Are you a leader of sales?
And I am not referring to a sales manager, team lead, VP or owner.
I am talking to you – the salesperson.
Your challenging role as a sales professional is to be a leader.
Of your prospects. To the finish line.
How can you be a sales rep and a leader? Check out this episode.
E151 – Transcript
Jason: On today’s episode, I want to talk about sales leadership. Welcome to the sales experience podcast. My name again is Jason Cutter. So glad that you’re listening and on this journey to help make your career in sales better. Your sales team’s life better and your prospects lives better while at the same time doing the right thing for you, for them achieving your goals, helping them get their goals, and so hopefully you’ve been enjoying the show. Make sure to subscribe if you’re not everywhere that podcasts are available. You can also connect with me on cutterconsultinggroup.com you can follow me on LinkedIn and now for today’s topic, what I wanted to talk about is leadership and sales. Now typically what happens is when people hear the term sales leader or leadership and sales, they’re thinking team lead, sales manager, sales coach, consultant, owner, all those people who are in leadership and leadership being a higher level.
Jason: So somebody is higher up in the org chart or more experience or you know the person on the floor with tons of experience that’s kind of leading the charge every day or helping people feel better when they get down. If he gets some rejection from a prospect or a client that cancels or returns whatever you sold them, you know you’ve got the leader on the floor for the morale and then you’ve got the leaders that everyone thinks about. Now what my topic is for today and what I want to focus on and what I really want to shift for all of you listening who are sales professional salespeople in a sales role dealing directly with prospects, converting them into customers. Cause I want to talk about your role as a leader. Okay, so a lot of times sales people don’t see themselves as a leader and don’t embrace the leadership that is required to be a sales professional.
Jason: Now let’s talk about leadership. Definition of leadership on a basic easy level is somebody who inspires others to follow them, right? There’s managers and then there’s leaders. Managers manage people tell them what to do. Delegate direct hold people accountable. Leaders on the other hand, they create a framework. They have a vision, they know where they’re going and they inspire other people to follow them, and that’s the big key managers, people who are in charge, people who are running things. Sometimes we’ll use manipulation to get people to do what they want, right, but sometimes it’s the carrot or the stick. There’s some kind of manipulation, whether it’s a forceful, harsh manipulation or it’s just a very subtle and kind of passive no matter what. That’s on the management side. A leader is somebody you want to follow a leader, whether it’s in the church or military or an organization or somebody like that where you encounter that person and you’re like, wherever they are going, I want to go as well.
Jason: If you’ve gotten a job at an organization, as a salesperson, manager, leader, whatever that is, and you have come into contact with the ownership or you understand the culture and there’s a vision and the mission and core values, then that’s something that you want to be a part of at a deeper level. That’s a different feeling than when you go to work somewhere and it’s a job and you’re told what to do and you don’t really understand the mission and the vision. You don’t really care and you’re not understanding it. Last week I talked about marrying the vision and dating the strategy, right, and that’s about having a vision and knowing where you want to go and having everyone follow. Now it’s a salesperson. Your job is to be the leader of your prospect. Now, I know this sounds weird, rarely ever hear this topic or I’ve never seen anyone really talk about it, but your job as a sales professional is to be a leader and lead your prospects to the finish line, to the promised land of a solution for them.
Jason: Now, a couple of weeks ago I talked about giving to give and making sure that you’re doing things for your prospects to help them get into a better place and not about you. It’s not about giving them to get, it’s not about pushing them to sell so you can get what you want. It’s about helping other people. When you act as a leader in your sales role with your prospects, it’s about getting them to follow you. Now, how do you get them to follow you, right? They have a problem. They have a need for your service or for your product or your idea, whatever it is that you’ve got. How would you get them to follow you? You’re the sales person. They’re the buyer. You should be directing them. You should be pushing them, should be moving them forward. Well, the key is to do what leaders do, which is to ask questions.
Jason: It’s to build the framework. It’s to then find the issues that you want to solve instead of having a vision, right? I know that my vision is to help my prospects get from here to here. When they encounter you, when they talk to you on the phone or they meet you in person, wherever you’re at in your sales process, when that occurs, there’s a different energy that leaders have. There’s a different confidence that leaders have, and I’m not saying you have to be that charismatic leader, the one that has lots of stories. That seems to be the life of the party standing on tables. That’s not leadership. That’s a personality trait with highly charismatic extroverted people. I’m talking about leadership. There’s some amazing leaders out there in the world who are very quiet and very passive, but their energy and their power comes through in what they say and where they’re going and people just naturally want to follow them.
