So why Sell KIND? Well I’ve been working in professional sales for quite a while, pretty much most of my career. I LOVE it! Selling is one of the most fun things to do. Yes, It can be a wild roller coaster ride, closing great deals and then waiting for something to happen as you go out of your mind with anxiety. But most of the really negative stuff that impacts sales people’s lives is driven by unrealistic expectations, poor preparation, broken processes or organisational distrust.
No question, we do some of this to ourselves. We game the system, we sandbag, we take shortcuts, and while this might have been ok ‘back in the day’, sales force automation and the need for predictability have made it kind of impossible for the ‘right now’ sales professional. Combined with the huge investment in ‘outbound’ sales, which allows a lot of customers to self serve better than ever, and gets rid of the ‘salesperson as information broker’ layer, there is a whole new requirement to focus in on the part of sales that really drives value. That’s building and managing relationships in a sustainable and power balanced way.
No amount of investment in a call center or artificial intelligence is ever going to replace the skilled relationship manager. They know what the customer wants before the customer can even articulate it, they ‘co-invent’ the future with the customer, helping them make sense of their business by using the products and services they provide. They act in the best interests of the customer, every time. They take a long term view, and, by doing so, differentiate themselves AND what they’re selling. In short, they build sustainable, predictable and bankable value.
In this blog, I want to examine all of the different aspects of sales that impact our ability to engage in real relationship selling. To start with, these topics are ones I’m itching to write about:-
· Customer equality: How can we start a new relationship on a peer to peer footing.
· Sales Recruitment: Why we hire who we hire.
· Metrics: What works and what doesn’t, a ‘system thinkers’ view.
· Leadership: what skills are worth developing and what often stands out.
· Pipelines and how they tell us way more about us than we ever wanted to know.
The list will doubtlessly grow and change as we move along, and please, all recommendations are most welcome! Just put your ideas in the comment box and let’s start a conversation.