Is Psychology or Sales Evil

In a couple of posts we have been talking about listening and questions along with some related topics.  In a repsonse to Jim I thought of a conversation that he and I had about the perception he found in his consulting having a psychology back-ground.  The funny thing is that I often found the same perception in sales.

The perception is that these things mean manipulation – and this is some of the issue with any consulting process.  If done blindly it loses its reality and value as well as your credibility.  In my response to Jim’s comment of "I’m confused" as being a dissarming way of asking a client to re-explain themselves, the issue or whatever, if overused you are in trouble I said:

As with all good processes, you need to be careful as to how you use them.  In a conversation last week we were talking about how some people felt that if you had studied psychology, you were manipulative.  I have often found the same issue with sales and some of the training and the perception of behaviour.

Done with reality and honesty, the point is about understanding the other persons needs not your product or service.

In sales they say "telling is not selling"

We all struggle with the many pulls and hidden objectives and issues we balance.  I remember having to push a client due to our CEO’s expectations and ultimately having us kicked out of a client.  This hurt me not the client or the company.  I learned that I should have pushed back internally.  So we all have issues that drive our behaviour, we all sell, we are all sold to and so on.  So don’t blame the title or the education and focus on why we are at the table and drive to mutual value.

  1. Jim Reply

    Interesting post. Another thought I have is we all intend to influence others thinking. I assume the person who is suspect of my psychology training thinks that I will be better at influencing. I remember being really worried the first time I attended a psychotherapy session and discovering to my surprise it was simply a really good converstion about my issues. I guess we all come to the table with lots of preconcieved notions, more hidden factors.

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