Hippo Campus: Don’t You Dare!
I overheard an accomplished sales professional on a phone conversation recently ask for help. They were extolling the difficulties of working with a particular individual at one of their accounts who 1) had a conniption when he heard that they had attempted to reach out to others in the organization, and 2) declared that he is the gatekeeper to everything and “don’t ever go around me again!” Sound familiar?
Now, if you’re this sales professional, how many are already scratching this account from their 2019 pipeline? How many will continue to work (in servitude) with this person without ever actually learning (and selling) a thing? And finally, how many have decided, regardless of which road they choose with this individual, they are going to tell everyone what a dick this guy (or gal) really is?
It’s OK, chances are you’ve successfully answered two of three. Which two I will never tell!
So, what to do here? This is an amazing opportunity frankly! And it doesn’t have to be a sales scenario. Many of us experience this exact scenario from a non-selling perspective. It happens all the time in life. There’s still a transaction taking place regardless of what tangible or intangible ask/want is tendered. The solution is about focusing on the person not the thing.
Next time it happens, take a minute and consider this approach:
What can you discover about this organization, persona, and person?
Everyone, in every situation, is connected to all three of these. Even if you are a stay-at-home parent, your organization is your family. Your persona is stay-at-home parent, and you are, well, YOU! So, now think about the other person. What do you know about their organization? What’s it like to be him or her? What are you curious about this person? Where is the real resistance?
Discovery achieved. Now innovate!
Through conversations you learn more and more about the person you are connecting with. Now, you’re in this together; you’re on the same team. What are the ways you can achieve greatness together? What do you want for them? How can you establish yourself as their mutual guide?
Call to Action.
Every engagement, no matter how small, requires an agreement for a next step regardless of how seemingly insignificant or brief the connection. So, leverage what you mutually know about each other and get agreement on how to move forward as you take the best possible next step.
This is a template. Beneath each of these steps is a myriad of being and doing that can happen. You may need one of the many experts who can chime in and offer tactics and processes in situations like this, all to great results. It could take many connections to create movement to the next stage, or just one “olive branchesque” conversation that opens the door to new possibilities.
The potential pitfall is to take it personally. Your connection (the person) shows up in this space like he or she is built no matter who is in line with the next ask or want. If you maintain a truly curious and less-offended perspective then eventually you will establish a trusted space where your connection partner will feel safe to speak transparently and authentically. And this is a perspective that you can’t just go around to get to.
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