Owe vs. Show – Confusing The Two Hurts Business
Owe vs. show – two very different words when applied to the selling process. People who are confusing the two may very well be hurting their business as well as their reputation. How would you describe the two in the context of selling?
Recently I wrote an article titled “Whose Responsibility Is It?” which stirred up some differing opinions. The purpose of the article was to point out that when approaching a prospect, it’s the job of the seller to create interest and to explain what they’re selling in a concise and clear manner. It’s not up to the prospect to devote time and energy trying to understand a vague or confusing offer.
Owe Vs. Show
The purpose of writing a follow-up piece to the “Whose Responsibility Is It? is to clarify one important distinction, prospects don’t owe you anything. When you show up as a seller with an attitude that people owe you their time, their respect, or even common courtesy, you’ve already put yourself at a disadvantage. Gaining someone’s time, attention, respect, and yes, even common courtesy is something people show/give to you, they don’t owe it to you.
The world would be a better place if common courtesy was something people freely gave to each other. Unfortunately, acting as if people owe it to you can turn people off you and your product/service quickly. Think about it, do you like people who act as if the world owes them things they didn’t earn?
When selling, it’s your job to earn the business. Showing up to an interaction with a potential client with an air of entitlement is not going to build rapport. Most people vote with their wallets and won’t give you their hard earned money when you act as if they owe you their business.
You Go First
There are certainly simple ways to earn someone’s time, respect, and attention. The easiest is for you to show the person respect, courtesy, and attention first. One way to show these three things is to ask permission before making your offer. Word vomiting your offer onto some unsuspecting soul is not going to earn business for you.
Having specific language on how to open a conversation, ask permission and then present an offer are skills clients hire me to teach them. It doesn’t come naturally for most people so please be kind to yourself while you practice honing these skills. The important part is that you do practice and improve.
Always start off with the intention of building rapport first before launching into your offer. This key step is not something easily done with blast emails, cut and paste Facebook messages, etc. You may be able to shoot off a ton of these messages in a short period of time, however, it’s unlikely many people are going to buy from you this way.
Start by showing people how much you appreciate them and they’ll likely give you the opportunity to earn their business.
Wishing you continued success in all you’re doing.
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