Monday, March 8, 2010

Sales and Presence

My new role is a sales role, the first pure sales role of my career.

Most of my career, I have been selling in one sense or another. Many people think that there is something wrong with selling, that selling means putting one over on people, tricking them into buying something that they don't need.

There may be some sales people who are like that. And some of them may even be successful. But I don't believe that you can be successful for long in sales if you are hurting people.

The best at sales are those who are best at identifying and meeting their customer's needs. When we are truly present, we are focused on the prospect's agenda first. We are listening to what they are saying, rather than thinking of what we are going to say next. In this way, the seller's agenda and the prospects's agenda are both clear. Nothing is hidden. If there is a match, we work together. If not, we move on.

But sales at the highest level trancends even that. Sometimes, a buyer and seller working together can create a solution that neither of them could have created alone. On this level, sales is a collaborative art. One that involves trust and vison. One that, I believe, is one of the highest callings.

As I enter this new role, I want to remind myself each day of why I did it. To help people, to create, and to solve problems.


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