Last week I wrote about understanding our customer’s buying processes, which is a pretty analytical concept. This week though, I’ve been thinking about the other side of the coin, a more creative, social side: how enchantment plays into sales. Enchantment, as Guy Kawasaki’s new book points out, is about changing the hearts, minds and ultimately the actions of people.
Enchantment in Sales
If there’s anything we can learn from the enchantment of the cinema, it’s that people love a good story.
- We identify with the characters and empathize with their situation.
- They stay in our minds for years!
- On a subconscious level, they make us think about who we are, who we want to be (or not be!).
- Through exploring the lives of others, we are better able to sort out our own worlds.
- The cinema give us a great gift of “what if.”
- Movies help us imagine what could be and sometimes even inspire us to strive to be different.
This can be a powerful skill for salespeople to possess. Enchantment can and should be a big part of what we do in sales.
A Cautionary Tale
What happens on the screen however is almost always some very cleverly constructed storytelling and far from reality. (Some would argue that the evening news also falls into that category.) The power of a good story is not lost on salespeople, but the danger in all this is if we put too much stock in a “Hollywood” view of sales to the point of ignoring the reality our customers face day in and day out. After all, our favorite movies would not be possible without many thousands of hours of fairly tedious, precise, highly analytical work behind the scenes during production. So it is with sales. Success depends on striking a balance between enchantment and analytics.
Striking a Balance in Sales
Sales people then should constantly strive to find a good balance between strong analytical ability and their creative personable side. As Tibor Shanto pointed out recently: “A big challenge for many salespeople is finding a balance between relationship building and gaining commitment.” Customer’s need someone who can not only capture their attention and relate to them personally but also correctly diagnose their issues, help them navigate the sea of solutions and ultimately take action that will genuinely improve their business’ bottom line.
- Are you more creative and social or analytically driven?
- Have you lost deals because you were out of balance in one of these areas?
- If you are bent more toward one of these, what have you done to even the scales?
photo credit: Flickr – Stefanos Koumaras