What IS this?
Or, why being innately curious can make you a sales star.
One of the best ways to be a good salesperson – or a good businessperson…or even just a good person – is to be innately curious. This is a crucially important trait to develop within yourself and one that will serve you well in all aspects of your life. At its core it’s simple – just be genuinely interested in people and things – and carry that sense of curiosity with you wherever you go.
Throughout my sales career, particularly early on, I was fortunate to work for companies that emphasized the C.N.A. (Client Needs Analysis). This, I believe, is the most vital part of the sales process – more important than the presentation or even the close. It’s here where business is won or lost and here where world-class salespeople rise above the rest.
A good CNA involves well-researched and well-thought-out questions that are provocative, purposeful and force your customer or prospect to think. The goal is to uncover truths about their challenges, pain-points and the needs of their business. Ultimately it all comes down to taking a deep interest in someone.
Buddhists spend a great deal of time being curious – constantly asking what is this?, what is happening right now?, what is this moment? and Zen practitioners, in particular, seek to always be present with their life – to see life just as it is and to always be inquiring.
In this way, a Zen approach to sales will lead to fulfillment and success – not just by improving your focus during the CNA and throughout the sales process, but by instilling a constant, built-in curiosity to all that’s around you. This includes your customer and their needs – allowing you to actively listen, to creatively solve their problems and to be a trusted resource to your customers.