When you introduce yourself and what you do for a living, do you often see other people tense up?
You're not alone. And it's probably not you they're reacting to. Experiences lead to expectations—and you can see it so quickly in a conversation.
In my world, I never introduce myself as a sales trainer. But when I'm at events, someone will sometimes introduce me to another person as a sales trainer. I can read the other person's face, and they can't wait to get away! To most people, the only thing worse than a sales person is a sales trainer.
There's nothing personal about this. They don't even know me! But their experience and expectations about salespeople create a gut reaction in them. I have to be aware of that if I'm going to have any meaningful conversation with them.
If you aren't careful, you can lose opportunities really quickly because of other people's assumptions about your industry.
Depending on the industry you're in, prospects might assume that you're trying to confuse them, trying to squeeze a hefty commission out of them, trying to sell them something they don't need—you can fill in the blank. And I'm sure you're familiar with the gut reaction that people have to your industry.
This is why the traditional sales model of "present, present, present" is flawed. There's such a small number of things we encounter each day that we quickly agree with. Most of the things we encounter we either disagree with or only agree with somewhat.
And "present, present, present" doesn't just happen in sales interactions. You might find this mindset in your company's marketing, advertising, and customer service, just to name a few.
Think of how quickly this happens to you when you're in the buyer's shoes. When you are able to approach a sales interaction from a different perspective than "present, present, present," that's a pattern interrupt. And it can be a really effective one.
What you've got to think about is how you can change the interaction. You have the ability to control and change that if you choose. Change your messaging and approach.
You might even find that people who tensed up when you introduced yourself are interested in what you do after all.