Being a powerful influencer is a vital aspect of your role with clients.
In the first part of our series on selling your advice service with integrity, we Iooked at some common symptoms of feeling under pressure and what is really behind clients having a great experience of you.
Picking up where we left off, another symptom of feeling under pressure when meeting with clients or when trying to win business is neediness.
Jim Camp is known as America’s number one negotiation coach. In his fascinating book ‘Start with No’, the very first chapter is called ‘Your greatest weakness in negotiation – the dangers of neediness.’
Neediness is an internal feeling of fear, anxiousness or worry that leads to undesirable behaviours.
It can lead to all sorts of thinking running through your mind such as: ‘How am I doing?’, ‘I really need this business’ or ‘I hope they like me’.
It can lead to people-pleasing behaviours such as holding back from what you really want to say (and what will serve the client) through fear of a bad reaction.
It can also result in a reluctance to make requests through fear of rejection.
The problem is clients will pick up on how you feel, and it will negatively affect the nature of your relationship.
Instead of experiencing you as a powerful person who is worth listening to, they will start to see you as subservient.
A further symptom of working with clients under pressure is trying too hard to convince someone to do something.
I did a coaching session with a client recently and he shared an experience of wanting one of his clients to take a certain course of action, but they were resisting.
He had allowed the situation to get personal and was far too invested in his (imaginary) outcome.
He also found that the harder he tried to convince the person, the harder they pushed back.
The fact is that people only ever do things for their own reasons. You can provide all the logical reasons in the world, but we are not driven by logic and reason.
For example, most people are fully aware that to lose weight you need to eat less and exercise more. But the logic of this does not motivate people, does it? The motivation must always come from within.
Relieve the pressure
If we jam up our heads with too much thinking, if we place our sense of well-being on things going a certain way, or if we want a particular outcome more than our client does, then our results are going to suffer because we have lost perspective.
The ultimate cost is that you will lose people's trust and confidence and the credibility you had with them, not to mention experiencing a great deal of frustration along the way.
The solution does not lie in better techniques, whether this relates to sales or your ability to influence people. These kinds of techniques don't address the underlying issue. They don't reduce the amount of thinking you do or stop you feeling insecure. Often, quite the opposite.
The permanent solution is to understand that your feelings come from your thinking. No situation has any inherent pressure in it – any pressure you feel is coming from within you.
Your well-being is not dependent on what a client decides, whether you win the business or indeed any external factor. Life just doesn't work that way, unless of course, you think it does.
Everyone feels under pressure from time to time and that is perfectly fine, as long as we understand that it's a product of our thinking and not our circumstances.
Your natural state of mind is one of clarity, confidence, perspective and freedom from fear and pressure. Experiencing this is not about control – it is about understanding.
Successful selling and influence are a natural consequence of understanding the dynamic between our state of mind and the quality of our thinking.
In our next article, we will look at the key ways of getting into the world of your client.