now your client. I am sure you have had the experience with the "hit and run" salesman. They made the sale, got your money, which is all that they wanted and you never see them again. You were left feeling manipulated.
Step Four - Ask questions with the intent to understand if you can help the person get what they want. If you ask questions with this intent the person you are talking to will feel relaxed and will open up to you. Contrast this with people who zoom through asking you questions and you know they are not really interested in your answers. You feel that all they want to do is quickly get to the point of telling you what is good for you - their solution. Again, you feel the presence of manipulation. So it's easy enough to change - just change your intent.
Step Five - Listen with the intent of understanding. When you do ask questions, listen without judgments or assumptions and with the intent to understand. Again contrast this with the manipulation you feel with those people who pretend to listen to you and are really only waiting to pounce as soon as they can so they can start telling you what is good for you.
Step Six - Be committed but not attached to the outcome. When you have a sales conversation, be passionately committed to helping them make the right decision for them. Do not be attached to them deciding to become your client. Give them the space and the respect to make their own decision. They will feel your commitment and your lack of attachment and they will translate this as your genuine desire to do what is right for them (as opposed to what is right for you.).
By following these six steps you will find it easy to avoid being manipulative or being perceived as manipulative in your sales conversations. Try out these six steps and not only will you be more relaxed but you will attract more people who will want to be your client.
(c) 2007, Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation. WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? Yes, you can, provided you make all links live and include this copyright and by-line below.
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