Are you burned out? Has the fire in your belly turned into nothing more than heartburn? Do you believe your sense of purpose has gone up in smoke? Your passion for making a difference, too?
For many sales professionals who have invested years into learning, growing, selling, and succeeding, the seemingly inevitable questions become, “Now what?” and, “Is this all there is?” Believe it or not, these questions are natural – and important – if you genuinely want to reignite your professional passions.
With that in mind, here’s how to turn these significant questions into actionable answers that can put you on the path to a more meaningful and purposeful future as a sales leader:
The Trouble with Selling
Once you recognize that you no longer want to participate in this grim future of walking aimlessly, unhappily, and drained through life, then you are free to start an exciting and powerful renewal process. But first, it helps to understand the troublesome nature of the traditional (and dated) art and science of selling.
You see, the usual dogma is that your job is to “sell” something. Every week, month, and quarter you need to show what is in your pipeline and are incessantly reminded that you need to hit your quota. It’s always about the quota! So, you practice the ABC method: Always Be Closing. The pressure is stifling as you do everything in your power to make sales and meet quota, to “win at all costs,” and “take no prisoners.”
The problem is that this “old school” approach is not sustainable. Why not? Because it’s not customer-centric. Because the focus is about “us” versus the “customer.” Because it’s about competition versus collaboration.
Old school. Doomed to fail. Designed to burn you out!
The Power of Serving
But what if you could turn this desperate dogma on its ear? What if you could listen more than you “sell,” cure customer pain points instead of prescribing unnecessary solutions that really don’t solve anything? What if you could conjure a collaborative, customer-centric mindset? What if you could engage your once dormant Servant’s Heart?
What would happen then?
In all likelihood, you would energize and enrich not just your customers’ spirits, but your spirit as well! You would strengthen the foundations of your relationships with your customers and co-workers. You would strengthen their loyalty, as well. (And all of these are vital to business sustainability and financial growth.)
Perhaps more important, you, as a sales leader, have an incredible opportunity to demonstrate that by leading from a servant’s heart, EVERYONE wins. Consider this the “new school” sales method.
Sounds good, right, but how do you put this novel approach into practice?
An Action Plan for Reigniting Your Passion and Making a Difference
Moving from selling to serving doesn’t happen overnight, and it does require a change in mindset. But it will probably be easier than you think if you take it one step at a time:
- Schedule a meeting with your top three B2B customers. During each meeting, talk only about their needs and what they want to accomplish short term and long term and what they need to hit their goals and objectives. Ask what keeps them up at night. Ask if they could change one thing in their business, what would that be? By asking questions like these, the floodgates will open and you will gain more knowledge about each customer’s business than ever before. In the process, you will create a much more focused and impactful roadmap for how you will be collaborating with your customer moving forward. And when you succeed at truly serving their needs, they will no longer think of you as someone trying to sell them something. You will become their partner.
- Moving forward, anticipate your customers’ needs and seek out ways to present solutions to them. As you solidify the relationship, you will learn even more about their business. And because you have many different customers, you should have your pulse on the industry. This is important because when you come across something that can benefit their business, you can present them with options. Chances are they will be thrilled you took the time to find a solution to an issue they might not have even known they had!
- Seek out ways to serve other businesses in your network and even others in your sales organization and company. Maybe they need a mentor or have questions regarding how to lead with a servant’s heart to benefit their own business or their coworkers or clients. Model the behavior that you know will help change their lives. Lead by example and you’ll be able to make a difference in an extremely competitive world.
The Bottom Line:
Living a life with passion improves so many aspects of everyday life. Having the burning desire to follow your inner purpose and passion, to make a difference in other people’s lives for the better, and to contribute to a healthier world, is truly what it means to create a life of “magnificent significance.” The key to this, of course, is serving instead of selling.
Leading with a servant’s heart can empower you, yes you, to be the motivational role model for success that spreads exponentially. When you let others see your change in mindset and approach, they will become inspired to put their own servant’s hearts into action. To learn more about how a Sales Xceleration Advisor in your area has succeeded by serving, click here or contact us.