Some people are seemingly born with great presence; the rest of us have to work at it. Our tendency is to write ourselves off in comparison to these people, believing that such charismatic and comfortably outgoing people are born that way. Lucky them to have such magnetic and compelling energy! In fact, we are all born with varying degrees of this energy. Unfortunately, many of us lose it, or it becomes depleted along the way for reasons including enculturation, how we are socialized in our family of origin, or through life events. It gets squeezed out of us.
Just like our muscles we can, through exercise, stretch and enhance our ability to express ourselves more fully. For most of us it’s about re-discovering it in ourselves.
Perhaps you have concluded through self-observation or from feedback that there are aspects of your presence that you’d like to adjust. Being more engaging, inclusive, or expressive, listening more (or less), showing your passion or demonstrating your empathy, often requires a big step between deciding to change a way of being, and actually manifesting the new behavior in a live setting. There has been a lot of research published in the fields of psychology and neuroscience about why we find behavior change so difficult. If you are willing to make a commitment to change, here are some steps to follow to help you successfully make the transition to a sales professional with an even greater presence:
• Give yourself permission to take a risk and try a new behavior. And give yourself permission to not succeed right away.
• Set yourself a goal e.g. I’m going to explicitly check in with my prospective buyer three times during our sales presentation.
• When you DO the new behavior try to notice two things, how your buyer responded and also what was happening inside you when you were able to do the new behavior. Ask yourself,, “what was my internal response – what did my critical voice say, did I feel uncomfortable or feel good about myself?” This “noticing” can help bring attention to the new behavior.
• When you DON’T do it notice that as well. . If it was something like your inner voice saying “It wasn’t the right meeting to make enquiries of the prospect.” or “They would not have responded to me because they just looked disinterested” Again, just the “noticing” helps bring the attention needed for behavioral change.
Having tried the new behavior, if all the external and internal feedback is positive, then doing it again and again will get easier and easier. You’re on your way to internalizing the new behavior. If it isn’t all positive see if you can make some adjustments for the next time.