Whether you are in sales, guiding employees or dealing with upset customers, perception and preparation will determine the outcome of the situation you are facing.
No matter how we try to deliver information, how it is received and perceived can have all the impact in the world. Recently, I watched an overwhelmed waitress take a series of food orders when someone made a special request that was going to require extra work on her part. Her immediate response was, “Well, that’s just not going to happen.”
Everyone who heard her comment immediately forgot how overwhelmed she was and saw her in a very negative light.
When working with people you must create the perception that you are interested in more than just what you want. If the employee, prospect, or customer believe you are only interested in what you want, they will shut you off and immediately go negative.
How can you do your best to control that perception? Preparation.
Proper preparation gives you information on what the prospect, employee, or upset customer is looking for.
Do your research. Never walk into a sales call cold. Never meet an upset customer without knowing exactly the details of the situation that upset them. When working with employees, know how to tap into their motivation and truly listen to what they are telling you.
Once people believe you have their best interests at heart, and you fully understand where they are coming from, the value you will gain from this is significant.
The other piece of preparation that is important is preparing yourself for battle. Dealing with the pubic is no doubt the hardest job in the world. If you are in a service position (which includes every manager with employees to serve), you need to prepare yourself for your day and what may come your way. Most damage in relationships comes from knee-jerk emotional response, usually, when unprepared to face what just happened.
In today’s pace of business, most people aren’t taking the time to make these steps of preparation. Because preparation is in such short supply, those who are fully prepared to respond can create the proper perception and annihilate the competition.
Do your customer, employees and prospects perceive that you care? Take a hard look at your preparation because proper preparation will create the preferred perception to create a powerful performance.