You may have put lots of effort into preparing for a call with a customer but what can you do to ensure the execution goes well? I'd suggest by focusing on being present, your ability to execute a call is greatly improved.
In "The Power of Now," Eckhart Tolle talks about focusing on how being present can serve both you and the people around you. His ideas are best presented in his own words:
"Be present as the watcher of your mind – of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations. Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react. Notice also how often your attention is in the past or future. Don't judge or analyze what you observe. Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction. Don't make a personal problem out of them. You will then feel something more powerful than any of those things that you observe: the still, observing presence itself behind the content of your mind, the silent watcher."
There may be many things going on at work for you: pressure to close the numbers for the quarter, dealing with a service issue at a critical customer or rumors that compensation plans are changing.
These all can cloud your interaction with your customer. When you walk into a customer meeting there is only one thing that matters in that next 60 minutes – your customer. The only thing you can have any influence on in that time is your customer – so BE there. Put yourself 100% into the NOW with your customer.
If during the interaction with your customer your emotions start kicking in (perhaps you are being challenged on your company's capabilities), don't let them take over your interaction. As Tolle says, "Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction" and then move on.
By being in the present, your customer will notice the difference and you will have a much better meeting. You will capture more information, you can deal more effectively with objections and concerns and you have a better chance of creating rapport.
Getting into the "now" is a habit or even a skill. As such, it is something you can practice and get good at. Tolle comments how easy this can be when he says, "Through self-observation, more presence comes into your life automatically. The moment you realize you are not present, you are present."
Here are some specific steps I suggest for your consideration on your next sales call:
- Just before the sales call consciously bring yourself to the present. One way to do this is to take five deep breaths, drawing your attention to each one. Another is to acknowledge, but not dwell on, what is going on in your mind.
- During your meeting with your customer, pause and check in with yourself by asking "Am I present or did I drift to the past or future?" Find a cue to ask yourself this question a couple times during you meeting, such as writing a note in your notebook ahead of time.
As Tolle says, "Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have." Put some conscious effort into being present with your customer and see what results it brings you.
Do you have other ways to be present with your customer you could suggest?