Last year when I was seriously ill and living in bed, my rather lovely hubby said we needed a new mattress…..ok less of the smutter ladies!
The only way to shop when ill is to speed shop, that means be mega organised and only look at anything once. So in less than an hour I think we possibly managed to look at every mattress in Colchester. (The ache later confirmed it!)
And it really reminded me of one of the most important skills for business success – the art of selling.
After a while just like when you are booking a holiday, you can end up with “Blue swimming pool syndrome”; ie the first one you looked at seemed amazing, idyllic and perfect but after 30 ideal destinations they all look the same and you are losing the will to live.
The exact same thing was happening when mattress purchasing. I had a memory like a geriatric cat when I was ill, which was bad enough on a normal day, but when you are choosing a product that you will spend a third of your life in, how did I come to decision of which one to buy?
So how did I buy?
As we drove home I realised of the many stores we visited in that speed hour, I remembered the name of two shop assistants. Patricia and Andy. Now for someone with the mind of a geriatric cat that’s pretty impressive. And the reason?
They listened to me. Even if they were shattered and bored out of their mind, helping me get my purchase right mattered to them. In sense they were really nice.
Not seeing many folks when I was ill, means when I did see someone that isn’t my dog I talked for Britain. These 2 shop assistants smiled and acted interested, and didn’t try and force expensive products on me that I didn’t want. They truly LISTENED TO ME. They found out my needs and helped me get what I wanted.
So a top tip for fabulous marketing skills, is be nice, listen, care and make that customer feel like you live to make them a happy bunny.
See be nice…..just like your mother said!
Conversation this morning with my son, highlights the power of our conversations And most important bit….the stuff that isn’t said, that you need to listen to, so that you get the results in relationships that you want.
Me “Have you tidied your bedroom, my version of tidy, not yours.
Me No you havn’t that gap in your Yes means that you haven’t done that and in actual fact you are highly likely playing on your phone instead, and you have just looked up to check the state of your room.”
Son “Yes, I have tidied my room.”
Me “No you still haven’t, but you are now looking around the room deciding that you really need to tidy this mess before your mum walks in the room. And so said yes in a long drawn out fashion because you were actually considering how you will need to take action to get me off your back.”
Son stomps into bathroom and says “How were you watching me from in the bath?”
My reply “I’m a coach, its my job to listen to the important stuff, and that’s the stuff you don’t say!”
The point here is yes it took me a long time to train and then hone my skills. However we all have the ability to listen between peoples words. To listen to where the other party takes a breath, to note the gaps in the sentence and many other things to ensure the power of our relationships improve.
Because let’s be honest when we have good relationships with all those around us we then feel better, we feel happier and when we are at our happiest we are at our most productive and creative and thus we are more successful in what we do.
So how can you power up your skills in relationships?
You don’t need to not see the person. Just looking at someone’s body language can give you clues. If you have asked a person a question and their body language changes from open to closed, ask yourself why?
Use words that allow a person to expand on what they are saying rather than give you a short answer. Instead of saying things like “This is what you should do.” Say things like “Could this be more interesting for you to do taking into account what we are discussing?” This is powerful because the minute you TELL someone what to do, you are likely to get their hackles up and they will fight you. Letting people feel like it was their idea creates responsibility and ownership and a desire to get a result.
Give people the space to think for longer. If you find your a person who struggles with a gap in a conversation, in your mind say what they are saying, so that you are really hearing them. You may not feel any different. But the other party will definitely feel it. They will feel listened to and that is very powerful in good relationships.
The length of a word. A Breath at the start or midway through are all indicators. What could they be indicating to you without saying?
Picking up on the subtleties of what people are not saying and the way that they are conversing with you will power up your relationships. People will feel more respected. More listened to and more valued. You will have a greater understanding of their viewpoint and that in turns gives you more information to work with.
And it freaks 12 year old know-it-alls!