The 70/30 Rule To Client Relationships

"Listening, not talking is key to selling high value professional services and solutions," according to Joe Murphy, the professional sales force and turn around consultant. Maybe you've heard this quote, "God gave man two ears and one mouth, and he is supposed to use them in that proportion."

The best people who consult and sell practice what is called the "70/30 rule." This rule says you should talk only 30 percent and listen 70 percent. Most people make the fatal mistake in selling believing that selling is really about being a good talker. People who believe this are usually not very successful, a little arrogant and probably not very good learners. They think they should talk the client to death. You have even heard people say, "You have the 'gift of the gab' and therefore you should be in sales. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Using your ears and mouth in this ratio is one of the vital key to sales success, in almost any profession. In fact, when you think about it, the ability to listen well is indispensable in developing high quality relationships.

One of the keys to developing the "70/30" habit is to focus "On the Other Person." This mean that you need to become "other-centered." This means be interested in others, instead of trying to become interesting.

Here are two great ways to do this;
  1. Put an imaginary spotlight on the other person. Think of the person on a stage and the spotlight is on them.
  2. This one is key; ask great questions. One of the best skills you can develop is to ask great questions of the other person. When you do this, you cannot help but to get the other person to talk about their needs, their problems, and how they want to be helped.

Good luck.

Branding Your Work

Branding as a consultant, or an attorney or lobbyist or a highly paid executive, is about getting to be known, how you wish to be known. This is both art and science. It requires finesse, and a process of thinking and implementing. But it all starts with your intense desire to be recognized and then your ability to sit down and think about two questions;
  1. What characteristics do you value? What is important to you?
  2. What characteristics are important to your clients? What is important to them?

When you think about these two points of view, you will gain an understanding of perhaps why you are not known, or why you are an "also ran."

In reality, these two questions are very simple questions or seem to be. But hardly anyone, except the best, ever asks these questions of themselves.

However, you must.

Take out a sheet of paper and write down the characteristics of #1 today. Write them out on a sheet of paper. Not on the computer/laptop. On paper. This is key and is critical to stimulating your thinking. Go to Starbucks or McDonalds to do this. And do it early in the morning. Go to someplace where you can be alone! (i.e. not interrupted).

Your list today may look like this:

  1. I want to be known as; honest
  2. I want to be known as; hardwarking
  3. I want to be known as; smart
  4. I want to be known as; On top of my game.
  5. I want to be known as; Easy to do business with.
  6. I want to be known as; Positive
  7. Etc.

You get the picture here? Good. Now go do it. Tomorrow, we will cover this again. Because these two questions are not as easy as you think they might be!


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