Sales Leader: Heal Thyself!

Professional Sales Woman

Throughout my recent interactions with colleagues, I’m hearing more and more about an epidemic spreading across the (business) landscape that threatens to negatively impact business development in enterprises around the world…and render an entire profession ineffective.

Sales leaders are encouraging their salespeople to stop “selling.”

What’s in a Name?

Sure, these leaders want (actually, NEED) their salespeople to close business and generate revenue, but they don’t want them to “sell” to do it.

They want them to consult…challenge…develop relationships…hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” (OK, I’m overreaching on that last one, but you get my point).

Let me be clear: I’m not advocating selling ala Alec Baldwin’s character from the classic sales-guy movie “Glengarry Glen Ross” – or Ben Affleck’s daft sales “inspirational leadership” from the movie “The Boiler Room“.

Selling Success

Nor am I eschewing the efficacy and virtue of popular (and effective) sales methodologies like

In fact, I’ve previously written about how sales leaders need to be more strategic (and visionary) in their approach to sales management – and providing sales development training is a way to do that.

Sales Leadership

I am, however, advocating the need to get back to basics, and to remember the core basis of the sales profession:

Sales people sell. Period.

That’s what we’re paid to do (and handsomely in most cases)…convince people to give us money in exchange for goods and services.

There is no shame in that. There should be no fear in embracing that reality.

Getting Real

Every other organizational leader understands the importance of selling, thus the plethora of admonitions of the importance of embracing the concept of business development throughout the organization (from the C-suite to the mailroom). So why do some sales leaders still coach their salespeople to “tone down all the salesy talk”?

One of the foundational concepts of effective leadership is knowing yourself – and embracing your authenticity. How can you do that if you attempt to (and encourage your subordinates) to shroud the essence of your profession?

So, sales leader: Heal Thyself!

Stop encouraging your salespeople to avoid the obvious in an attempt to “disarm” their prospects.

Remind your team members to sell your products and services BECAUSE they are good SALES people…and not despite that fact.

Tony Bolden, D.M.
Dr. Tony Bolden is Chief Evangelist of The Leader’s Brand
He is Author and Speaker in Sales, Leadership & Personal Branding Evangelist
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter |  Blog 

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