When I hear people say, “I couldn’t think of anything worse than trying to convince someone to buy my product”, I cringe. It is an outdated perception of the sales profession that doesn’t work and sees people who could be wildly successful, run the other way.
Following over 18 years selling in the medical device industry, not once would I have described myself as a “salesperson”. When I left the industry in 2016, it became clear that my customers didn’t see me in that light either.
To them, I was a trusted partner who put their needs at the centre of the business. My role was simply, to provide solutions that made their lives easier so they could focus on achieving the best possible outcome for their patient. I was a respected part of their team and privileged to be invited into their environment.
It isn’t a battle of the numbers or the income you derive, that is a by-product of successfully fulfilling a deeper purpose. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty reasonable by-product!)
The reward in selling is through serving your customer. It’s about understanding:
1. That the perspective you need to adopt is theirs, not your own.
2. Customer engagement is an ongoing journey, not a single transaction.
3. It is a process of growth that progresses at the rate of your own curiosity, ability to learn & identify opportunity for value exchange.
4. The linchpin of your success lies in your personal leadership & ability to understand what success means to your customer.
We all have the capability of developing a growth mindset. It might present in other parts of our lives, particularly when we are engaging in activities we are most passionate about.
That is the mindset required for selling success. It enables us to maintain our confidence, navigate the terrain & learn from the challenges.
In doing so, we experience not only the gratification of achieving our targets but the much deeper satisfaction that comes from fulfilling our purpose and helping our customers succeed.
That is ultimately, what lies at the heart of the “sales professional.”