“By 2029, computers will have emotional intelligence and be convincing as people”. (Ray Kurzweil, Brainyquote.com. 12.11.2014)
Do you believe in a future where computers have emotional intelligence? Can emotional intelligence be integrated into computers, when not even all human beings are capable of maximizing their potential in terms of emotional intelligence?
If you have ever worked in sales, you know how important it is to not only sound, but to actually BE, convincing. In fact, this applies to others than just salespeople, or, put in a wider perspective, we all kind of work in sales, at all times, and in all situations in life.
However, being convincing is not a synonym to being truthful. Although sales, as any other performance, should always include being truthful, there are always people who do not care so much about the truth, or who prefer creating their own truth. We find examples of these across society, of people who convince themselves first, and are color-blind to truth. I have once before quoted Anaïs Nin in this perspective: “We do not see the world as it is. We see it as we are”.
Throughout centuries, truth has been discussed by philosophers, with a number of frameworks and theories built around a single word with so much meaning. Without going deeper into the different philosophical theories about truth, I just want to pinpoint that truth can be personal, and what is true to another individual, is not necessarily true to you. Some people are very convincing without actually telling the truth (a common truth that applies to the majority of people). There are many sad stories about individuals living their personal truths with a lack of morals, and humanity. Without having to explain further, I am pretty sure that you can think of a number of these.
What does it take to be convincing? It is quite simple:
Being convincing requires having confidence and trust in yourself.
You also need to be convinced about the matter/product/situation. Selling Snow from the Sahara requires your personal conviction about the existence of snow in the Sahara. It is impossible to sell something that actually does not exist – that would equal to fooling your clients.
In solution-based, client-oriented selling you can of course, in cooperation with your customer, define their needs, and based on those needs, create a tailored solution for them. That is problem-solving with and for the client. But you cannot promise a client that you can provide them with snow from the Sahara when you both know that there is no snow in the Sahara. And even if your customer does not know this, YOU know.
Conviction includes taking moral responsibility in the first place. It also requires technical knowledge about what it is you are offering. All too often it is a fact that clients are offered various kinds of solutions by people who do not even know their products well enough. This includes not only a risk for the customer, who pays for the service/product, but also risks for the service/product provider: low quality leads to unsatisfied customers, and is a real slap in the face in regards to your brand’s image and reputation.
Want to act morally and truthfully correct? Integrate the following into your (work) life:
– Do not get involved into anything that is against your personal values/morals/knowledge/beliefs.
– Always be truthful to your clients/people around you.
– Know your product/service before actually offering it to your clients. If there is something you do not know, make sure to inform yourself so that you do not let your clients down.
– Take responsibility. True professionals and experts have not only a broad knowledge in their field, but are also continuously developing themselves, and seek to transform their knowledge into wisdom.
– Live as you teach. There is no point in saying something, but acting in the opposite way.
“You cannot convince anyone of anything. You can only give them the right information in order for them to convince themselves”. (Eben Pagan. Quote Essays.com. 12.11.2014).