Jason: And so your job as a sales professionals to do that same thing. It’s about building that framework, holding that space, and having your prospects come with you on the journey to the finish line with a closed sale. Now I know this might sound very woo, might sound very weird, like we’re just going to sit in a circle and you’re just gonna you know, chance and have your prospects follow you and you’re just going to talk about these theories and hope that they come with you and just grab their credit card and pay. Right? But no, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about actually being a leader and taking charge of the conversation and then having them follow you, like you know where you want to go so they’re going to follow you in it. And how do you do that? One of the best things to do, and this is some practical information so you know how to do it, is to focus on enrolling and not selling.
Jason: Now, I’ve talked about this before on the show many, many times, but it’s about enrolling versus selling. When you’re selling something to somebody, you’re trying to persuade them and or manipulate them for your reasons, right? And remember, people don’t like to be sold to. They like to buy, they want to buy for their reasons. They don’t want to be sold to for your reasons. Even if you can see that what makes the most sense for them is very clear. You can’t push them into it or you’re going to have cancels. You’re in a buyer’s remorse. It’s not going to be as effective. So you need to make sure you’re enrolling. Now, what is enrolling? Like? Enrolling is kind of similar to the DMV. When you go there, they’re not trying to sell you anything. They’re just trying to help you. You have forms you need to fill out.
Jason: They’re going to take your money. They’re going to process, you’re gonna move on. Now, if everyone treated everyone like the DMV does, that’s going to be terrible and no one’s going to want to follow you, right? That’s not a good leadership model, but you want to do is lead your people over it because of your passion and your desire to help them. That energy will come through. Now, here’s a good example as well. If you’ve ever known somebody or been in a relationship where somebody could make better decisions, right? Maybe eat healthier or workout more, you could tell them to work out more. You could tell them to eat healthier or you could just do it yourself and be that guiding post and that one that they want to follow and say, wait a second, it’s working for them. This seems to be good. I’m going to go down that same path.
Jason: Now, how do you do that as a salesperson? That can be tough at times because you have usually a short window of which you’re trying to lead someone, but you have to make sure that they understand that you are very clear on the vision and the value of what your service or product does for people as well as how you will get there and the process and then what it’s going to feel like at the other end, right? Everybody is in things for themselves. What’s in it for me? Always got to keep that in mind that your prospect only cares about themselves. And so if you can set this framework of where you’re going, the vision and the destination, they will want to follow you there, especially when you put it in terms of what it’s going to feel like for them, what it’s gonna look like for them, and how their life is going to improve.
Jason: Now keep in mind, it may sound like this only applies to people who are helping others, right? Get out of debt or deal with some personal issues, but that’s not true. The supplies business to business, business to consumer, whether you’re helping companies buy a new CRM or you’re helping an individual buy a car, all of that is about leadership and that vision that you have for them and then getting them to buy into that vision. But that’s enrolling, not selling. If you sell it too hard and you push it, it sounds like you’re trying to get people on board and it’s not going to come across the same. When you’re enrolling people and getting them to enroll in buy into the vision, then they are with you and you can lead them to the promised land. You can lead them across the finish line. Of course, with the caveat that it’s got to apply to them.
Jason: They’ve, it’s gotta be a good solution. It’s gotta be something that takes care of their problems, their issues or helps them with a goal or a need that they have. But when you do that, when you enroll them into your vision for them with your product or solution as that vehicle that’s going to get them there, then you’re a sales leader. And sales leadership is all about getting people on board, having people follow you, and then also doing whatever it takes. And again, this goes into last week’s conversation about marrying the vision and dating the strategy is the strategy part is overcoming obstacles. How are you going to get there? Who needs to be involved and being very flexible in your sales while at the same time being very clear on what your vision is as the leader of that interaction of that transaction. If you find yourself talking to your prospects and you get done and you realize that you didn’t make the sale and they kind of walked all over you and they asked you lots of questions and they beat you up and they drove the process, you were not acting like a sales leader, you were not leading that conversation and directing it.
Jason: Okay, and I’ve mentioned this analogy in the past, but think about the doctor example, go into a doctor’s office. They are leading the process now. They may entertain some of your questions. They may open the floor up to you to for your questions or concerns, but they are leading it the whole way they are driving it. And then based on their professionalism, based on how they’re handling things, and then based on their diagnosis and prescription, you want to follow them and their direction because you know it’s going to get you in a better place because you’ve trust them. They’ve built that trust with you as an authority and as somebody who cares about you and getting you there. That’s how that goes. That’s what that feels like. And that’s what you want to create for your prospects. So hopefully that helps. Remember, always focus on becoming a sales leader, that your prospects literally want to follow and will go with you because you know you’re there to help them and at the end they will be in a better place. So always focus on that, both in sales in life. Just like I say, as always, keep in mind that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.