Do you have 'sales super powers'?

Marc Thaler

LONDON – Paul Kenny kicked off his keynote address with two confessions.

A sales coach for Ocean Learning, Kenny first said he always worries about speaking at conferences. His concern is how much coaching he can do in an hour. His other admission?

“I really can’t resist an audience like this,” Kenny said Tuesday at the MAX 2014 EU Customer Conference. “People staying up all night worrying about running their own business, customer service, client support … it was an easy win for me to come and speak to you.”

Super-PowersKenny’s keynote at the Hilton Heathrow Terminal 5 hotel focused on the need for conference attendees to draft a list of useful questions. And those questions are aimed at a specific audience:

They are aimed at you, your employees. You may be suffering from a communication breakdown, as Kenny explained at the MAX 2014 U.S. Customer Conference.

“What do we need to be better at, to (beat) the competition – by a nose?” Kenny said while showing a PowerPoint image of a thoroughbred horse race decided by a photo finish.

So, how do you separate your company from competitors seeking to land the same client? Kenny said talking about the service you provide merely initiates the conversation.

“It’s how you communicate with the customer (who is) using that technology that makes the difference,” he said. “That’s why we have to be speaking about the broader, non-technical issues.”

Kenny encouraged every business leader and sales person to develop “sales super powers” or “habits that matter.” Those habits include:

  • Creative empathy – The ability to appreciate and anticipate what a customer might value and to find a way of creating value early in the sales process.
  • Dialogue – The ability to build a detailed understanding of the need behind the need.
  • Engaging stories – The ability to communicate in a meaningful, relevant and memorable way.
  • Gaining commitment – The ability to build value by getting the client to make continuous commitments to address their needs.
  • Managing resistance – The ability to add value by addressing inevitable concerns, worries and doubts in a credible way.

“It’s making them feel that they want to do business with you that really matters,” Kenny said.