In the midst of the global chaos and commotion, we have a responsibility to stay grounded in our humanity when having (virtual) business meetings. Ben Faranda and Britta Lorenz take us through the reasons and methods to bring your human side to the sale, but also in all your interactions.
This week, the focus was on how to be self-aware and empathetic in sales negotiations. Faranda views the COVID crisis as a unique opportunity in leveling the playing field. We are all working remotely and using the virtual world to communicate within our companies and with our customers. Now we have the time to rethink how we want to ‘show up’ with our clients to bring more empathy and self-awareness into these interactions.
Be authentic, don’t fake your feelings, and be human.
The more people are online, the more accommodating we are to everyday life interruptions or distractions like children running in the background or barking dogs. We are all in a similar home-office situation, so there’s no obligation to create a strict corporate identity. It shows your humanity if you stay professional but also bring in some of your home life into your meetings. People will feel safer and embrace their own similar imperfections into the dialogue as well.
A recommendation from Faranda is to broaden your perspective and consider that as a leader, manager, employee, or consultant, it matters how I support my fellow human beings in the sales cycle. He defines the difference between ‘results’ and ‘success’ in the sales environment. Achieving success is aligned with being human in the sales process. For future business, it is important to leave a positive impression.
Result: we have hit our target.
Success: we have hit our target and we know that everyone involved (customers, sales peers, management, other colleagues, etc.) gained something in the process.
Acknowledge your triggers – press pause, create space, consider your choices.
Self-awareness is about being aware of your own positive and negative triggers in a conversation, as these have a strong impact on your feelings and, therefore, thoughts. You cannot control your emotions, but you can influence how you choose to react in a negotiation or meeting. Take the time to take a moment and address the factors and feelings that influence your response and choose to make purposeful choices in the future.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”. – Viktor E Frankl.
Try to stop the vicious cycle of negative thoughts and feelings from feeding into each other. We begin to create assumptions in our minds, and this catastrophizing process hinders us from being empathetic to our counterparts.
If you could see yourself when things go wrong, how would you react?
Reflection is a critical tool in terms of negotiation and being more human. Ask your colleagues how you respond in a given moment and you may identify patterns or specific events that trigger a negative response. This can help you influence and overcome unconscious behaviors and consciously create space or handover to a coworker. With self-awareness, we can create new neurological pathways in our brains to change the habits we may have when negative thoughts are circling around.
Keep in mind that the words you use have an impact on the customer.
A tip that Faranda discovered when communicating with someone is the power of curiosity. When interacting with a customer, when you feel something hindering you from having a meaningful conversation, ask them a curious question about themselves. It can help to open your perspective to other people and to view things through their eyes. Using an empathetic approach, whether professional or personal, can be the superpower to bringing your human into all your relationships.
About Ben Faranda
Ben Faranda is a truly global leader who masters the art to generate psychological safety and inclusion. He is an enablement virtual learning expert and works with large tech organizations. His expertise in facilitation and engaging with people has landed him opportunities to work in training, consulting, and creating solutions.
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