Do you want to grow relationships? Are you interested in improving sales? Improved self-awareness is a good place to start.
When we think of the benefits of self-awareness, we often focus on self-improvement. That’s a key benefit, but it’s not the only one. Through improving your understanding of yourself, you can foster better relationships with others.
Here are three ways to use improved self-awareness to grow relationships and sales.
As you become more self-aware, you can become more confident and comfortable with yourself. This enables you to interact with others more authentically.
People notice when you are uncomfortable, or when your behavior seems fake or awkward. They may feel disconnected from you or uncertain about your true nature.
When you get comfortable and show up in an authentic way, people know what to expect from you. They know what strengths you can provide and where to best place you.
This doesn’t mean that you’re always perfect! It’s actually better for people to know what weaknesses to expect from you. This gives them the opportunity to help compensate.
Think about an “idea” person who’s bad at follow-up. If they’re not open with their team, they might try to hide that weakness. They might confidently take on managing projects, even though they know it will be difficult for them to follow through to completion.
On the other hand, if they’re more authentic, they can open up to their team and leaders, working together to develop a plan that avoids potential failure.
Through improved self-awareness, you will likely develop a better understanding of people. You might identify certain things within yourself that you can then easily see in others. Or as you look at your strengths and weaknesses, you might see where others have complementary strengths and weaknesses.
If you focus on factual, actionable self-awareness, you’ll develop language and frameworks around behavior that you can apply to others. When you leverage behavioral assessments, you may even learn specific models.
As you are focused on self-improvement, think of how your strengths and weaknesses impact and are impacted by others around you. Who do you work best with? What makes those relationships work?
You might find that you tend to butt heads with people who are very similar to you, or you might find it difficult to work with your polar opposites.
When you stop trying to figure out people’s motives, and instead focus on their behavior, you’re better positioned to understand them and figure out how you can work together. This is a key element if you want to grow relationships.
Maybe you’re a strong leader with high expectations for how things should be done. You might then see how others demonstrate their commitment to excellence in different ways. Rather than getting frustrated at their approaches or being suspicious of their motivations, you can align on your shared commitment, each approaching it in a different way.
Our mission at Criteria for Success is to enable buying in a world of selling. Through improved self-awareness and better relationships with others, you’ll enable your prospects to buy, rather than having to convince them.
Just like who you are impacts how you function within your team, it impacts how you relate to prospects and clients. You’ve likely noticed that some relationships seem easy, while others are difficult or seem impossible.
Rather than trying to figure out why prospects act in certain ways, focus on what they are doing and what they are asking for.
Is the prospect rushing you? Do they want enough information to make a decision quickly without getting into the weeds? If so, how can you leverage your strengths to help summarize the situation and get to a decision quickly?
Maybe your prospect seems more interested in the vision behind the potential opportunity. They might want to be a key driver for a major improvement for their company. Take the time to get to know them and understand their goals and desires. See how you can support them in achieving their goals.
Some prospects might seem resistant to change. Rather than pushing them to move more quickly, work to understand what they might need to feel comfortable moving forward. Maybe they need to understand the implementation process and even talk to a member of your delivery team. Instead of asking why they need this, focus on what you can do to support their decision process.
Other prospects might be more analytical. They might ask you for information, specs, and detailed breakdowns of cost and ROI. Rather than perceiving this as an attack on your credibility or a waste of time, give the prospect what they need. They may be a more detailed-oriented buyer, or they’re simply part of a process that requires attention to detail. Providing it will help move the opportunity forward.
The four examples above are a very high-level summary of the DISC model. For a deep dive into using that model to improve your selling relationships, check out a webinar I led on the subject.
Sell More Using Personality Types
The Why & How of Human Behavior
One final note on improved selling through self-awareness. As you get to know yourself better and begin to understand others, you may find that some types of prospects are difficult for you to engage with in a productive way. With approval from leadership, this can be a good time to determine when it makes sense to either remove a target from your list or hand it off to someone who might be a better fit.
Any other ideas to grow relationships and improve sales through better self-awareness? Share them in the comments!
And don’t forget to check out my latest eBook, which is all about how to improve self-awareness to help with personal growth as well as growing relationships and sales.
Build Relationships & Improve Your Life