When does “No” mean “No”? Is No always the end of the road for your sales campaign? When you hear “no” should you just pack up and move to the next client or prospect? In a word, the answer is…”No.”
Are you taking every opportunity to educate your clients and prospects? On the other hand, are you just selling to them? There is a significant difference between the two and it is what separates good sales professionals from the great ones. Great sales professionals not only educate but they love to do it. It raises your game and the collective reputation of the sales community when we educate as part of our core mission.
There has been widespread talk about an upcoming economic slowdown. According to informed and knowledgeable people I have been talking with, as well as reading a great deal on this, this is connected to the “credit crunch” and other global economic situations that have been in the news for months. The systemic effect of such a slowdown could cause a negative effect on clients willing to close the deal and spend money and on corporate hiring plans.
The topic of what makes a great sales leader continues and I want to share with you some of the thoughtful and interesting responses I have received through the blog. Each one of these makes you think about your sales leaders and perhaps yourself as a sales leader. Many thanks for every response and I hope we can continue this conversation. It is vital to us as sales professionals.
What is true leadership? Thousand of books have been written on the topic. Probably tens of thousands of speeches made. The topic of leadership is ubiquitous and is always a lively and passionate topic for discussion. To that end, what make a great sales leader? I do not claim to have the definitive answer, but I have devoted part of my professional career to trying to learn and understand what makes a sales leader effective. I am not sure there is one answer, but I want share some of my thinking with you now.
The ability to listen effectively is an acquired skill. It takes time to get it right and when you do, I believe a salespersons a career can and will really take off. Why do I suggest this to the sales community? Simple-its true.
Thought leaders earn respect. Sales professionals who distinguish themselves as being a thought leader are more likely to earn respect AND get the deal closed. I believe this passionately and completely. Sales professionals as thought leaders? Is that an oxymoron? No! You heard it here first!
Selling is an Art. It is a complex, challenging, and for many, a very rewarding profession. Like an artist, becoming an accomplished sales professional takes time and experience. It is no different from any other profession. Yes, I am essentially saying that we are artists in our own right. Art takes many forms. I find artistic the ability and confidences to make that cold call and do it well. It takes skill and experience to make a complex sale happen. It is an amazing talent to understand how to weave together all of the parts and moving pieces of a sale. It is art to understand the challenging nature of understanding all of the people involved in a sale who are required to be in agreement or “on the same page” to make deals happen. A professional salesperson is practicing an art that is part skill, talent and a bit of luck as well. Your canvass in your sales opportunity. Your paint is the solution.
Leadership and communication are intertwined and dependent upon each other. Good leaders communicate well and good communication skills are essential to be a good leader. The purpose of this week’s column is not to define what a leader is (we will do that in my blog) but rather to communicate my belief that as a sales professionals and sales leader we must communicate obsessively. This means that we must communicate obsessively with our clients, our partners, peers, management and anyone who is part of our virtual team!
Many of you who know me personally know that I am an aviation junkie. I love airplanes and follow aviation trends and new announcements in the industry pretty closely. Yesterday was a big day for people like me. Boeing unveiled their newest airliner, the 787. I have watched the development of this new plane for years and as I watched the launch web cast, I started to think and reflect about how companies transform themselves. I then started to think about how salespeople can transform themselves.