Lead and Sell By Getting Out Of The Way!

The Human condition can drive us toward success or failure. As legendary Aussie rocker Crissy Amphlett once said: "There's a fine line between pleasure and pain" and also success and catastrophe. We need ambition and self-confidence to propel us yet our passion must be for the cause and people we serve. We need real belief in the value we offer as we seek to convert others to our view of the world and it needs to be all about creating value for them rather than extracting something for us. But this is an unnatural approach.

We're wired to talk about ourselves, what we do and how we do it. We must instead lead with why a conversation matters by talking about the results can we help them deliver and the risks we can help them manage.

The above statement is what is at the heart of modernizing leadership and professional selling. We must lead with insight rather than a pitch; we must make it about them rather than us. Our approach must be dosed with humility and genuine interest in others if we are to gain traction and make a difference. Why should they invest time in meeting us to reading our material? Are we clear about the insights we provide and the value we create? Don't even think about going to market with your sales and marketing teams until you have compelling answers to these questions.

All great musicians know that 'less is more'. Too much clutter results in the important being lost amidst all the noise. Those who perform masterfully on stage or in the boardroom know that genuine belief in what they do is the foundation of their success. And this sincere passion has a wonderful byproduct... it is how we find purpose and meaning is what we do.

Building trust and creating value is at the heart of professional selling. But no-one is motivated by our promises or pitch and information does not inspire or differentiate. Facts and data do not equate to insight. The art of selling is in helping people have an epiphany that you personally – before your company, product, service or solution – are what they need. People have always bought from those they like and trust, but success for sales people requires one more ingredient today – value through insight.

Telling is not selling. This is because people are best motivated by reasons that they themselves discover

The very best sales people are not warriors of persuasion, but rather engineers of value. They are naturally curious and obsessively focused on the customer’s world. I used to wrongly believe that the best sales people were the ones selling ‘unique’ solutions… how wrong I was! The best sales people are actually those selling commodities; because the only way they can effectively differentiate is in the way they sell.

Here’s a revelation that will change you sales career – everything is a commodity in the eyes of the buyer; except you and the way you engage your customer. The way we sell is more important than what we sell. You personally are the solution and your insights come from being fascinated and consumed by your customer's probems and opportunities . Think like you’re an extension of your customer’s organization and talk the language of leadership: delivering outcomes and managing risk.

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website: www.TonyHughes.com.au.

Main Image Photo by Flickr: Ricardo Shuck Follow Laundry time