Is it the power of attention alone that creates this unique phenomenon we know as charisma? Is it attention alone that allows for the true champion salesperson to emerge victorious? It is certainly one of the keys, but there is a second power: the power of intention. Intention refers specifically to the emotional basis that is driving your actions and the sales activity. Most individuals have good intention, but their good intention is entirely for themselves. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and had poor service? Have you ever had the experience of interacting with someone who was so self-servicing that his way of relating to you was careless and thoughtless?
In those kinds of situations, if you had the choice of buying or being served by someone else, would you ever chose to work with someone who clearly did not have an intention to powerfully serve you? The answer is no. One of the hidden secrets of most of the successful sales professionals is their relationship to intention.
These champion sales professionals have the unique ability to consciously or unconsciously have an intention that is really about serving and being a value to the other person. This can be cultivated if it is not something over which we feel we already have some control. It is entirely possible to create an intention and then to allow that intention to direct your attention. It is only when a person has a powerful intention to serve that he can serve and give his full intention to the person he is interacting with. This doesn’t apply only to sales. Show me someone who has done an incredible job, and I will show you a person with a deep-seated intention. You will see that their primary reason for doing their work is based not on some outcome or goal but is grounded in the process of the activity itself.
I would like to give you a simple exercise. Ask yourself, “What is your intention for serving the individual that you are about to meet?” Allow that intention to be in your mind. See if you can actually feel the feelings associated with them in your heart. I invite you to practice this before your next sales call. As you find yourself engaged in the interaction and your mind begins to wander to other topics, keep using your attention to bring your mind back to this positive intention to serve. This will happen naturally and will bring the level of power, integrity and alignment to your unconscious actions, which will impact the other individual at a very deep level.
We will be talking in future issues about how these aspects of the inner game of selling end up manifesting as certain outer skills, as the outer skills are also critical to master. Without building the know-how to control your own intentions, and without honestly assessing your inner intention, no skill or technique in the world will ever save you. When all is said and done, sales are fundamentally about trust.