Someone once asked me, “how do you show passion when you’re asking questions in sales, and not talking about your product?” It’s a great question. Here’s my answer.
Definition of passion: a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.
Passion comes from the inside, not from the outside. The action you’re taking is listening with the intent to understand.
In Stephen Covey’s classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, (by the way, if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it) he says the single most important principle in interpersonal relations is “seek first to understand before being understood”. And this is especially important in sales. Interpersonal relationships are the foundation of successful selling.
Covey goes on to say that question techniques won’t compensate for character or your intention. You’re constantly communicating your character in your subtle actions. We typically seek to first being understood. And most people don’t listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply and talk about themselves. This is true of people selling their swag.
They just want to tell and sell.
Telling ain’t selling. It’s annoying.
People get a sense from you not from what you say, but how they feel.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
In the words of Montell Jordan, this is how we do it
The way to express passion when you’re not talking about yourself is through your intense desire and enthusiasm to help your prospects. And in order to do this as best you can, you need to fully understand them, first.
This is going to sound more inaction that action, because you’re not doing anything other than asking questions and listening, but stick with me.
Listen with an empty mind and full heart.
Start with being present. Being detached from any outcome, and free of judgement. Listen with the passionate intent of understanding, so you can help them.
Your prospects will know you’re there to help them because they can feel your character, your energy.
Seek first to understand before being understood – Stephen Covey.