THE LAND OF INTRIGUE:
What do you mean by “Everything more than a purchase?” Marie asked. Marie had asked me for mentoring support for how to “close a sale.” She had seen me do a demonstration of such conversations at a mini workshop I held on sales presentations. I heard and felt what she was curious about learning and why she wanted to learn more about selling. We had already interacted a bit via email before this zoom interaction - and I had paid attention to the wording, phrasing and common themes in her answers to my emailed questions. The beauty is always in the details of one’s responses - the nuances in their choice of words, phrasing and emotional lilts. I was as ever, careful about distinguishing between what I was imagining (or intuiting) about her and what she said factually.
“A conversation can increase the range of possibilities for another person (or even you) or it can narrow the range. Both are valid conversations. Expansion in a conversation is a wonderful and rare/novel experience; Narrowing the range has the benefit of focusing the conversation when needed. But if you are willing to expand the range of what is possible in the conversation instead of narrowing it down to, for example, only to conduct a sale - then you are expanding the possibility of the conversation attaining everything more than just a purchase.”
“And what would the benefit be for that .. I mean I think I know what you mean.. But what would the benefit be … and I guess my next question would be .. is that even realistic or practical given people’s narrow range of attention span?”
I am familiar with this conversation and all the feelings and thought patterns that arise. I could see Marie intrigued if not lit up by the possibility present, but also naturally skeptical if not quite resigned about the likelihood of success in having such conversations. After this mentoring conversation, in hindsight upon reflecting on this dialogue, she realized that I was practicing what I was preaching about conversations with her. This brought a gentle smile to her lips as well as mine and we bonded in our mutual understanding of a finer art of discourse, dialogue and exchange.
THE LAND OF POSSIBILITY AND OPPORTUNITY:
“The benefits would include a natural, but refreshingly honest approach to having a conversation to generate sales. One in which you do not have to hide your intention to sell nor your intention to do good for this person and have it not appear contrived.” I replied, pausing to let the answer sink in.
I pause here, because there is an art to the pause. This is a lost art and a science. In this humdrum, hurry-up-or-lose world - rare is the pause for effect and for a deepening of understanding. This pause is magical. It shows class. It shows depth. It shows a mature patience in making sure that the pacing suits the dialogue. More than anything else, it is respectful.
When I saw the insight dawning on her face - the lightening of her gentle frown coupled with a slight narrowing of her eyes - the sign of curiosity and playfulness, I let loose on answering her next question.
“It is highly practical, because you are meeting the other person where they are at. You are meeting them where their original concerns, worries, fears, ambitions, dreams and desires lay. But you are not prematurely narrowing the conversation to your knee jerk reaction advice. You are willing to let them talk a bit more to gain a greater understanding of the lay of the land - of all the mountains, hills, lakes and topography that make up their world inside of these concerns, worries, etc. This may sound like “vomiting” to some people and sometimes you need to cut short a person who keeps droning on about the same thing, but overall, if you allow the person to talk - they will tell you almost everything you need to know to intrigue and help them. It is important to both intrigue as well as help. If you do not intrigue, your help or advice or whatever you offer to sell to them, falls flat. But you have to find out what intrigues them. And this is rarely what they initially tell you. So yes, there is a tremendous benefit and practicality to expanding the range of what is possible in a conversation and thus constructing in your inner mind, what would really intrigue this person to the point that they see your service or product more than just helping them - they see your product or service as expanding their range of possibility and even fulfilling them. Now, what do you think people would prefer - just solving a few problems they have OR resolving those problems soundly and expanding their range of what is possible?”
Marie nodded as I paused. I was already sitting back relaxed as I had nothing to prove and everything to give and receive.
THE FLOW INTO COMMITMENT STARTS WITH A GRATEFUL SPACE:
She felt my need to receive as most people do when they are mesmerized by this kind of conversation. This is a natural part of the flow of a conversation and has to be respected.
“I rarely get to have these kinds of conversations - I feel very grateful for this time with you. I see and feel a great opportunity to work with you. So … how would that look to work with you?”
“Thank you Marie. I feel grateful too. I think you can feel me on these points and my gratitude. I have seen your curiosity and your willingness to engage with this new world of conversations. I started working on my ability to converse when I was about your age in 1991. Like you, I was enthralled by what I saw in my mentor and in how he effortlessly conducted conversations, even difficult ones. I want to ask you a question first. What do you feel enthralled about learning from me and what do you see as possible in working with me based on this conversation?”
WHAT DO THEY WANT … REALLY?
I won't list out everything that Marie said here - for it was a fairly long list of what she saw possible.
I occasionally take notes at this stage, but this time, I just listened and was just present with her to get a feeling of what she was feeling as she shared what was possible. It is important to do this - as most decisions (whether for you to work with the client or for the client to work with you) are based on emotional considerations.
As she spoke, there was eventually a pause. This pause is beautiful and poetic. We had reached a point where the possibility was at maximum; The conversation was pregnant with possibility and opportunity, and ready to give birth to choice and commitment. Any more possibility and opportunity, and you would literally see a sense of overwhelm come over the person, so I knew better than to feed more possibility. You could say that we were both at the peak of possibility and opportunity in the conversation.
It was totally appropriate to say - so I said it. “Would you like to work with me?”
She nodded and asked the routine questions on cost and logistics.
I made it as easy as possible as I had already ascertained through my initial questions, what her budget would be. So I gave her two choices on payment and laid out all the logistics in a short form manner, and then turned to her and said “Which option works best for you?”
It is important to state that I did all of this in a short, concise, and measured pace. No hemming and hawing. No over explanations nor under-explanations. Just the right data relevant for her, so she could make up her mind.
Most of my good conversations result in people understanding clearly that they need to work out the finances and take care of that themselves if they want to work with me. There is a way to set this up in your conversations initially - so it is less of an issue later. I am not going to go through this setup now in this article, but if you are curious to learn - you can sign up to have a paid conversation/consultation with me or come to one of my workshops on this topic.
In Marie’s case, I had done enough to create intrigue and enough to show that it was within integrity. This integrity included a sense of being whole and complete for her - i.e. that she was already good the way she was and if she wanted to keep mastering her business, I could help her fill up her gap in knowing how to sell. Me helping her close this gap, would close the gap in her being whole and complete pertaining to mastering her business. It is important to state that she both knew and felt this with me.
This ability to know and feel and create faith from others in what you offer is a mastered skill. All mastered skills require specialized training and practice with a real mentor or coach (think of how hard it would be for Olympic athletes to win without a coach.)
I invite you to learn more from me about this topic by having a delightful, useful and insightful conversation with me: www.MeetupChat.com is where you can schedule with me to have this conversation.
See you soon!
Since 1991, I’ve been reflecting on, designing, and implementing methodologies and systems for bringing a transcendent, creative and innovative approach to critical aspects of entrepreneurship.