A person can only fulfill the duties of Network Selling—such as win-win, empathy, and building trust—if they have fully evolved their character.
So how do you do that?
To answer that question, let’s use the framework of an ancient proverb which states…
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
„Character is the result of two things: Mental attitude and the way we spend our time.“
The Building Blocks of Character…
…Watch your thoughts, for they become words…
As a salesperson, you need to pay attention to your thoughts as they become the words you use to communicate. How you speak to a prospect is an indication of your thoughts. Everything you say—and then, everything you do—influences the sales processSales Process Sales Process is a series of strategic steps or a set of activities aimed at driving sales growth through the alignment of personnel, market insight, methodologies, relevant business units, and technology. and the buying process:
- Pay attention to what you watch, listen to and read because what you consume will influence your thoughts – choose wisely.
- The National Science Foundation estimates that up to 80% of our daily thoughts are negative – be conscious of this and work to replace them with more positive thoughts.
- Everyone has historical baggage that can trigger negative thoughts. Leave that baggage in the past and focus on living in the present.
„You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.“
…Watch your words, for they become actions…
In sales you must definitely watch your words, for your actions will always be compared with them. One basic rule to always follow in sales is: before you speak, listen. Once you have listened, respond appropriately. Always remember that your words can build, comfort, destroy or defeat, help or hurt.
The sender of the message is responsible for how a message is being received. Messages we send are not always received in the way we intended due to how the receiver interprets them. Effective use of clarifying questions can help alleviate this.
This isn’t reserved only for conversations with others, but also the words you say to yourself (i.e. self-talk), and the actions that come after, can have positive or negative impacts.
…Watch your actions, for they become habits…
Good habits (just like bad) are learned and only become habits through constant repetition.
For example, if you estimate that 10 calls a day will help you reach your goal, then you need to make 10 calls each day consistently until it is now a habit. And once a habit it simply becomes a routine part of your daily work practice.
Take a close look at your habits when it comes to sales. One by one you can evaluate each habit: Is it something that would attract future buyers – would make them want to engage with you?
We all want to engage with people who are open, friendly, engaging, interested, and empathetic – does this describe you?
…Watch your habits, for they become your character…
In sales, it is extremely difficult to fake great character because you will be judged on the totality of your words and actions and whether you are consistent in how you show up each time.
Plus to gain the respect of others, we must first and foremost, respect ourselves, because great character is founded upon self-respect.
Our character is tested constantly, often when least expected such as when metaphorical fires break out that must be dealt with. If you are gold, you won’t burn. But if you’re paper, you burn up and the ashes blow away.
Your good character is validated every time someone sees you continuing to act with integrity, empathy, and honesty even when things are not going your way or you are under pressure.
In sales, character is how you’re working, talking, writing, communicating, and living. It’s what is visible to everyone else. Your actions will underscore what you say or it will negate it…it’s as simple as that.
„Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.“
…Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny…
Character impacts others. It means truly helping prospects and customers, and providing great service. It means developing a reputation that brings you many referrals. The world today craves real people, with real meaning in what they accomplish daily. Do that, and they will beat a path to your door.
Life, of course, has to do with the character that you build within yourself. It begins with how you treat yourself and extends out to how you treat others and how you live day-to-day.