Ever had a conversation so uncomfortable you wanted to crawl out of your body, reach through the phone and smack the person on the other end?
I’m way too cool for that.
I literally live life from one awkward moment to the next.
Last week I had a cringeworthy conversation with a salesman. He called me 4 months earlier to share his company’s services, and our conversation was equally lame then. I actually made a mental note, “Never again.” This time though, I wish you could’ve seen my face; he wasn’t disrespectful per se, but 100% robot with a clear agenda.
Today’s video is on EXACTLY what he did wrong. I don’t mince words. ;)
Click the link above or the image below to watch now.
At first I listened patiently, but after a few minutes I knew I couldn’t go the distance. I got off the call, but not before doing something ridiculous: I scheduled another call in 3 months. INSANE right?! I know. These are the silly things I do when I’m scared, feel awkward or there’s no roadmap to tell the truth. “April 3rd is fine.”
NO IT AIN’T. APRIL 3RD IS NOT FINE.
I realized my second guessing, “Was it me who showed up weirdly?” “Did I say something wrong?” was what led to this call in the first place! I’d been here before….4 months ago! And I felt exactly like I did today.
I’ve proven again and again that whenever I second guess like this, it’s because it’s the WRONG energy, person or opportunity.
It’s not me.
And it’s not you.
So I checked myself. Instead of seething with rage until April, then avoiding the call – you know this is how it’d go down – I got honest. Today’s video explains exactly how I handled it.
I told the truth.
The awkward, messy truth.
Yes, it felt weird, especially in a business setting, but it also felt FREE and like I took a gigantic swig of SELF-RESPECT.
Here’s a transcript of the audio-note I sent after we hung up.
We just spoke a few minutes ago. I decided to do some research on the company and enjoyed CEO NAME’s story on the homepage. Had you led with that I may have been more engaged since his story is compelling and personal, which is the opposite of what I felt in our interactions.
On our calls you were open, but not very friendly or interested in me. I use the word “interested” intentionally because you didn’t take the time to understand my needs in business. I offered you a lot of information about what we’re up to, what our goals are creatively and business-wise, and also how 2016 slowed down due to personal issues. You didn’t respond or acknowledge any of this. This rubbed me the wrong way because I only partner with people where there is a genuine interest and authentic engagement.
I’ve spoken with you twice now and both times have left not wanting to pursue a relationship. Had you front loaded with more warmth and humanness, the outcome may have been different. But you didn’t. I’m canceling our call in April (writer’s note: DUH)- we’ll chalk it up to not being a good fit. I wish you the best in 2017 and please tell CEO NAME his story is compelling and should be a big part of your sales strategy. Storytelling works.
Appreciate the time, good luck.
Reading this again, I feel really good about sending it.
Telling the truth, no matter how awkward or how much of an a%$hole I feel while doing it, always makes me deeply happy and calm.
And there’s NOTHING better than being on the receiving end of bad sales to teach you what you’ll NEVER do in your own life and business.
Here’s why every part of that conversation was wrong:
- No humanness; it was robotic, forced, no real conversation.
- Zero storytelling. Just facts and questions.
- No genuine interest in ME. ME. ME. On a sales call it’s about ME, not you.
- Zero acknowledgement of personal facts I told him.
- No Q’s to learn more of what I needed. Just pushed how he could “help my business.” You don’t know what my business is because you’re not listening.
- Completely transactional. No emotional exchange at all.
- No discernment or emotional IQ. He wasn’t listening to how I really felt.
- Irrelevant agenda. When he told me to speak to his CEO (3x in 5 mins!) I was stunned. Not only did I not know who he was, but at that point I didn’t care! He offered no information to get to know either, just kept pushing. Huge turn-off.
- When I offered him a resource for leads, he sounded annoyed and impatient. Are you kidding? I just pointed you to a YUGE source of potential leads and you’re impatient because I’m not scheduling a call with your CEO? The ONLY appropriate response here is a boat load of GRATITUDE. You’re on the wrong boat and need a life jacket, bruh.
Here’s how to do sales right. I explain the basics in the video.
It starts with:
Care. *Really* care and don’t be afraid to show it openly on the phone.
Listen. *Really* listen so you can hear their needs and fears, not your own. Even if that means you don’t sell it; as long as they feel heard, you’ve done your job right.
Be kind. Kindness always beats being cool or clever. I wanted to be those things too but it always turned out disastrous. I really embarrassed myself at times! The only thing that felt good repeatedly was being kind. And guess what: It’s also the simplest, most sustainable, repeatable solution. It works every time. Smart business owners should love that.
Help. *Really* want to help. If you want to help, you aren’t attached to the outcome right now, you’re committed to what that person needs at that moment in time – and it may or may not be your service! You gotta be okay with that. I actually asked him for help in live events, but instead of hearing where I was at, he kept going with his business agenda. Aye, the circles.
As a business owner, I first want to be as useful as I can be to people, then delight them. Seth burned this into my brain and it felt right the second I heard it. It makes me feel good, keeps my business running, and it’s what real VALUE is.
People feel it.
It’s a good day at the office if I feel proud of my conversations with clients, staff, vendors, or anyone who enters my orbit. If all you do is exchange amazing energy with people, you can take it to the bank over time. It really will pay off over time.
And that’s why people avoid selling this way. Because it’s hard to find something you believe in first of all, then stay in integrity while selling to people who don’t yet understand the value, then stay positive and fierce and resilient when you’re rejected. Hardest of all to get out of your own way to really listen to other people.
It is HARD. I won’t deny it.
But at the end of the day, it’s the hard stuff that matters.
And if you want to be a successful human being, definitely successful in business, you gotta make the time and find the cajones to do the hard stuff.
That’s ultimately what sets you apart from the rest of the world.
So, have you ever been held hostage in an awkward sales call? If so did you tell them the truth or just keep feeling weird about it? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me how you handled it. And if you liked the video, give it a thumbs up! and “Like” the heck out of it so I know this is the kind of stuff you want me to keep making videos on.
Last but never least, you KNOW I always encourage you to share stuff with the the people you love. “A shared life is a good life,” as one of my mentors Casey Neistat says. If someone needs help with sales, telling the truth, or doing the hard stuff, share this post and video with them. Forward this so they get the same insight you do. I get some of the best tips and stories from people closest to me. BE THE TRANSFORMER in the lives of the people around you, you won’t be sorry.
All about ze truth,