Communicators: You are in sales
Don’t be shocked, but marketing, PR, and communications pros are in sales.
Think about it.
- Selling messages to clients
- Selling ourselves to execs in the C-suite
- Selling (pitching) stories to the media
- Selling our time
- Selling our intellectual capital
- Selling our creativity
- Selling access to our media and social contacts
To be a holistic business communicator, it’s time to stop selling and start building. Build your listening skills and relationships with prospects, the C-suite, colleagues, and reporters. We must move away from the “What can we get?” attitude to “What can we give?”
The holistic communicator
In a typical day, people are trying to get our e-mail addresses. They are trying to get us to sign-up for something. They are trying to get our hard-earned money. They are trying to get access to our personal information. They are often trying to get over on us. Get, get, get. This approach only brings short-lived success.
The flip side of get, get, get is give, give, give.
The most successful people in business are those who focus on what they can give to others, and not what they can get, get, get. High achievers are comfortable in deflecting attention away from themselves. These givers have absolute faith that by being tuned in to others, success will one day come to them. Individuals who live by this mindset aren’t in a hurry to get the deal. Instead, their priority is to build relationships and give value. The givers trust that they will be rewarded with abundance because that’s the way the universe works.
The proof of this is most evident in sales. When people in sales stop chasing money and shift their attention to genuinely helping a prospect, they won’t have to sell anything. Prospects will want to buy from them based on the generosity of the relationship.
Our attention is a hot commodity.
The concept of silent listening is the genesis of holistic business. Silent listening requires us to mentally slow down and quiet the unrelenting soundtrack that plays in our heads 24/7. Silent listening requires our undivided attention, free of distractions, judgments, and response planning. It calls for us to be fully present and in the moment.
How many times have you asked someone a question that you were genuinely interested in and as soon as they responded, your mind was jumping around aimlessly with random thoughts?
These mental interruptions occur in a flash. They pull us away from conversations and leave us at a disadvantage as we miss important information that is essential to connecting with people.
For example, you are meeting with a prospect about doing PR for their credit union. Someone mentions that they have ‘service centers,’ not branches. If you write up a proposal to promote their 18 branches, you lose. A split second distraction becomes a costly lesson.
Silent listening is an essential business skill. It shows people that you are fully engaged, and care about the message.
Welcome to sales.
PS: I invite you to take a peek at my new Kindle book, published today!