Super Agent

Stay Focused on the Outcome

Mark Goulston, Harvard Business Review contributor recently wrote an article that focuses on how effective leaders successfully influence decisions. As part of research for Goulston’s book, he and his co-author interviewed over 100 people who “get things done, but who aren’t pushy.”  They found that the most successful leaders are “not trying to persuade people to do something important. They’re trying to positively influence them to get to a better place.” They are focused on the outcome, and at the end of the conversation they are able to move things forward.

Here is a common example of this dynamic at play in the sales process:

During a conversation with a prospect, a producer will say: “let me explain to you why our process is better than the process you’re currently using.” The prospect will most likely put their guard up when change is framed with the agent and agency as the main focus. In this example, the first part of what’s necessary in the process is there—the producer believes that the buyer is truly at risk and wants to help them decrease those risks and improve their business, but the buyer only hears “it’s all about me”. Dialog is only effective if it is 100% percent focused on the prospect. Consider this question that addresses the same issues but is framed differently:

“What if it is possible for you to reduce the number of employee injuries that occur and decrease the costs associated with those injuries— is that something you would be interested in discussing?”

Are you trying to sell your process to your prospects, or are you trying to positively influence them to get to a better place?

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