Bernadette McClelland

Nine Conversations For Sales Leaders

I first met Bernadette McClelland online as a result of the LinkedIn experiment I was undergoing by posting a blog a day for 90 days. We had a couple of conversations and she followed up by sending me a copy of Seth Godin’s book ‘What To Do When It’s Your Turn’.  That engagement resulted in us being part of a collaborative effort to elevate the profession of selling here in Australia through the formation of the Sales Masterminds Australasia with John Smibert.

Shortly afterwards I read Bernadette’s published book, ’The Art of Commercial Conversations - When It’s Your Turn To Make A Difference’ and what struck me is that it addresses nine (9) commercial conversations that all salespeople, business owners and sales leaders must have, not just with their customers, but also with themselves.

Her book is based on the innovative and trailblazing ‘Conscious Selling Model’ - a model that has been designed based on us now being in the Connection Economy and we know we are all deserving of a new discussion that helps us better adapt and align. 

Her model highlights three areas of leadership needed today for all salespeople - Personal Leadership and the approach to market salespeople need to take, Thought Leadership and the focus of commercial conversations and Sales Leadership which peels back the layers on what a salesperson’s intention must be to become a cutting edge modern day seller.

What I thought was extremely beneficial for my readers was the following ‘Manifesto for Conscious Sellers’ based on her nine commercial conversations.

  • CONVICTION - The Art of Rebellion - It’s more than loving what we do. It’s having the courage to be seen, to rebel, to take our turn, to change our rules, to step outside our fears and love what we bring to the table.
  • CONNECT - The Art of Mindfulness - It’s more than kumbaya and yogis. It’s the opportunity to centre ourselves in a busy and noisy world so we can stand grounded and confident and be present to our buyer.
  • CONTACT - The Art of Social - It’s more than a playground where we go to play. It’s the auditorium where we have the opportunity to team up, play our hearts out and be seen by those who will pay to see us.
  • CONTENT - The Art of Story - It’s more than features, advantages and benefits. It’s the ability to tell a story that captivates, and spread that story to the world through messages that create value.
  • CONSULT - The Art of Tension - It’s more than asking questions. It’s creating a space to get personal, to be bold, to push the boundaries for all the right reasons and to create change in our clients’ worlds.
  • CONTEXT - The Art of Meaning - It’s not about what you think it’s about. Its essence is in interpretation, variation, listening for understanding and being prepared to get it wrong.
  • CONTRACT - The Art of The Ask - It’s not about closing the deal. It’s about learning to say yes and learning to say no, and understanding the magic that happens in between.
  • CONSPIRE - The Art of Collaboration - It’s not about keeping in touch, customer service or moments of truth. It’s about working together, joint ventures and collaboration.
  • CONTRIBUTE - The Art of The Start - It’s not about the money or the profits or shareholders. It’s about the meaning and the purpose and the stakeholders.

To finish up, Bernadette also adds by asking this question: 

'How Relevant Are You?

Just like anything in nature, if something is not growing and contributing, then it is dying. Business is no different. Business is a living organism and anyone who thinks differently will die the death of a thousand extinct sellers. Just like Willy Loman in ‘Death of a Salesman’, if you aren’t making change happen, developing personally, or being self motivated, people won’t believe in you. It’s not as simple as Willy thought, “about being likeable through fakery, looking good, charming people and cracking jokes.” People know when you are faking it. People buy people. If you’re not for real, they won’t buy you. People want the real deal and the human element.'

Today, it’s all about measuring your relevance in the market through ideas you have for your customer’s growth, in addition to the level of connection you have with your buyers. But more than that, it’s about contribution - to your customers and for your customers, and the five word formula found in the intention of one simple question, ‘How Can I Help You?’

Bernadette McClelland leads the conversation around Conscious Selling. She successfully works with SMB’s and sales teams around the world to help them differentiate themselves when they don’t know how or when they’re not making their numbers and they don’t know why. You can visit her website here  orpurchase a copy of her book here.

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Main Image Photo by: Bernadette McClelland