Sales and Leadership are cut from the same cloth.
An excellent sales consultant will help their client voice their needs, desires, and their trouble-zones and then match those up with the perfect solution. They layer in their communications so expertly that they’re collecting yesses all along until that final big yes happens
…and the client signs the big fat check.
These are the same skills that great leaders use to get their teams to follow them.
An excellent leader helps their team members understand the job to be done while paying attention to individual needs and desires. They reinforce how meeting the team goal aligns with each individual’s personal and professional goals, and continue to communicate in such a way that every team member shows up motivated to do their best.
Sales people sell products.
Leaders sell ideas.
Success at both requires deep listening, and the courage to ask powerful questions that allow clients and team members to reveal the pathway to their yes.
They both require empathy — understanding that person across from you: who they are, what concerns them, where they aspire to go, what’s standing in their way, and what you can provide to smooth the path to action.
And then, both leaders and sales experts blend everything they hear and everything they know with just the slightest smidge of persuasion – to sway people in the direction of their own best good.
That is the art of the sale. And the art of leadership.
Any art can be learned but it must be practiced, and it takes time to master. The more we practice, the better we get.
Since we sell to, and lead, humans… it gets complicated. Humans show up with beliefs, attitudes and (often conflicting) desires. There’s alot going on in those heads and hearts.
Getting people of seemingly disparate desires, backgrounds, skills and strengths to align around one common goal, and to work consistently toward one common outcome, isn’t easy.
Nor is it easy getting people to be open, trusting, and willing to invest – whether that’s investing their time, money, effort, heart, hard work…
Leadership, and sales, aren’t about telling people what to do. They’re about listening, understanding and presenting a pathway to “yes.”
I’m passionate about expert sales AND leadership. Probably because they have so much in common. And because business success requires plenty of BOTH.