To sell effectively, we need to be proud of our profession. To take pride in our work, we need a fresh paradigm that overhauls the old pushy stereotype. Today I want you to imagine and think of yourself as a leader. Here are three mindset changes will transform the way that you walk, talk, and sell. This is how Sales is Leadership.
Sales is Leadership #1: Envision a better future
One word that perfectly describes leaders is ‘visionary.’ As a leader, it is your job to picture a brighter future for your potential clients. The more effectively you communicate this vision and what it looks like, the easier it will be for your prospects to understand what they are really buying. In principle, this is what ‘value selling’ is – showing followers (i.e. clients) the payoff for investing in your product.
What is the brighter future you are proposing? Don’t stop at saving time or increasing revenue. These are commodities that lead to other outcomes. Ask “what would you do with the extra time,” or “what would you do with the additional revenue?” Once you have the answers to these questions, continue painting that picture for your prospect to see and be inspired.
Sales is Leadership #2: Always maintain initiative
Leaders are doers. They make things happen. Effective leaders accept responsibility for failures and give credit to others in success. As a leader, it is your role to be the person who initiates, plans action steps, and follows up to ensure their completion.
Whenever you are close to wrapping up a sales call, create a to-do list with your prospect. If they said they “need to think about it,” ask them what actions they will take to gain more clarity. They may need to speak to another decision maker, check their budget, or conduct some research. Nail down what they are going to do between the time you hang up to the next phone call, which will act as a natural deadline for completion.
Sales is Leadership #3: Make others feel good
While most leaders try to make themselves feel good about themselves, effective leaders make others feel good about themselves. An insecure leader needs to puff themselves up, while secure leaders are happy to give credit to others.
Put your ego aside when working with colleagues and prospects. If your prospect is more knowledgeable about your industry than you are, compliment rather than compete with them. Say “thank you” to any colleagues who assist you in your sales efforts. A little courtesy goes a long way!
Sales is leadership. The similarities are so numerous, that they are indistinguishable. If you want to be an effective leader, you need to envision a better future for your prospects, maintain initiative and responsibility, and make others feel good about themselves. This new paradigm will give you a renewed appreciation for the honourable profession of sales.
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Filmed in Chadstone, Melbourne