Monday, October 02, 2006

5 Kindness Selling Approaches for Admission Reps

Ethical Selling, Campaigns of Kindness

Unabashed, unencumbered kindness can make for a very profitable sales strategy.

We estimate that around 3% of the sales population is psychologically immune to rejection. The rest of us have to build personal strategies to deal with this gruesome little gremlin. It's not a coincidence that selling is one of the most avoided activities within any organization (and probably the cause of the greatest amount of missed opportunity to build enrollment). But as the cliché goes, everything in business begins with a sale.
While it is crucial that those tasked with selling must perform, one must also protect their emotional health so reps don't burn out and get waylaid due to fear of rejection (call reluctance). To make life easier for the people responsible for generating sales at your school, here are five ways to make selling painless.(Be forewarned, you most likely would not learn this in B School)

1. If you as an Admissions rep go out into the world every day to be kind and compassionate to others, it is pretty close to impossible to get rejected. This practice makes for a pleasurable experience for everyone, and by extension makes call reluctance a smaller issue.

2. We know that 80% of an effective selling program is simply getting in front of prospects. An inexperienced sales person will be successful simply by "showing up." If the process is pleasurable for both the sales person and the prospective student, sales activity increases and referrals follow. That's because we humans naturally resist that which is uncomfortable, and in turn seek out that which is easy.

On the other side of the ledger, prospects give opportunities to people they like, respect and trust. (vs. those wanting to lift money from their wallet.) This process is communicated at an unconscious level through tone of voice body language which is in turn driven by intention. Intention to help someone get ahead in their lives.

3. When an Admissions rep genuinely demonstrates they have the prospects interests at heart, high quality, positive relationships develop very quickly. This overcomes the biggest hurdle to converting a prospect, which is trust.

4. When treated in a respectful manner where long-term mutual interests have equal weight, a tremendous referral machine quickly develops. Even if the rep can not "convert" a prospect, she becomes a source of referral because of the reps intention to help the prospect clarify her career path.

5. Once a rep has practiced perpetually kind for a while, leaving small gifts and insights for prospects, the Law of Reciprocity starts to kick in automatically. The Law of Reciprocity states that people will naturally seek to reciprocate when provided a gift, consideration, or an unexpected kind turn.

But there is a bigger piece to the Law of Reciprocity and it is to do with the psychology of the person doing the selling. (Get ready for a bit of pop psychology). When in your heart of hearts, as a rep you know you have helped people day in and day out with ideas and insights in terms of their career path, you have in turn created for yourself at a certain level, an expectation of reward. You are deserving of abundance because in part you are generous and help people.
Self sabotage can kill many deals. Prospects can sense when they are dealing with high integrity people and that sense combined with allowing yourself to succeed make for many sales successes that would otherwise never come about.

So, using kindness and giving insight and helpful advice to prospects can trigger all kinds of favourable activities for you. A sales strategy where you are creating value form the first point of contact creates for the rep an environment where others feel compelled to give back. Either as customers, or as prospect/referral sources or for yourself. Within the ethical selling philosophy, you get to aggressively increase sales but in a pleasurable way. You can make your community a better place, do your best to help individuals, and build market share. A by product you have enjoyable days at work and make lots of friends along the way.

Guest Posting by Gregg Meiklejohn
Enrollment Resources Inc Gregg and his business partner Shane Sparks work with schools and associations teaching them how they can increase sales and revenues often just by adjusting their budgets and approaches. Good people doing good work.
ph: 250-391-9494

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