Business and leadership are one in the same. It’s impossible for a business to succeed for any length of time without being seen as a leader. Regardless of what we do, our goal needs to be in helping others see and achieve things they didn’t think were possible. Yes, this is easy to see if you’re a CEO, but it also applies to every employee regardless of position or title.This is why it’s so imperative for every business to have a culture that fosters within every employee an attitude of helping others.
Fast forward this idea to the sales profession and ask yourself the question, “Is the salesperson who helps their customers see and accomplish things they didn’t think were possible going to be successful?” Sure they are!
“Is the department manager who can motivate their team in this way going to be more successful?” Of course!
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point!
If we’re going to be seen as a leader in our job, we first have to take a look at ourselves, or as I like to say, we first have to change our outlook on life to change our output in life.
Leadership is not an activity. Leadership is a passion! It is a passion to serve others. This is the way we change not only our outlook but bigger yet, our output.
Let’s bring this over to the sales profession — a profession many people detest, and I too had no desire to be part of until I began to see how leadership and sales fit together. If you’re in sales, and you see yourself as simply just a supplier of widgets or whatever you sell, you’re failing to understand your role. If, on the other hand, you view yourself as a leader who has as their goal to help others see and achieve things they didn’t think were possible, it begins to change your outlook as to how you approach customers (and everyone, for that matter).
Below is a quick comparison between a salesperson and a leader. You’ll quickly see how closely the two are aligned:
Salespeople want to get people to buy. Leaders seek to have people take action.
Salespeople pursue to uncover the needs the customer has to know how to help them. Leaders seek to uncover problems that are stopping something from being accomplished.
Salespeople must have credibility if they want to be believed. Leaders must have credibility if they want to be believed.
Salespeople have to get their customers to buy into their ideas before they will buy. Leaders have to get their people to buy into their ideas for anything to happen.
My point is as leaders we have to see ourselves as selling ourselves and our vision in a way that allows those we lead to do the same. The same applies for salespeople.
If someone wants to be a great leader, in essence, they’re becoming a great salesperson. If your goal is to become a great salesperson, in essence, you’re a great leader.
About the Author
Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter, is author of “High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.” He is a consultative selling expert committed to helping individuals and companies identify better prospects and close more profitable sales.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.