Earning Respect: Pead | radioinfo

Earning Respect: Pead

Sunday 30 October, 2016
Image: Shutterstock

Peady's Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector

 This week we’ll look at the subject of earning respect from your prospects and clients.

Last weekend the Australian Wallabies rugby union team got belted (again) by the All Blacks. After the match Aussie coach Michael Cheika claimed the Kiwis don’t respect his team any longer, which reminds me of the dilemma suffered by comedian Rodney Dangerfield whose catch phrase was - “I don’t get no respect”.

Media sales people

Many media sales people have similar lines about respect:

  • They didn’t return my call
  • They kept me waiting
  • They didn’t seem interested
  • They don’t seem to like me

Gaining others’ respect isn’t just about presenting your credentials or the credentials of who you represent. You can tell me you’re an MBA or have a marketing degree but if I think you’re an idiot the other stuff doesn’t matter. You can tell me your station is number one or can reach a specific demographic but if I don’t believe you or it’s not important to me, once again the other stuff doesn’t matter.

Respect starts with credibility and both have to be earned. Additionally, respect comes from your actions - actions speak louder than words!
Here’s 6 ways to help build respect:

  1. Under promise and over-deliver: Respect follows those who religiously do what they say they’ll do. Think about how you lose respect for someone. It happens when they say something that turns out not to be true. It doesn't matter how big or how small the act. The first time it happens you may forgive, the second or third time, you’ll never trust that person again.
  2. Focus on solutions: Respected sales people solve problems without creating new ones and they do it collaboratively. They don’t waste time playing the blame game. Analysing a problem and identifying the source is certainly valuable but once the problem is clear the focus should be on a mutually agreeable outcome.
  3. Use strong and positive body language: Let your body “speak” by conveying confidence in what you say and how you say it. Body language is so powerful and makes up around 55% of your message. Stand up straight, breathe deeply, look at the person you’re speaking to, remain centred, rest use your hands to make a point.
  4. Have a clear agenda: Know where you want the discussion or meeting to go - have an outcome quite clearly in mind and explain it to the other person. A roadmap or agenda makes it so much easier for both parties to move in the same direction. Hidden agendas, like poor body language are counter-productive and frustrating.
  5. Be likeable: You need to walk that fine line between not making it all about you and in fact making it all about you. Some sales people seem to think that if they try to make the conversation revolve around them, others will see them as important and worthy of respect. On the other hand, being overly self-effacing doesn’t help build credibility, either.  If you have something important to say, say it. But make sure it’s relevant to the person or situation.
  6. Earn respect by giving it: Treat others with respect and politeness even if they won’t do the same for you. Mostly they will appreciate it and respond in kind. While you can’t please everyone it’s a strong start. By the way don’t confuse showing respect with being submissive.

Ultimately, earning respect means you naturally convey confidence and leadership qualities. You are dependable and don’t allow emotions to control the situation. You are also willing to earn respect by showing respect. When you develop these six traits, you will earn the respect of others.

Until next week good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at stephen.pead@nrsmedia.com


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