Anyone who knows me, realizes I have always had my guard up. Vulnerability isn’t the image I normally portray, and that’s always been intentional. That is, until I realized how it was harming me in more ways than one.
I grew up in an unconventional home. I am the middle sister of three girls, and I have always preferred to love them from afar. You see, growing up I had to protect myself from them. They liked to fight as a team ... against me. I refused to fight back. I’d let them kick my ass because I never wanted to hurt them. But on the streets… Well, that was a totally different story. I was known for winning a few fights against two females at once. I’m not proud of that. I hated that I was even put in situations where I had no choice but to fight.
As I grew up, I was so happy spending time outside of my house and being around people who weren’t like me. I hid my background, embarrassed of who I had been and afraid they wouldn’t see who I was now. The people I met seemed to be better or more impressive. I would see their judging eyes on me. I hated being looked down on, even at an early age. I faked being happy in public as much as I could because I didn’t want to be known as that “white trash” girl in the suburbs.
I paid attention to how they carried themselves and how they spoke. I couldn’t afford their luxuries, but I could sure as hell fake like I did. I learned to carry myself differently and pronounce words correctly.
I guess you could say I am a “fake it until I make it” kind of girl! But I still felt alone. Still hurt from crap that happened many years ago.
What I realized is that I have to let all of that go. When I stopped focusing on me and instead focused on the person in front of me, I connected with them. When I listened to their struggles and pains, I saw mine. Over time, I learned to willingly open up about my experiences that relate to theirs, healing in some way every single time.
Yeah, yeah. So what does any of this have to do with sales? As a result of these lessons, I’ve learned to build better relationships. Some of my prospects have ended up as lifelong clients and friends!
Studies have shown that people will spend more money on a better experience versus a better product. Why else would millions of people spend $8 for coffee or buy a burger from a 5-star restaurant? It’s all about the experience!
It’s about connecting on a human level. Give your prospect the experience and care they deserve. Give them your undivided attention. Ask questions to get them to open up. Be compassionate and let down your guard. Find a personal connection with them. In that moment, care for them more than yourself. Make sure you are true to your moral values and do what’s right for them.