Thus, empathy is at the heart of all sales success. To summarize in a few words, Empathy is to Negotiation what Charisma is to Leadership. And negotiation’s place in the sales process is not what most sales people think. Contrary to widespread thought, sales is an element of the negotiation process, and not the reverse. Negotiation begins when you say “Hello!” to your client. The way you present yourself, the way you establish the first contact and engage in the first discussions, positions you in your client’s mind and in their perception of the relationship that could develop between you. Even if this perception is not initially conscious, it develops very quickly and will determine, to a large extent, the emotions that will subsequently be expressed during the course of the sales relationship, and the quality of the alliance. Of course this process occurs in the same way for you.
The initial perception you have of your client, and the emotional, intellectual and instinctive positioning that you will establish in your relationship, happens right away. Yet, for the moment, the question of buying or selling something hasn’t even come up! The selling will begin later, when a need has been expressed, a solution starts to be put together and a common desire to cooperate is confirmed, without a commitment to signing a contract and finalizing a deal. However, negotiations have already begun. Managing this first contact effectively is therefore essential, and is one of the three vital facts that prevail over the negotiation process and its success: the perception of your client, the trust that you inspire and your capacity to maintain this trust.
In “Authentic Selling: How to boost your sales performance by being yourself”, we explain and share real life examples of the role that perception plays at the beginning of establishing a sales relationship, how trust is at the heart of the customer experience and how to co-build a successful sales strategy over the long-term based on a solid alliance with your client.