I see sales as the most fantastic position anyone can have. Often, I struggle with what to call it because I don’t see it as a profession, I don’t see it as a job, I see it as a lifestyle. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and clearly, these are unusual times. It is in a time such as this that I see sales as an honor because it is about helping people.
More than ever, our job is to help people. The days of thinking you, as a salesperson, can jam something into someone’s face and get them to buy are long gone. Customers are smart! If I thought that’s what sales is all about, there is no way I would be in love with sales. I’m in love with sales simply because I love people.
A core principle in my new book, A Mind for Sales is directed at helping you think differently about what you do and why. Read this sentence from page 69 – take a moment to ponder on what it means to you:
Value other people more than yourself. Value their goals and aspirations more than your own.
When I was in the midst of writing this book last year, I had no idea how much more weight this simple sentence would carry in helping each of us understand our role. Embrace what this sentence is saying, and you’ll find yourself viewing sales not as a job, not as a profession, but as a lifestyle.
I am sitting in my living room on Wednesday, March 25 writing this post. The last several weeks in the United States have been interesting to say the least. By the time this is released on my blog Friday, March 27, who knows what else will have happened. But there is one thing for certain and that is this: the role of sales will not have changed; it will still be the same. That role is the act of valuing other people more than yourself.
How do you think you’re doing in valuing other people? An easy way to measure this to define how much time you spend talking versus listening to the customer. How often do you ask your customer for more insights on what they just shared with you? How well do you know your customer’s real needs before you trying selling them anything? Sales is about helping people. We cannot do this at all if we don’t work hard at doing the things I listed earlier in the paragraph well – listen more intently, ask follow-up questions, and seek to understand the needs.
During the coming months, every salesperson will be challenged in ways they never imagined. If we’re not prepared to listen to each person’s backstory and empathize, we’ll be kicked to the curb. More than ever, customers want their voice heard. Each person feels that their world is unique, and it’s our job as salespeople, to find a way to live in it.
Next week and each week from here on out, I challenge you to raise your game in valuing the customer more and taking more time to understand their goals, aspirations, and just life, regardless of what you sell. You may think you’re selling a product – nope! First, you’re selling a relationship.
I am encouraged to hear how much my new book, A Mind for Sales, is helping people, especially given our current situation.
Mark Hunter, CSP “The Sales Hunter” helps companies and salespeople find and retain better prospects they can close at full price. His work is based on 30+ years of sales leadership experience and is delivered live, or on-line. His style is both high-energy and blunt. Mark is known for challenging people and the sales myths they cling to. The message is not for the timid, it’s for the organization that knows change is required and it must happen now.
Mark works with companies to help them grow their top-line sales and bottom-line profits. He believes the success of a company depends on the success of the sales team and sales managers, and that sales is all about helping customers see and achieve what they didn’t think was possible. Honors he has received include being recognized as one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Sales and Marketing Leaders.”