You aren’t less important than the clientWritten by Tom Richard | | email@example.com
His big moment had arrived. As the salesman peeled his best suit out of its dry cleaning bag in preparation for this morning’s meeting his nerves began to deteriorate. He’d prepared for weeks to approach the man who he hoped would become his biggest client. He tried to shake the thoughts of how badly he needed this sale and reassured himself he was adequately prepared to convince this man to buy his product this very day.
Parked beside the big fish’s elite offices, he pulled the rearview mirror toward his face and checked his teeth and ran a comb through his hair one last time. Forcing a deep breath, the salesman bound from his car and into the marble-clad lobby to announce his arrival.
A receptionist escorted him to an office where he would perform the sales presentation he had recited in his mind dozens of times. As he followed the receptionist down the hall, he felt his insides begin to numb and his well-prepared presentation began turning into a jumbled mass. Trying to summon his nerves as the doors opened, he reminded himself that he could do this and that he needed the sale something fierce.
He was focused upon giving proper deference to a man of the company president’s stature, while nailing the presentation he’d so painstakingly prepared. Curiously, when his outstretched hand shook that of the company president’s the moment conquered him and he lost all confidence.
The meeting was over quickly. There would be no sale made today, and when this reality hit home the salesman couldn’t help but recognize that his confidence and collected mannerisms returned.
Once alone in his car, the salesman replayed the meeting in his head; baffled by whatever had caused him to lose his composure. Troubled, he began to question himself.
Why do I think that man is more important than me? Why did I allow myself to get so worked up about meeting with him? If he is so important, would I be willing to kneel down before him and beg for his business? Would my asking him for money have been any different if I was literally a beggar on the street?
The salesman realized that his mental picture of this man was built up in his mind to the point where he had reduced his role to that of a mere beggar. Naturally, this bothered him as his conversation with himself turned defensive and asserted that he was not a beggar. However, as he replayed his meeting in his head, he suddenly had the powerful realization that his attempts to convince and sell his client are really tantamount to straight-out begging.
He couldn’t help but laugh as he pictured himself crawling into the man’s office on his hands and knees with his hands outstretched asking if the man could spare some change. He alone had created that situation because he had allowed his mental image of the person he was speaking to change the way he viewed himself as a person and as a professional.
It was at that moment that the salesperson declared that he would never again allow his self-image be the equivalent of a beggar. While he understood that he wasn’t literally a beggar, he had allowed his mind to create a situation that elevated his potential client to that of someone whose importance compared to his own was exponential. He realized that it was his own self-image, or lack of a positive self-image, that allowed his confidence to melt.
The salesperson resolved that, from this moment forward, he would respect himself enough to confidently communicate like a professional of equal stature, rather than resort to cowardly convincing like a beggar. He understood that not only would he be able to make more sales, he would be able to walk around with his head held high with the confidence that comes from a healthy self-image.
Tom Richard, a Toledo-based sales trainer, gives seminars, runs sales meetings and provides coaching for salespeople. Visit www.TomRichard.com, call (419) 441-1005 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.