When two people communicate they usually start with different intentions for the conversation. People usually are more interested in trying to make their point or communicate their message than they are in the other person’s point or message. Most of the latest studies on how people communicate, how their mind works, have discovered that 93% of our communication is non-verbal. When people begin to communicate, their intention is focused on their point or message. People begin communicating with a wall built between their two points or messages. How we drop the wall and turn it into a bridge between two people is the key to all communication and the first step in increasing sales.

Now think about sales communication, sales training or the sales process. First think about the fact that all those descriptions are focused on the seller’s point or message not the buyer’s. We don’t call it buyer’s communication, buyer’s training or the buying process…We have taught selling from the seller’s perspective not the buyer’s. This has created sales intentions as the seller’s focus, point or message and these intentions have built walls of resentment, mistrust and a preconceived belief in buyers, that sellers care more about the sale than they do about the buyer. This is just an example of how our intentions communicate louder than our words.

Non-verbal communication isn’t something that confirms what we are saying, it precedes what we say and affects how others hear the words we use. We are all aware that two people can say the same thing and be conveying two completely different points or messages. Even one word answers like “fine” can be used to convey different messages. All that is needed is to change our tone and we convey different feelings with the same word.

This is why when we train salespeople to sell, by teaching them what to say, we find that different salespeople get different results using the same techniques. In fact, even the same salesperson gets different results when using the same techniques on different people. Trainers usually explain this as the result of the expertise with which the technique is delivered. When we understand that most of our communication is non-verbal and comes from our intentions, then we start to understand that this just isn’t true.

It isn’t the skill or expertise with which sales techniques are delivered that creates the communication that increases sales. It is our intentions that communicate first, connects people, opens doors, allows for real dialogue and creates relationships. Then and only then will we see sales techniques used effectively to help people buy and this will increase sales and begin making customers. The proper intentions can also be translated to a sales force and begin to make all salespeople more effective much more quickly than standardizing presentations, scripts or techniques.

Salespeople’s intentions must shift from selling, to helping people buy, serving people and doing what’s best for the buyer. The buyer has to be the focus of selling, instead of selling being the focus of selling.

If you want what almost all sales trainers, sales managers and salespeople have tried to create for years, dialogue with buyers, better exchange of information, real relationships, increased sales, repeat and referral business, then the selling conversation has to change. It can’t unless the salesperson’s intentions change.

The conversation between two people, a buyer and a seller, has to be focused on the buyer. Salespeople’s intentions must be aligned with the buyers to make this happen. A salespersons goal cannot be to sell the next person they talk to. It must be to find the next person who really wants what they are selling. These intentions changes will created the dialogue, relationships and increase sales.

Selling can no longer be a contest to see if a salesperson can convince the buyer to align with the sellers intentions.  “Selling ice to Eskimos isn’t a good thing unless they really need ice.” A salespersons intention has to be to help, serve and do what’s best for the buyer or the only change you will experience is more deterioration in the relationship between buyers and sellers. Salespeople must move their focus from getting an order and the buying experience to the buyer’s ownership experience. Move the focus further out in the relationship and the conversation between buyer and seller will change and the results will be dramatic.

For sales to increase, salespeople must stop trying to sell and start trying to help people buy. The core focus for business and salespeople must be to make customers, not sales! Then business will grow through increased capture rates of new customers, repeat and referral sales and lower customer service cost will be a byproduct.

With the right intentions salespeople can be freed to trust their instincts, better serve the buyer and be successful every day. They will begin to do business with people instead of selling people and they will relax and enjoy the profession of sales. Armed with these intentions salespeople will differentiate themselves, their products and their companies from their competition.  Isn’t that what you’ve been trying to do?

From one recovering traditional sales trainer (I have been clean and without sales intentions for over 16 years now and it’s a beautiful life.) to all of you who sell, train or manage salespeople, here’s wishing that the rest of your career is free of sales intentions.

By Mike Moore

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