B. E. S. T. Behaviors – Emotion – Skill – Trust Being successful in sales does not mean you must become a puppet master manipulating your prospects at every turn. Some schools of thought suggest this, others advocate for a non-manipulative selling philosophy. The truth lies somewhere in between.While it is an overstatement to call sales professionals “puppet masters”, it is true that controlling the sales environment is critical to their success. Any effective sales process involves gaining a high degree of influence over your prospects. Sales professionals use various techniques to shape how prospects perceive them and their products. For example, they ask specific questions at strategic times to elicit desired emotions and reactions. They also present their offerings in a way that emphasizes the benefits they want prospects to remember, while downplaying any potential drawbacks. Through careful research into their prospects’ businesses, sales professionals uncover information that they can leverage to their advantage and maintain control over the sales environment.However, and this is important, if you want a long rewarding career in sales this control is not achieved to deceive or mislead your prospects. At the end of the day, forcing a sale onto a prospect is not only a disservice to the prospect but also to the company of that sales representative. A major contributor to a company’s and a sales professional’s long-term successes is the willingness of their clients to provide introductions and references. Therefore, the prospect must be sold what they need and get what they are sold. Closing a sale is not the last step in the sales cycle, it is the first step in the next sales cycle.So where does this control with integrity come from? Behaviors, emotions, sales skills and trust are the tools of our trade. One area being as important as the other because of their dependencies on each other. Within this four-pillar structure is where control with integrity is captured. BehaviorBehavior is communication. Behavior is not just “acting” professionally in front of your prospects. There is so much more to consider. How do you conduct yourself? Are you reliable? Are you trustworthy? Are you prepared? Do you respect your prospects’ time? Do you respect your own time? These are the questions that your prospects may not say out loud but they have and you answer them every time you have an encounter with them. EmotionEmotion is control. A dominant component in the sales process. Understanding and managing your own emotions are just as important as recognizing, generating and managing the emotions of the decision makers, influencers and users that you rely on to communicate your value and that of your product or service. SkillSkills are the how and when. Over the years selling skills have been introduced, refined and re-introduced. At GOAL we acknowledge that we are not the originators of many of the skills we focus on. We find comfort that the skills we teach have survived the test of time. However, when we teach sales skills through the Sales Success Playbook and the lens of the B. E. S. T. curriculum the power of each skill is magnified. TrustTrust is the heartbeat of the sales process. The sooner you earn the trust of your prospects, the sooner you can make real progress in your sales efforts. A relationship without trust does not allow you to truly know your prospects - their fears, real needs, and passions. A relationship without trust leaves you vulnerable to unnecessary surprises.