The Culture Alignment program began with a Town Hall facilitated by both Janice and Sylvia who were subject matter experts in their respective fields. Both C-suite and Sales teams were to kick off sessions first. They were closest to bumping up revenue immediately.
Module by module they were given bite-sized pieces of tools that would augur well for their respective fields. Sales people were exceptionally excited as they were promised strategies of how to deal with difficult clients. Turning this group of people around would matter a lot to their bottom-line results.
Contrary to general perception, difficult clients were the exception not the rule. Nevertheless, it paid to be prepared as it could be a challenging experience, even for the most professional sales person!
Dealing with difficult clients required empathy, patience and putting aside ego. It was about listening power and what the client needed at that moment, not about who was right or wrong. It did consume a lot of time and energy however and was certainly a stressful situation for all. There was a faster and better way to address this with NLP for selling tools.
The sales teams were truly excited at the prospect of improving their results exponentially. Sylvia assigned Bala to this segment of the company. He had come from an IT sales background. He had strong credibility.
Modules began on NLP selling techniques, tips that benefitted every part of the sales cycle and relationships with colleagues, employer, family and friends.
Learn how to choose a response when faced with a difficult client. Reminder that the issue was not personal but based on a business transaction. Switch mindset, putting aside any defensiveness or blame. Focus attention on the client and tune in your listening power, allowing for problem resolution to take centre stage.
The most powerful tool is to manage your emotional state. If you are confident and un-breakable, you stay in a position of strength to make good decisions and responses.
The intelligent alternative is to acknowledge the client’s emotion and respond with empathy. Respect the client’s model of the world as they have their own reality which is probably different to yours. Step into their world, understand where they are coming from and respond.
There were breakout groups and salespeople were put to the test. Bala gave the team a two week break to practice their newfound state of resilience that they had just created. They were to come back with stories of what worked and what didn’t. They were getting their hands dirty from the word go.
Bala was ready with the next tenet of dealing with difficult clients, after addressing the previous fortnight’s module.
Too often professional salespeople did all the talking. Establishing rapport and knowing the client’s needs were crucial to opening up future sales opportunities.
Difficult clients cried out for space to vent their frustration, disappointment or unhappiness about the product or service. They wanted to be heard. Acknowledging their pain gave the assurance that you were listening, without interruption.
The worst was when solutions were formulating in the mind of the sales person or jumping to hasty conclusions, both of which indicated that listening power had waned. Asking questions to clarify points and helping paraphrase what the client had said was more the order of the day.
Bala gave the team tips to tune their listening in and sent them off for another fortnight. This rhythm would set a good pace for each module to layer over the other.
Act promptly to put a solution into action that is appropriate for client and then follow up closely. It is important that all aspects of the issue have been completely dissolved, to demonstrate your professional sales posture.
If executed well this could earn the respect of your client and convert to a recurring client. Bringing a challenging episode to closure is a boost to anyone’s confidence and provide feedback of a job well done.
Bala had concluded part one of his initial dive into the sales team. Momentum gained, he was ready to unleash advanced NLP sales tools that would propel them to spiked performance.
Sylvia Fernandes is the Founder & CEO of VIA Frontiers. She is a Master Trainer of NLP who is specialised in corporate applications.
She started her business in Sydney in 2002 and has been operating in the Asia Pacific Region ever since. She is currently based in Singapore.
She is also the author of Bye Bye Black Cat -- Turn Your Luck Around and Realise Opportunities. Visit VIA Frontiers for more information.
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Sylvia is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Trainer. She started her business in Sydney and is now based in Singapore.