This weekend I found myself in Dorset at a Golden Wedding Anniversary party. The party was lovely. Followed by the early evening journey to where I was staying overnight- about an hour away down many country lanes. But now it’s getting dark and it’s starting to rain. I’m driving by Sat Nav but still I’m taking it carefully as I don’t know the twists and turns of the local roads. Several times I find lights very close in my rear-view mirror belonging to people who probably know the roads much better than I do, and who want to go faster. I resist going faster – I won’t be pushed. Occasionally a car coming the other way lights up the road ahead and I can travel a little quicker as I can see where I’m going, but mostly I sense there’s frustration behind me.
The day after it occurs to me that there’s a lesson for me about selling here. Sometimes I get frustrated by people who won’t make a decision (won’t go faster) and I look for ways to push them (usually unsuccessfully). But when I see it from their point of view and realise they either don’t know or aren’t sure of the way ahead, I can help them to see the way ahead more clearly by ‘lighting the way’ for them – helping them to see into the future with more clarity.
Practically, I’ve found a couple of ways of doing that are - to use the instant replay technique (“how do you usually make decisions like this?”) or to remind them of why they wanted to go ahead with the project/training, and to talk about the outcomes.
Personally, as a high Double-Checker (see www.empathystyles.com) I know that I often do need pushing to make decisions – possibly that reflects in my driving (!) – but I’ll only respond to someone who’s got my interests at heart and who knows how to do it.