When I was a newly minted sales consultant, I was instructed by Bob Miller (co-founder of Miller Heiman) in the sales process to practice Conceptual Selling and Strategic Selling in my personal life. That challenge initially sounded a bit forced, but turned out to be a gift I’ll appreciate forever. This wasn’t to give me more professional skills practice, it was about enriching my life.
My professional world is the business-to-business sales process, where long-term customer relationships are key. Sounds like personal life, right? Think about it: If you can’t be yourself in front of customers, and if you can’t use proven communication best practices with loved ones, you’re not doing justice to either.
Because MHI Global methodologies don’t utilize manipulative techniques, using them in your personal life is straightforward and powerful. They are all about seeking to understand before being understood; they merely help you do that more frequently and consistently, even in the most stressful moments.
I cringe at the thought of practicing other popular sales approaches at home. Can you imagine “telling [your spouse] something they don’t know about their own business”? What about “assuming they’re lying to you, so walking them through a series of conversational boxes to entrap them into agreeing with you”? Yikes!
With B2B selling – and in all of your personal relationships, imagine what would be the result if you more consistently:
- Understand what your counterpart is trying to accomplish.
- Understand how they are approaching their decision process, and how you can co-create that journey.
- Understand their personal needs as well as [family] business results
- Help them connect different aspects of a proposed solution to their needs/results/wants.
- Develop an approach that helps groups of people more productively go through a group decision dynamic
- Become more sensitive to the risks of blowback when you negatively sell against competing ideas.
- Resolve any conflicts by guiding discussions to mutually satisfying creative solutions vs. digging in to hard positions and emotionally escalations/attacks?
Bob Miller pushed me to become a better professional and a better person. I am grateful for his example, and love being able to carry on that sales process work with my clients.
Does your approach to selling parallel you approach to growing your personal relationships? Why or why not? Discuss below, or contact me to learn more about how.
To your success!