In the previous post we saw that not everyone who we believe will benefit from our products or services will choose to buy. And, while we cannot be emotionally attached to the outcome and still be effective, we can still do our best to help them. The key is to both understand and respect the fact that the final decision is theirs.
With that in mind, I will always remember something shared with me by a very wise man by the name of Bill Gove.
Ahhhh, Bill was one of my early speaking mentors, as he was for just about everyone else in the business around that time. The great man — a national sales champion in his day — passed on years ago. Very few people were as kind, thoughtful and generous as Bill.
I would guess that Bill shared this advice with his numerous other proteges, since so many of us quote it as a matter of course. 🙂
He said, “Bob, you are responsible to your audience, but not for them. You are responsible to them to be prepared, to put forth the very best information you can and share it in such a way that it can be effectively utilized. You are responsible to them for that.
“But” he continued, “you are not responsible for them. You cannot control who chooses to use that information and benefit from it. That is up to them.”
What terrific advice. And, I believe it applies to all of us in sales, regardless of the “audience” whether one-on-one, committee or huge crowd. I believe that whether we’re talking about products, services, or the solutions designed to help them, the attitude Bill suggests is a vital part of a successful selling career. And, for that matter, any type of interpersonal persuasion process. Why? Because…
#1 Attachment Is A Turnoff. If we have too much emotion invested in their taking a certain action, it’ll show through, and that person will probably follow the natural human tendency to resist that which they feel is being pushed upon them.
#2 It Fortifies Us. When we can walk away without emotional attachment to the results, or, what I call “Positive Detachment” (also known as “posture”), it strengthens us when trying to help the next person. And that person might just take our advice.
So, yes, when selling, care. Care about helping them, care about serving them, care about providing them value. You are responsible for that part of process. But, don’t get too caught up in the result. You are not responsible, nor can you ethically control their decisions.
Indeed, you are responsible to them…but not for them.