A major problem with not speaking up is that not doing so signals you are in agreement with what is in place. And many times, when one does voice their opinion, it is seen as a combative position versus being helpful.
By using relationship selling strategies, your contribution will receive a warm welcome. The hard part is getting past the fear of speaking up.
A short humorous story of mine was provided to SalesPop! to illustrate the point why it’s smart to express your opinion when the need arises. Shortly after, several conversations took place letting me know there is a need for encouraging others to speak up.
Most often the need to share your perspective is when something does not go as expected. On a job, management may lay blame on lower level employees including the sales staff. Or you may be an entrepreneur who believes a project will be successful, only to realize the opposite is true, and a meeting with partners becomes the next hurdle.
It is inevitable in tense meetings to hear remarks that fail to take into account the consequences ahead. Whatever the issue, discontent is in the making. It is our job not only to point out the shortcoming but also offer ideas to improve the approach.
Arguing and blame never work to anyone’s advantage; it only creates distrust along with a dissolution of friendships and partnerships. To avoid this type of harm, ask questions such as:
- Have you considered these potential outcomes?
- What if this occurs?
- How about we approach the issue this way, and here is why?
Steps I Learned to Fix Problems
Regardless of what transpires, your best strategy is to take the high road. Hold the best outcome for all in mind throughout the conversation. The process begins with giving yourself a pep talk in the mirror that you will get through the drama, and that all will end as it should. When your meeting is about to begin, show up with a smile on your face and in your voice. Be willing to hear everyone out even if there is blame stacked against you.
Let’s start with the worst-case scenario. Allow those involved in the dilemma divulge the problems. After the fact, they are more likely to listen to ideas for fixes. Offer a variety of possibilities and then together select the best route to proceed. On the other hand, should a partner or management not wish to listen or alter behavior to implement a solution, you have the signal to find an alternate course of action.
On the other hand, when the issue is more of a strategic question, inquire as to how the other party sees the problem and its solution. Consider the dilemma from multiple angles and once again ask numerous questions should something not be taken into consideration.
The steps above are a part of the sales process with clientele. The give and take of conversation and striving to fully understand the other person’s perspective brings about far greater possibility. Accordingly, you may earn more sales with the thoughtful approach.
Think back to when you had issues with peers and possibly clients.
- Did your temper get in the way of finding agreement?
- Did you handle the situation with calm?
- Were you respectful of their position versus yours to find a satisfactory conclusion?
Most people brace for an argument. But when you come across as pleasant, and with a desire to work things out, you significantly distinguish yourself from everyone else. By speaking up to resolve dilemmas, you pave the path to move forward together or find another venue more rewarding. Either way, it’s a win for you, and hopefully for the other party, too.
No matter your career choice problems will arise. When you meet the issues with careful thought and review of how they came to be, your chances of securing a happy conclusion will increase. The best part is clientele will greatly appreciate your effort for taking their perspective into account and will reward you with loyalty.
- Speak up when necessary.
- Explain your thinking and why it’s important.
- Describe potential outfall if the problem remains as is.
- Ask questions to see if the other party recognizes your concerns.
- Suggest a compromise to satisfy everyone.
- Negotiate an improved outcome.
- Gain agreement on moving forward.
- Check in afterward to see if satisfaction holds.
- Agree to periodic updates to remain in touch.
- Celebrate Success!
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