Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke

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Selling by Using Permission

Greg is a likeable and knowledgeable professional. He works in sales, but also functions as a leader in the capacity of sales manager. When he meets with prospects and customers they can be assured that they will receive a thorough presentation. Often times, while Greg is making a presentation his audience seems to drift off and lose interest. He tried adding more sizzle to his handouts and PowerPoint slides, but still the same result. After a visit with his sales coach the light went off for Greg: He was talking too much, and for way too long without interruptions. What coaching taught him was a technique whereby he sells by using permission. The permission technique can hold a myriad of benefits during conversations or the selling experience. A handful of those benefits are shown below.

 

  1. Move a conversation forward, without losing your audience in the process. Some leaders and sales professionals talk and talk and talk and, at some point, their audience loses their will to live due to disinterest. Yet, it is easy to keep the listener engaged by simply pausing on occasion and asking them something to the effect of: “That is a lot of information I have thrown at you, shall I continue or shall we go in a different direction?” If the listener desires to go in a different direction, they are still part of the conversation and you have not bored them. If they request that you carry on, you have gained their permission to move forward, and learned they are engaged in the conversation.

 

  1. Keep your fingers on the pulse of the listeners needs. Sometimes professionals have great information to share and volumes of it, but at some point the listener’s needs are met. By breaking up a conversation with various “permissions,” we land closer to the point where the listener’s needs are met.

 

  1. Demonstrate empathy. The skillful use of a permission sell telegraphs to the listener that you are empathetic to their point of view. It also shows good respect for their time. In other words, you want to share maximum information in minimal time.

 

  1. Help the listener feel in control of the conversational flow, even though you are controlling the core conversation. The asking of permission involves the other person, yet you are not relinquishing control of the floor. 

 

  1. Deliver buy-in to the topic at hand. Skillful use of selling by permission can let the leader or sales professional know if someone is onboard or not with regard to the topic of discussion.  

 

Bottom Line: Whether you tend to ramble during conversations or simply want to tap in to the mindset of your audience, selling by using permission holds vast benefits. By mastering this easy conversational technique, leaders and sales professionals can confidently move conversations forward, maintain the pulse of the listeners needs, and save time in the process.

 

Do you want to use this blog post in print or online? 

Please do so, as long as you do not alter the content or embedded links. Also, please include the following information: Doug Van Dyke is a leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. Doug’s book, Leadership Simplified, as well as audios and videos are available at www.leadershipsimplified.com. To learn more about coaching and training services, contact Doug today at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 

 

© 2011 DVD Consulting Incorporated, all rights reserved.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2011-11-28 at 07:48 AM
events • (0) CommentsPermalink

Penn State Mess Showcases Serious Lack of Ethics, Courage and Judgment

Many leaders possess the raw skills and charisma to lead effectively. They craft a meaningful mission and vision for the organization, and effectively drive the execution of strategic plans. As the recent and still unfolding events at Penn State University illustrate, however, there is more to leadership than skills and efficiency.

 

Over the past decade or so, influential people associated with the Penn State football program have been aware of improprieties. Rather than take bold unpopular action, various Penn State leaders chose to ignore a serious situation. Did the people closest to the problem follow “procedures” when they were made aware of unacceptable behavior? Answer: It appears so. Did these leaders do the right thing? Answer: No way. They failed in three key areas.

 

First of all, there was a lack of ethics. Let’s be clear on this point: From an ethical standpoint it is the leader’s duty to follow through to make certain that poor behavior is dealt with properly and expeditiously. At Penn State, the head football coach was made aware of a horrible incident, and while he elevated the issue to his superior, he did not follow up to ensure a resolution to the problem. This is not leadership, this is passing the buck.

 

Secondly, there was lack of courage. There are times when leaders find themselves in uncomfortable situations. The dilemma that leaders sometime face is that on one hand they clearly have a moral obligation to act on an event, and on the other hand they feel pressure not to harm the reputation, aura, and power of a previously pristine organization. The person who first witnessed unacceptable behavior at Penn State faced this type of dilemma. It appears that he did not muster the courage to take a stand for what was right. Real leadership would have called for him to help an innocent victim, and to confront a well-respected (at the time) and influential member of a lauded football program.

 

Lastly, there was poor judgment. Leaders on many levels at Penn State had the opportunity to investigate and subsequently eliminate unacceptable behavior. Their failure to act accordingly showed miserable judgment, which subsequently allowed for additional innocent people to be victimized. It should be clear from the Penn State example that sound judgment is symbiotic with sound leadership.  

 

Once improprieties were brought to the attention of the Board of Trustee of Penn State University, however, they acted quickly and reactively. An internal investigation was ordered, the president of the university was fired, and the football coach – a man with tenure of over 40 years and a previously spotless reputation – was let go without fanfare. While it is curious that broader firings have not occurred pertaining to the issue, it does appear that the Board of Trustees has a commitment to ethics and judgment, as well as the courage to take on difficult situations. With their unanimous decisions and decisive actions, the Board of Trustees sent a message that unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated at Penn State. It is a shame that other leaders at their institution did not possess the same qualities when they could have made a positive difference.

 

Do you want to use this blog post in print or online? 

Please do so, as long as you do not alter the content or embedded links. Also, please include the following information: Doug Van Dyke is a leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. Doug’s book, Leadership Simplified, as well as audios and videos are available at www.leadershipsimplified.com. To learn more about coaching and training services, contact Doug today at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 

 

© 2011 DVD Consulting Incorporated, all rights reserved.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2011-11-27 at 12:59 PM
speaking and training • (0) CommentsPermalink
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