What Charlie Chaplin Can Teach Us About Selling

Charlie Chaplin Sales Tips

We think too much and feel too little.   More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness”

Charlie Chaplin

Is it too harsh to say that what is stifling you and your business right now is that you think too much?

The reality is that how you feel about what you are doing and what you are choosing dictates what you do and how you choose to do it and so how people perceive and react and even how you interpret their responses.

Let’s break down how this works (or doesn’t work) and then look at how to do it differently.

Less thinking, more feeling

You think you are no good at sales … this makes you feel bad about going approaching people and you then go and act on this …. you feel awkward and like you are bad at selling and connecting. You choose not to be super positive about your business, you choose not to ask all the questions you know you should or to ask people to take the next step with you …. the people listening to you pick up on this and then respond accordingly. You see the response (which isn’t what you wanted) as confirmation you are no good at selling. And so the cycle continues.

People connect with your heart and how you feel about what you do in your business.  Talking about what we do with our heart, with our passion allows others to understand and connect.  Better than that we can invite other people to engage with our business and buy from us.  To do this, we start with the inspiration and know the client journey and then allow and help them to take that journey.

When we stand in our heart truth and then get out of our own way, we can truly make this about our clients and allowing them to engage with us and our business.

ACTION:  Write a few lines about how you first felt about starting your business. Why did you start your business? What was it that ignited your passion and got you to take that leap?

Less machinery, more humanity

Often when people first meet me they will say that they have been taught all the sales tricks and tactics … and none of the work. I agree completely and let me tell you why.

The machinery of sales (the tactics and strategies) is important. But (and it's a big but) what is more important is to put that machinery to use in a way that benefits humanity.  

Too often we (badly) employ the tactics we have learned and then blame the tactics.  We use the machinery of sales without connecting it to the human we are speaking to and then wonder why it doesn’t work. 

We do this because we are fearful of sales, fearful of being ourselves, fearful of being rejected.  We hide our humanity behind the tactics.  When we choose to do that, we are stopping people from connecting with us and stopping the flow of opportunity that may arise from the connection.

ACTION:  Please forget all the sales tactics you have ever learned. Don’t try to use them, just try to connect and be open and allow the conversation to happen. When you see an opportunity to ask more questions – do that. When you see an opportunity where you can help someone – offer that.

Less Cleverness, More Kindness and Gentleness

We think that when we are out talking to prospective clients that what we are supposed to do or what they want to see is how clever we are how we have mastered our art, how we are perfect. We act clever. We talk about ourselves and our achievements. We talk up everything.

The truth is that people, all people, just want to be heard and understood. They want to know first that you understand who they are and what they are trying to achieve and what their problems are.  In order to get people to share this information we have to be gentle; we have to listen and probe.  Only once we understand the other person should we engage and think about talking about ourselves and what we do.

In fact, prospective clients want to know, above all else, if we can help them … and that only happens when we first understand where they are and what they want to do and not do.  More than that they want to get to know us and believe in us, and that only happens when we are transparent and real.  To be more real we need to be kind and gentle with ourselves and expose our mistakes and our wins. We need to be honest about how we approach and work with our clients.

ACTION: Think about what questions you should be asking your prospective clients to find out more about them and then some stories you can share where you made a mistake and what you learned from that.
Can't wait to hear what you do with this ! Let me know how you go!