In each issue of my bi-weekly newsletter, I note articles relating to sales effectiveness or leadership that have drawn my attention. Here are two included in my February 16 e-minute:Why Many Smart People Miss Future Opportunities by Rajesh Setty and 3 Ways You can Boost Your Sales by Practicing Conscious Kindness by Jeff Shore.
Setty’s premise in Why Many Smart People Miss Future Opportunities is that regardless of your goal you will attain it with much less difficulty if you ally yourself with others, but you will likely miss future opportunities if you focus only on others with the same or higher level of power.
Opportunity is created by other people, he notes. “Even when you do most of the work yourself, you need an ecosystem of support to amplify what you have done.”
Most people focus on others with the same or higher level of power. They tend not to consider how they could help those at a lower power spectrum.
But as we know, time can change everything. Career shifts can happen. And the “… heartfelt obligations (of those who have since risen) are now to those that helped them when they most needed that help.” They could have gotten help from you, but you didn’t offer it. Yet “you need the mindshare of those that are helping NOT because you are paying them but because they want to.”
His counsel is to think long term, to be aware of people that need your help but are not reaching out to you, to “commit to provide genuine and valuable help while blossoming to your full potential. “
I appreciate the reasoning in the article. At the same time, there’s a big part of me that believes strongly in providing genuine and valuable help to others in their career or in life unconditionally without any expectation of return on help other than seeing them succeed.
And it’s characteristic of a good leader.
“Elevate others. Take people somewhere they wouldn’t go without you,” says leadership expert Dan Rockwell.
Encouragement and mentoring are not limited to leaders, of course.
Be a model of empathy and listening
I identify more with the second article. In his 3 Ways You can Boost Your Sales by Practicing Conscious Kindness, Jeff Shore writes about the need for and the value of genuine kindness in sales. He notes that “having a healthy kindness muscle means that kindness is not something you turn off and on—it is who you are all the time” and that kindness is a goal worth having in sales as customers respond positively to its genuine presence in people.
Shore sees kindness as about action—“about serving others vs. oneself”— more than merely “being nice.”
In relation to his second point, to practice kindness as a lifestyle, he notes that “the best sales professionals do not have an internal switch they flip when a customer comes through their door. They simply leverage who they are (their character traits) in their sales presentation. They are who they are. Customers (like people everywhere) respond positively to salespeople who are genuine.”
For me also, it comes down to good, honest, open buyer-focused communications without sales techniques or tactics—a no-pressure exchange where getting to the truth and building a long-term relationship is the goal. Without trust nothing will happen.
Buyers have four universal needs: to be understood, to feel welcomed, to feel important and to feel comfortable.
Be a model of empathy and listening.
And above all, improve the lives of others with whom you come into contact.
Want to learn more about my winning sales process?
Download the free executive summary of my recent book: Velocity Selling: how to attract, engage and empower buyers to buy