When presenting to a client or prospect, regardless of any steps you’ve outlined in your presentation, there’s a big difference between convincing or ‘selling’ someone and enrolling someone, especially when you’re at the point in your discussions where you’ve identified some specific problems within the organization or with them. Now, you may be at the point where you’re going to share the solution and enroll them in the solution and more so, taking action and making a change.
Convincing: Changing someone’s stand on something through the use of force or argument. This often takes the form of a complaint, or reiteration of the problem. If there are people who in involved in your discussions who may have taken a part in creating the problem in the first place, this can be construed as a “Make wrong” and they may then feel compelled to defend their stance. This creates an adversarial posture between you and the other person. Once this happens, people have tendency to further defend their position, which often results in them shutting down their listening for the remainder of the conversation.
Enrolling: Stating the current situation without making anyone wrong while sharing a new opportunity for greater results or what may be possible. Stating the benefits of what a change may bring. For example, the beginning of an enrollment conversation may begin with, “Imagine if………What if we can create an organization where…..”
Enrolling can also take on the form of asking questions. Besides, what do people believe more, what you say, or what they say? As such, if they voice the problem or a possible solution, then they would be more willing to act on it. Resistance is lowered, and they feel ownership of the solutions and would be more apt to act on it. Here are some questions to use.
1. If I could have your three biggest problems or headaches disappear, what would they be?
2. How do the challenges you’ve shared with me affect you, especially if you do not hit your goals?
3. What is it going to cost you if you don’t make any changes and continue the way you are now?
4. What solution or greater result would be worth changing for?
5. What would your company or division be like if you no longer had to deal with those issues anymore?
Here are a few questions to use when you’re in a situation where you need to acknowledge and respect the other person’s viewpoint, even though you may not agree. Or, maybe you simply need more clarification about their position on something. Instead of making them wrong or creating any confrontational posture between you, add another truth to the situation. Here’s how.
1. Can you please share with me your thinking on that?
2. May I share my view on that?
3. Is it possible that there may be more/other facts to consider?
4. What else is true about that?
5. Is it possible that there is another approach/solution here?
Uncover the specific benefits they want to realize, as well as the cost of not changing. Now, you can be in a position of enrolling them in the idea of actually taking actions to implement change to achieve these new results, without putting anyone on the defensive.
No one likes to be sold. Everyone wants to be enrolled.