The Tao of Sales
An Easier Way to Sell in Tough Times
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The Tao of Sales: Finding Without Looking - 2

How do you "Find without Looking?" Look for people who can help you understand and work with what you already do know, rather than "experts" who tell you what you don't know or aren't doing [right].

Who are these people? Your customers. They are the best source of insights into what you are doing that makes you special for them, why they choose to buy from you, and why they feel comfortable working with you.

Who are your best customers? Not merely the people you get along with most easily. They may be good friends but not good customers. You can identify "best customers" by their behavior: They make time for you, respect you as a business professional, listen and share their thoughts openly, work with you to find real win/win solutions that benefit them and you, and make and keep commitments.

What do you need to find out? You need to learn what actions on your part generate these kinds of responses from customers [so you can do them more - with more customers].

What if you don't have any "best customers" yet to learn from? Start by acting in ways that "mirror" the behaviors you want from good customers. For example: Make time for your customers by planning sales calls that maximize the value they receive from the conversation (instead of a standard "pitch.") Respected them as business professionals by learning their business. Listen and shared your thoughts openly and deal with difficult issues immediately and candidly. Work for win/win solutions that benefit both of you. Make and keep commitments to your customers.

If you want simple steps to move forward in "Finding without Looking," read Chris Lytle's The Accidental Salesperson: How to Take Control of Your Sales Career and Earn the Respect and Income You Deserve. It's loaded with common sense action steps.

Mastery Click here for all the Mastery exercises in this section

Open Your Mind:

Trying to control the sale and "make the sale happen" robs us of the ability to respond strongly and creatively to what's happening in the moment with the customer. Besides, customers don't want to be controlled - and, subconsciously, customers sense the attempt to control them - and then push back. Change your inner agenda from "What can I get from this customer?" or "What can I do for this customer?" to "How can we collaborate to create real, sustainable value for both of us? Make that the agenda you share with your customer.

Listen to the internal voices that may tell you "I can't do this." "I have to make the sale." "This is what I've always been taught." "But my boss insists that we aggressively sell to customers and get orders." Those "voices" are really the expectations that other people have for you. Decide what you believe is right for you, and do it. (Plus you'll get more orders, and make more sales in less time this way.)

Tom Behr, author of The Tao of Sales, provides a compelling, tough-minded and deeply caring perspective on today's turbulent, fast-moving business world - like a fresh breeze in a congested room.
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“Whatever we fear is waiting around the corner each day of our journey through life. The less we fear, the more open and untroubled the road.

On your best, happiest day, did you think about anything at all or did you just experience that day in its fullness? Where was worry then?"

Tao of Sales 50

Chi – Do It Now

Take a moment and ask yourself: "What about the way I relate to people do I like the most?

Then call one of your "best" customers and say (in your own words): "You know, I've been thinking about how I relate to people in business? What's it like for you to work with me?"

Listen to the response and compare it with your self-assessment. Take action on any insights that come from that discussion.