This week, I want to talk about what might be the most important part of the Kick Ass Sales Philosophy, Curiosity. This is the first post in that series.
Curiosity is defined as: A strong desire to know or learn something.
Connecting Profitability and Humanity
Sometimes in sales, we need to really take a step back and rather than talk about being a salesperson, we just need to talk about being a person. The better man you are, the better salesman you are. We need to understand the connection between our humanity and our profitability. It is a strong and direct connection. It is a connection that, oftentimes, is compromised. We don't intentionally do it, but it is easy to forget ourselves in the heat of battle. I'm not just talking about lying, exaggerating, boasting, or making fantastical guarantees. Of course, those are things that cause that connection to work against us, when it is supposed to be working for us.
I am specifically talking about caring about the person in front of you. Do you care for him or her? If not, then your lack of humanity might be manifesting itself as a lack of deals.
Caring is Humanity
I believe there are 2 great commandments: Love God and Love People. My hope is that those two actions cause me to make a difference for them, for me, for my family, for my community, and for my company. Do you actually care about the person across the table? I know you care about getting the sale and about hitting your numbers. Do you care about the person, though? Would you be happy for them if they went to your competitor -- if it was what was best for them? I hope so. Would you recommend a competitor because you know their solution is a better fit? I would. I do. Why? Because I care. Caring about someone is the definition of humanity.
Curiosity is Caring
For me, the easiest way to care about someone is to be curious about them. This works because the first thing you need to do to care about somebody is to stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about them. Curiosity demands that change of perspective. To be curious, you need to start thinking about people other than yourself. When you start wondering about the person you are talking to, it is amazing how much they are willing to share. They tell you things that someone focused on themselves would never get them to say, much less actually hear.
People are interesting. If you don't agree, you shouldn't be in sales. You should be an accountant. Curiosity's reward goes way beyond getting information you can use to help you get a sale. Asking questions gives you a chance to find out how someone thinks, to get a fresh perspective, and to get out of your every day world. You will find inspiration and motivation.
Obviously, at some point, you need to start thinking about closing the sale and what you hope to get done at that meeting (and that's where the Ability to Make Connections comes in, which we'll look at next week). But, the majority of the conversation needs to be guided by you thinking about them. You need to be curious. You need to care. By caring, you will begin to make the connection between your humanity and profitability work for you.