For most of our B2B sales lives, we have been thrown new products with a list of features and benefits over the wall and the client engagement teams have had to translate all of that “stuff” into conversations that matter to our clients. Not always an easy matter when the great “new” product looks amazing like the good “old” products or services that we have been working with for years. That, however, is quite ok. This is where the client-facing teams shine and where they do their best work. This is the art of conversations, that matter to our clients. And to be quite specific this is the absolute art of 2-WAY conversations, not just show up and broadcast, but create and conduct a truly meaningful dialog with clients.
Michael Hvisdos (www.inquizo.com) has been working with our team for several years as we dig into the science and impact of curiosity. Michael and his partner Janet are absolute guru’s when it comes to this… Check them out. In my attempt to keep brief here I will just tell you that Michael ingrained in our thinking many years ago the value of absolute thinking of having great 2-WAY conversations. The big difference between thought and action. With 2-WAY conversations as a baseline, we must clearly accept the age-old adage of “seek first to understand before being understood”. The challenge is the first part. We have lots of practice in the latter part. So here is my request for you for this week.
Understand that you cannot change someone else’s mind. No argument will have you changing their mind. Only they can change their mind. It must be of their own free will. On occasion, you might verbally bludgeon them into submission (think teenage discussion here), but that will not be the same thing. To get someone to see your perspective if it is different than theirs, you must first acknowledge their perspective as being viable (and mean it). Only when you stop the wall building of having right/wrong conversations can you actually reach out and help others gain perspectives beyond their current ones. Stop trying to be right, you only end up making other wrong. Learn the power of AND, and avoid the OR.
My request for you this week is actually just for one day. If you can take if further, bless you. For just one day this week, I ask that you take the entire day and…
NOT DISAGREE WITH ANYONE ABOUT ANYTHING (both personally and professionally)
That does not mean you have to accept what they say, just understand their statements and beliefs. Acknowledge the fact that you understand. Open up the door to having really great 2-WAY conversations that matter to you both.
This is a tough action. Teams small and large have accepted this challenge and we have worked through the outcomes with greatness at the end. Enjoy!
OK, Let’s Roll!