No! No! No! – The Three You Need to know…

This guest post is from Philip Pound, founder of EFL Magazine. Some salient advice for freelancers (both teaching and writing) trying to ‘sell’ their work or skills.

A sales trainer once told me, “no matter what you do in life you’re always selling” I may have forgotten most of the rest of that seminar, but that has stuck with me.

If you feel you need a little primer on how to sell, have a read of this article and be sure to do some more research.

  1. Take no for an answer

Many newbies starting out in their sales careers are terrified of rejection. They’re afraid of hearing no. We think when we hear “no” it’s a rejection of us as a person. This is not the case.

Hearing “no” is often our best friend.

Let me explain…

In my 10+ years in sales, if I have learned anything for my efforts, it was your clients say yes when they oftentimes mean no. You get your hopes up, you follow up, and eventually it’s a no.

Why did this happen? “They seemed so positive”, you say. And yes, many times business decisions are made by committee. And yes, it takes only one person to blackball your fantastic proposal.

But

More often though, It’s your prospect who can’t bear to say “no” You see, if being rejected feels like a hammer blow, having to reject is far worse.

So what happens?

When they mean no they say yes.

In his book, Never Split the Difference, former FBI negotiator Chris Voss Outlines 3 types of yes: Counterfeit, Confirmation, and Commitment.

A “Counterfeit Yes” is when your prospect wants to say no but says yes in order to back of the deal and the feeling of being cornered

A “Confirmation Yes” is when your prospect interchanges yes with “I see” or “ok” for example

A “Commitment Yes” is what you want. It’s your prospect agreeing to take your product or service.

Voss recommends looking for the words “that’s right” as a more accurate gauge of your client’s intention to work with you.

On top of this, Voss advises to actively look for and invite “no” Check out more here

In the end, if getting a no means not having to waste your time following up with prospects. That in itself is a great result.

2. Start with no

Do you hate salespeople?

In surveys over the years, salespeople come out bottom of the least-liked jobs. Why is this? You may have your opinion, but for me one big factor comes out on top.

Trust.

It’s like this, you see a salesperson sidle up to you with that big smile and over-familiar patter. Sub-consciously you feel we’re going to “be sold”and there’s going to be some manipulation and guilt-tripping involved . Of course, not all salespeople are like this. But they do exist. And we hate how they make us feel.

Why do we feel like this and what can we do as salespeople to not scare away or prospects?

In his book, Start with No, Jim Camp talks about the power of no in negotiations and sales.

One of his tips is to be forthright about your intentions from the very outset. To be clear that you want to sell and what your price is. In this way, the prospect will not have the creepy feeling that there’s an agenda afoot. The air is clear and you can move on. He also talks about the power of no and how seeking and hearing it can help uncover your prospect’s pain points and help you to shape your solution to fit.

3. Always be prepared to say no

When you work in sales there’ll always be a few clients that you’ll stay in touch with even after moving on to another company. One such gentleman once handed me this nugget of advice. I’ve never forgotten it and it’s served me well.

Always be prepared to walk away

The story goes like this: He’d secured the exclusive distribution rights for a famous beverage in Ireland. Then with the contract in hand he went with a lot of optimism to one of that country’s largest retailers. This was a big contract, and undoubtedly one he wanted in the bag.

But he walked away.

Why?

Well, the buyer was unnecessarily rude, demeaning, and aggressive.

His response was “ Thank you, but I don’t need your business”

In your business, there’s never a contract that’s too big to lose your self respect and honour over. Think of the long run, the client treats you with contempt or arrogance how is the relationship going to develop? Not well, is it. Being too eager to close a deal also leaves you open to looking desperate. People can smell desperation from a mile away. It’s a sales repellant.

If you’re always ready to say no, you’ll have the upper hand.

Oh, and he landed the contract in the end

10 Easy Ideas for CPD

Join a SIG­

A SIG is a Special Interest Group – Most associations will have them. Joining a SIG gives you the opportunity to mix with other professionals who share your interests and knowledge in a specific area. IATEFL has 16 different SIGs, from Business English to Materials Writing (and many in between). There will often be meetings or conferences organised by the SIG on the specific topic that you are interested in. If you can’t find a SIG to suit your interests – why not start one?

Go to a Conference

Conferences are an excellent way to broaden your horizons, met fellow teaching professionals and learn more about the areas of teaching you are interested in. There are also great opportunities for networking (not everyone’s idea of fun – but important for development nonetheless). There are huge conferences with thousands of delegates and hundreds of sessions, which can be somewhat overwhelming (e.g. IATEFL) and there are many smaller conferences, with a smaller choice of sessions but a more intimate feel (e.g. InnovateELT). Choose one locally or travel abroad and combine it with some sightseeing!

Present at a conference

Once you’ve been to a conference, pluck up the courage to present at one. It might seem terrifying, but it is an excellent way to become proficient in a topic and may even lead to more job opportunities. Start with a small one, and work up to the bigger events.

Lead a Workshop

If the thought of presenting at a conference brings you out in a cold sweat, how about leading a workshop where you teach? You could even go on to take it to other schools, events or even conferences. Starting small, with familiar faces is a great way of dipping your toe into presenting. Choose a topic you are interested in (and/or good at) and share it with your co-workers.

Join a Facebook Group

There are loads of Facebook groups for all sorts of reasons. Choose one (or more) that reflects your interests and contribute. If grammar is your thing, then try Hugh Dellar’s ‘English Questions Answered’ group; if you are after resources then ‘Resources for English Teachers’ maybe useful; if you fancy connecting with teachers from all over the world then the British Council group could be for you.

Try Something New

Once you’ve lurked a while in some Facebook groups, you will have picked up some new ideas – now use them in your classroom. Make a concerted effort to do something different and then take time after to reflect on how it went. How did the learners react? How comfortable did you feel? How did it change your lesson? Did it help your learners? Would you do it again? Why? Why not? Would you change it? How? What went well? What bombed?

Collaborate

Find a colleague that you trust/admire/get on with and collaborate on lessons, activities or curriculum planning. Reflect together, give each other constructive feedback. Be brave and observe each other’s lessons and give feedback. If you observe, make sure you decide in advance what you are looking for – have a specific remit (i.e. error correction, TTT, do you include all learners etc).

Record a Lesson

If you don’t fancy having a colleague critiquing your lesson, why not record your lesson so that you can reflect on it after? Your school may have rules about video, so make sure you get permission. Otherwise, record the audio to remind yourself. You could keep a portfolio of recordings to see your growth as a teacher.

Do Some Action Research

Ask yourself a question about an area of teaching you are interested in or wish to develop and use a reflective process to deepen your understanding. If you have never heard of action research, read this article for more information https://englishagenda.britishcouncil.org/continuing-professional-development/teacher-educator-framework/demonstrating-effective-teaching-behaviour/classroom-action-research

Pass It On…

Write an article or post about something that interests you, create a short course to teach others what you know, record a webinar or make a video answer a question that you hear or are asked often. Have you ever been asked for advice? Give that advice to other teachers.

Share what you know with others. Every teacher has something that they know, that they can pass on.

http://www.ELT.Training would LOVE your contributions (other websites & blogs also available!).