Selling To The Point can be described as mindfulness applied for salesperson performance. What is mindfulness? Meditation and mindfulness expert, Jon Kabat-Zinn, defines mindfulness as, “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.” Many large companies such as Aetna, Google, General Mills, and Target have implemented mindfulness programs for employees. These programs have yielded impressive results such as reducing stress and absenteeism, while improving communication and concentration. Despite the growing popularity of mindfulness in the workplace, mindfulness for salesperson performance isn’t getting as much attention as it should. After all, wouldn’t coaching salespeople to attain a more mindful inner state have tremendous benefits? Salespeople would be less stressed, more self-aware, more patient, and less likely to get discouraged and burned out. These are valuable benefits, but they don’t correlate as directly to performance numbers as a customer’s decision to buy does. Salesperson performance is ultimately measured by what the customer does, not by what the salesperson does. The distinction between salesperson performance and customer performance is explained at my website’s “two conversations” article. You can review it at this link http://www.sellingtothepoint.com/content/14. This article describes how there are two conversations involved in every sale. The first one is “Conversation A”. This is the conversation between the salesperson and the customer. “Conversation B”, on the other hand, is the internal buying conversation between the customer’s ears. Conversation B is also referred to as “the buying process”, and “decision-making.” Selling To The Point asserts that “conversation B” is more important for determining salesperson productivity. Selling To The Point is essentially training salespeople to do what Jon Kabat-Zinn is prescribing. We train salespeople to non-judgmentally observe their customers. Non-judgmental observation provides salespeople with the awareness needed to notice their customer’s buying process as it unfolds moment to moment. Awareness enables salespeople to respond more accurately. A more aware salesperson will offer assistance that’s more appropriate for his or her customer’s specific decision process. In an old Zen story, a student comes to visit his dying teacher. The student asks: “What is the teaching of your entire lifetime?” The teacher replies: “An appropriate response.” The true value of Selling To The Point becomes clear when salespeople discover how it evokes a mindful internal state for both salespeople and customers simultaneously. Another way of describing Selling To The Point is that the customer becomes the salesperson’s “mantra.” When salespeople are focused and intrigued with their customer’s buying process, the salesperson’s mind becomes absorbed and quiet. The salesperson’s appropriate response emerges to support buying. This is how mindfulness improves salesperson performance.

Jeffrey Lipsius