Over the years, I’ve become more and more convinced that almost everything about business leadership comes down to salesmanship.
I might never “sell” a thing — and certainly, as a Milwaukee accountant, the reputation of being a heavy sales person is the last thing I want associated with me — but as leaders, we are ALL in the business of selling our ideas.
Some do it well, others poorly. And, I think it’s fair to say that those who are good at it do very well in whatever field they choose.
Some have to use incentives, of course — and I’m not averse to those myself.
Jon Neal’s Salesmanship Tips
“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” -Elbert Hubbard
When you first approach another person with a request for his or her time it is essential that you know what it is that you want to accomplish before you begin. Once that is clear in your mind, then you should do some homework about that person. Find out about his or her work, if you need to. Pull all the facts together in your mind.
When you finally meet with the person face to face, it is important that you start the meeting talking about that person’s work. If you study the person’s work, you will likely find many positive qualities about what she is doing with her life and talents. Bring that information out into your conversation.
All people like it when their work is appreciated — but here’s the catch — what you say must be sincere, or the person you are trying to make a connection with will feel like you are working a tactic. No bueno.
Once you have spent some time discussing your genuine appreciation for his or her work, then you will have accomplished what you wanted: you will have opened the door to that person’s mind. He or she will be willing to listen to you — and will think you have a great personality.
When you have established all of this, lay out quickly what it is that you have come for. Be self-assured and sincere. Even if the person you have come to cannot do the thing for you that you are requesting, chances are he or she will make every effort to help you and get you to the person who can actually assist you in accomplishing your ends.
The Neal Group, LLC
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