Perceived and real value.
My will on trying to convince people of the intentions of my ideas and the real value they are going to receive declines year after year.
The reason why is, I think, a combination of factors.
From the one side, my engagement with easter philosophy the last years made me realize that I can not force outcomes, neither on a personal nor on a transactional and interpersonal level. There must be there a flow of things, actions should come naturally because of conviction and free will and not as the outcome of manipulation or “enforced” will to others.
On the other side, my opinions, and ideas, are products of my thinking, my perception of reality, cultural background, education, and sales coaching experience, and therefore disputable. There is no objective scientific proof behind them (if such a thing exists) and at the end of the day, people are free to choose. The power lies to the listener, which advise he is going to follow and which one not.
Since you recognize that earning money is the result of your actions on solving problems and adding real value to your prospects and not a self-goal, then automatically you are going to realize that eventually, you can skip the pain and effort of convincing people to become your clients.
There is a logical sequence here, please follow me on that.
A prospect is engaging you, because (in our case) he wants to increase and accelerate his sales.
Most often he does not have the experience and knowledge on how to do so and equally often he has a twisted perception of the sales profession and the expected results.
That said, that means that his evaluation of your offer is going to be through the prism of his own perceptions.
From our side now we come to a dilemma:
a. Tell the client what he wants to hear, sugar-coat our pitch, and show him those steps that are going to please his perception of success
b. Say things, the way we believe is going to bring success to him and his company, while at the same time contradicting his beliefs?
The natural tendency is to do things that someone believes are going to bring results, but how can the same (or similar) actions bring different results. It is mentally hard to adopt solutions that do not seem to be in alignment with our core beliefs, the solution however lies exactly there.
Let me give you a bold example, that I face again and again.
The number one USP of my sales training & coaching business is my personal integrity. I advertise both on my alexvalassidis.com website and on my business website vparagon.com my integrity.
That exact USP is not perceived most of the time from my prospects as a very strong one, it is however the strongest one.
By interacting with our business, you are going to know, where you stand, and you are going to know that everything possible has been made to bring success and increase your desired outcomes.
Success is not guaranteed, but you are going to know what works and what does not.
I was watching a YouTube video from Mr. Simon Sinek regarding performance and trust. Which is the partner, colleague you would like to work with. Of course, everyone would like to work with the high performer with high trust, however, the second ideal would be the medium performer (or even the low performer) with high trust, rather than the high performer with low trust. SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZATIONS LAY MORE VALUE ON TRUST (INTEGRITY) RATHER THAN ON PURELY PERFORMANCE.
No foundational good performance can be achieved with no Trust and integrity from your business partner.
Trusting your business partner and his integrity opens new horizons to you and to your business. You are going to know where you stand.
Not all projects we took as a company were successful. The reason however they were not successful was not lying in our performance, rather than due to other factors and that is not an excuse. Let me here clarify certain things.
Is everything possible? The answer is: Not everything is possible, but in most cases things ARE possible. The question that arises is: What is the cost to make them possible. Cost not only in monetary terms but also in terms of engagement, stress, time, sustainability, etc. If the cost is higher than the outcome, then you know you don’t have a business. If the outcome is just ok, and not good, then you know you don’t have a business. In that light, our engagement did not bring the desired outcomes. What it brought however was that it shed light on which way to follow. This is an insight you can get if you have a trusting partner, and integrity is the element that creates that trust and brings real value.
Integrity however is a prerequisite that is seldom to found in the corporate world and the reason why is that in order to swim in a world full of politics, diverse interests, diplomacy, and political correctness you have to suppress your own ethos and fundamental values to be likable to your boss. If you are however the boss, or you operate in an organization where integrity is valued, then you are also in the position to evaluate the feedback from a partner correctly.
I respect all those co-workers of mine that have “fights” with me on issues they perceive as correct from their side. It shows something to me. Yes men or yes women are not my cup of tea. Because of those individuals, our organization goes forward.
Trusting your business partners and allowing different opinions without “removing” them from the way is the prerequisite for success. That is why democracies are the best possible managing systems they exist, with all their flaws. When I talk about these things, I can not help removing from my mind the pictures or short videos we see from North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un and all the laughing in agreement 5-star generals next to him. I can not imagine someone arguing with him without him being thrown in a lake of piranhas or executed with a AAA. So… all decisions are being made from the perceptions, narrowed-minded ideas of one person, which no one dares to challenge.
Have your opinion and stand for your opinion, be aware however on who you trust and which advice you follow. Be aware on how desperate the other party is to have you as a client and avoid the flattering words from all those that try to manipulate you by telling you what you want to hear.
Do you have the maturity for that? Do you have the soft skills required? Do you have human recognition skills and emotional intelligence?
Do you have what it takes to recognize between perceived and real value?