Manners and communication work hand-in-hand, and in fact, it could be said that one won’t work very well without the other. Just try communicating with bad manners—what you’re trying to say will not get across very well, and if it reaches the other person at all, it’s likely to cause a bad reaction.
Manners play a vital role in sales.
Manners begin with granting importance—to people, their ideas and their communication (more on granting importance in our next blog).
Have you ever met someone who apparently thought they “knew everything” and failed to show any interest in your or your ideas? How did that person make you feel?
Such conduct in sales is, at best, hazardous. When salespeople assume they “know it already,” they cannot help but fail because they won’t see or hear what the prospect is communicating. After a meeting, they sit around wondering why the prospect didn’t call them back.
Guess what? This is the major cause of a prospect not returning calls or responding to email after that first meeting. If you or your sales team have consistent difficulty with this, the cause is likely a lack of truly looking, hearing and understanding the prospect. Or, put simply, granting importance.
Manners are important everywhere in sales—but they’re probably most important in that initial meeting.
Outside of sales, if you had a guest over to your home, how would you treat them? Most likely the same way you’d want to be treated. You’d invite them in, ask if they’d like some refreshment, and serve it to them. You’d ask how they were doing, and what’s happening in their life. If you’d never met the person before, you’d ask about their job, what their interests were.
The same should go for an initial meeting. Instead of starting off with a sales pitch—the tried and failed method of selling since the beginning of time—you should ask how they are. What they like about their job. Why they’re in the market for a product like yours. What their experience has been in the past with such products. And while you’re asking, you should actually listen to their answers.
Oh, and About That Smartphone…
No article on manners would be complete without a word about manners when it comes to our phones. It’s an age in which we all have them—but there are definite manners involved with using them.
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who is constantly texting? You probably hated it. It’s extremely poor manners to do this in a meeting with a prospect or a client. It conveys an instant impression that you don’t really care about them.
Turn it off!
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