Well, are you?
Your job, as an Entrepreneur or a Salesperson is to change people’s minds and, ultimately, separate them from some of their hard earned cash, right?
If you were to listen to the opinions of some that you encounter both in and out of your professional life you would hear that there is no real difference.
Salespeople can’t be trusted, they’re only out for their commissions.
Entrepreneurs would say anything to become the, “next big thing.”
Well, I, as a life-long Salesperson and Entrepreneur certainly would disagree. For me, the difference between the two is night and day and that difference can be boiled down to ONE word.
And that word is: INTENT
You see, where “they” DO get it right is that Salespeople, Entrepreneurs, and Con Men share many similar skills. All three need to be excellent listeners, strong influencers, effective communicators, and capable networkers.
Heck, here’s a list of the “Ten Commandments of The Con Man,” written by Count Victor Von Lustig (alias) a famous con man from the 1930s. This man famously swindled Al Capone AND sold the Eiffel Tower… TWICE!
- Be a patient listener (it is this, not fast talking, that gets a con-man his coups).
- Never look bored.
- Wait for the other person to reveal any political opinions, then agree with them.
- Let the other person reveal religious views, then have the same ones.
- Hint at sex talk, but don’t follow it up unless the other fellow shows a strong interest.
- Never discuss illness, unless some special concern is shown.
- Never pry into a person’s personal circumstances (they’ll tell you all eventually).
- Never boast. Just let your importance be quietly obvious.
- Never be untidy.
- Never get drunk.
Accepting the fact that that list was written in 1937, and the language would need to be updated for a modern audience, that list isn’t all that different than what I’d coach a Salesperson or an Entrepreneur to adopt.
So, what IS the difference?
I’ll say it again: INTENT!
A REAL Salesperson is interested in the outcome of the customer. They understand that a, “take no prisoners,” “close at any cost,” mentality will enable them to make a quick dollar but it will destroy their reputation and destroy their long-term career prospects.
An Entrepreneur who wants to succeed and truly have a shot at being, “the next big thing,” NEEDS to care about their customer’s experience. They understand intuitively that, especially in this connected age (Glassdoor and Yelp I’m looking at you!), they need to vigilantly protect their brands.
Both Salespeople AND Entrepreneurs focus on adding value in EVERY interaction, not in extracting it.
These things aren’t optional. These aren’t things that you do “sometimes.”
If your customer’s experience with you isn’t a primary concern, then it will damage your business. You won’t satisfy everyone every time, but when a customer isn’t satisfied what do you do to fix the problem? What do yo do to make it right?
The best Salespeople guide their prospects through the buying process and facilitate each step. The customer doesn’t feel pushed or pressured. When I think of my own experiences purchasing products and services and consider them through the lens of a business growth strategist, lifelong salesperson, and sales coach I remember two types of purchasing experiences:
- Where I felt in control and enjoyed the purchase (never feeling “sold”)
- Where I felt pressured to make a decision and harried until I did
Which one do you think made the sale?
Which one do you think got a referral?
Uncharacteristically, there isn’t a specific challenge today. I’m just going to leave you with a question. Given what you’ve just read…
Are you a Con Man?
As always, thank you for stopping by!
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