If you've followed our blogs, read articles we've written, or picked up a copy of our book, "The Journey to Sales Transformation," you know how we feel about the sales profession.
We have a tremendous amount of respect for those who do it well and for the right reasons. You know we believe that salespeople who chase deals, commission checks or quota attainment are chasing the wrong things. You know we believe the amount of money we make is dependent on the amount of impact we have on other people's lives.
As it turns out, we're not alone in believing that the purpose for our sales career, or the "why we sell," will have as much or more impact on our success than what we sell or how we go about doing it. In fact, why we sell may even dictate what and how we sell and will certainly define the perception customers have of us.
Why Smart People Fail
Simon Sinek is a highly respected author and lecturer, who believes there are very specific reasons certain people succeed while others, with better educations, greater capital, and market conditions, fail. His premise is very simple, and remarkably effective at explaining why some people succeed at selling while others, who are smarter, better supported, with superior market conditions, fail.
The key difference, according to Simon, lies in the underlying motivation for these people - the "why" behind the "how" and what they do.
You see, some sales people believe it's about the money, the commissions, the paycheck. For these people, the purpose or "why" of every customer engagement is self-centered: It's all about the sales person getting paid. Irrespective of what these people sell, or the strategies and tactics of how they do it, these people will never succeed at becoming trusted advisors to their customers because their personal objectives are overriding, and in some cases, even conflicting with those of their buyers.
The most successful sales people in the world start at an entirely different place. For these people, the "why" they sell is that they sincerely want to impact the success of the people with whom they work. They relish the opportunity to leverage their solutions to bring value to their customers. Moreover, they strive to ensure that in every interaction, with every prospect or customer, they're adding value.
They work diligently to help each and every prospect make the best decision possible because doing so allows them to fulfill their core purpose as a sales professional. Not coincidentally, these sales people earn more trust, build better relationships, uncover more opportunities and produce superior results.
Though what we sell and how we do it may have some impact on our success, if we aren't selling for the right reason, we won't ever realize our true potential. So take a moment to check out Simon's video presentation, and while you watch, think about why it is that you are selling and from where you're getting your sales motivation.
Bob Nicols has 34 years of experience in sales, sales management, executive management and sales force development. He founded Burton Training Group, now AXIOM Sales Force Development, in 1990 after being a top and highly recognized performer in sales, sales management and executive positions within the technology sector. He has managed and mentored thousands of sales people, sales managers and senior managers and been responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. For more than 21 years he has developed and delivered sales programs that have become the standard for many Fortune 100 companies including AT&T, BellSouth, Disney Enterprises, Alltel, Verizon and ESPN. AXIOM programs have been implemented in over 30 countries including Japan, the UK, Germany, Dubai, Brazil, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Slovakia, Sweden, and The Netherlands. Bob's highly energetic and insightful lectures and workshops have resulted in invitations to be a featured presenter at dozens of national and international sales meetings and conferences. He is a trusted advisor to the presidents and senior managers of multiple organizations, both large and small and has been a board member of a national technology company. Bob is the developer of AXIOM's “Selling Sciences ProgramTM” and co-author of the “Selling Sciences” CD series.