My friend (and former client), Jeff West was a hugely successful salesperson and then team leader with one of the best-known and most-revered insurance companies in the world. I won’t say who it was but … you’ve seen their duck a few times on television throughout the years. 😉 In this guest post by Jeff, you’re going to experience some fantastic wisdom that is absolutely Jeff!
Two things I learned when Jeff was my client: One is that his team loved and respected him. They also produced big-numbers. When you read this article, I think you’ll see why.
Enjoy! – Bob Burg
I used to drive my mother crazy!
There were many times in my early years when my mother would become somewhat frustrated with me. Apparently, I was a very inquisitive child. I constantly asked questions about everything.
Me: “Why does a cat go “meow”, but a dog goes “bark”?”
Mom: “I’m not sure, Jeffrey. It’s just the way God made them, I suppose.”
Me: “Why is my cousin taller than me?”
Mom: “He is older than you, Jeffrey.”
Me: “Why do I have to go to bed now?”
Mom: “Because I said so, Jeffrey.”
According to my mother, my favorite five questions were, “Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?”
The simple matter is that I still think pretty much the same now as I did when I was a child… at least in that area. 🙂
I always want to know “why”.
As entrepreneurs, salespeople and sales leaders — focusing on the question, “Why?” is the first step in building a successful organization. The reason is simple. When you know the answer to “Why?” — you can begin to understand the value you provide to your audience.
Why would a customer do business with you? The answer is normally found in the improvement they experience in their life or business when they take advantage of your product or service. That is the value you provide.
Why would a sales person follow your leadership? In a successful sales team, the answer is almost identical to that of your customers. Understanding and communicating how their lives or career will improve by doing what you ask of them is the key to gaining their buy-in to your organizational goals and methods. That is why they will follow your leadership.
Help them stay focused on why they seek success with your company — then keep your focus on how you can provide value to them by helping them accomplish their goals.
Value – Teach them how to communicate the value your company provides to your customers.
Value – Equip them with great training that leads to their success.
Value – Mentor them in accomplishing their personal goals.
Value – Inspire them to greatness.
Lead by providing value to your sales team — consider them your largest customers.
When you do, you will find their loyalty and commitment to excellence bringing you a great return on your investment.
QUESTION: Salespeople: what is the one area in which you need your sales leader to provide their value to you at this time?
I have worked in sales most of my adult life, from telemarketing to trainer to retail leader and I completely agree if a person does not have buy in, and if they do not understand the “why” behind not only the product but the company as well, they will not be as productive. It is our duties as leaders to educate our talent.
I totally agree, Tammy. 🙂