Why Do We Have One Mouth?

I had a meeting today with a world known company that offers a healthcare product. The company works in the network marketing model. Rakesh (name changed) fixed my meeting with the regional head received me and we went to the conference room.

There were two young men sitting. As I was barely introduced to the young men, one of them, Vardaan (name changed) started telling me about how he quit his last job to work in this company full time. He told me how this healthcare product has benefitted him and family. He subconsciously tried to motivate me for doing the business using Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory - You have security, you build relationship, I got an opportunity to host the program, there are young, (having paid attention to my age)... and middle aged girls also, my friends envied me when they saw my paycheck.

He went on for about 15 minutes, non-stop. I was listening to him attentively. When I paraphrased a couple of times, he disagreed with me and tried to convince me that it was not a network marketing.

He used all his arguments. Rakesh, also his upline, tried to tell him the purpose of my visit. But Vardaan was so excited and motivated that he didn't listen to him. After 15 minutes, I asked Rakesh that we should go for meeting.

The meeting aimed to discuss how I can add value to the business development of the company as a consultant, not as a buyer of their product.

When I started talking to the regional head, I told him how transformative could listening skills be for business partners like Vardaan.

There is a misconception that convincing is about speaking and telling. In fact, convincing is about telling the right things, to the right person and in the right way. In network marketing it is taught that everyone is a potential customer, a right person. I agree. I respect the enthusiasm. But listening to the right person would enlighten the speaker to speak right things rightly.

For example, Vardaan tried to motivate me for joining the business by telling that I could get safety, belongingness, esteem without understanding what could trigger me to join the business. Had it not been better, had Vardaan excited me to talk about what I aspire to be or do? Had it not been effective, had he asked a few questions from me? Is is not important to note "Hit the iron when it is hot." and "Hit the hotspot"?

Interestingly, I also did almost the same mistake when I told them what could I offer. I later realized that they have their own education system. I could have first asked if they offer training programs. It yes, what are different modules they cover. And then, I could have explained how I could add value.

Not understanding the needs of customers is one of the greatest challenges of sales professionals. This reminds me of the fifth habit 'seek first to understand, then to be understood' of Stephen R Covey.

It also reminds me of my school teacher who used to ask, "Why God has given us two legs, two arms, two eyes, two ears, but only one mouth?" And then would lovingly answer himself, "Use your legs, arms, eyes, ears twice than you use your mouth."

P.S.: I wanted to post this idea as a video talk, then thought I should use my hands more. :-)

#speaking #communication, #Persuading, #communication, #listeningskills, #networkmarking, #customerneeds