Contrary to conventional wisdom, great salespeople do not just wake up and start selling; they wake up and start thinking! Great salespeople are passionate about helping people and like having something good to say. Since they live out that passion in each exchange, they must be excited about something positive to say BEFORE they pick up the phone or send an email.
Thought Leaders in Sales
For great salespeople, thought leadership is the name of the game. When they have new, fresh thought leadership, they are busting at the seams with enthusiasm to talk to a prospect or an existing client. Buried deep inside of every successful salesperson is the compelling desire to rescue a person or a person’s company with fresh insights that can save a company or a person from current or impending problems or pain. For a great salesperson, getting that fresh insight is always job #1.
Motivated By What Is Inside
At the top of the day, he/she must uncover something new to share that will make a difference to that business contact. It is this insight that generates their passion and it is the passion that will make the message contagious to everyone they share it with.
Without this burning passion, they are not internally motivated. No external motivation will ever be a real substitute—not a number of calls goal, coaching inputs, or even compensation because they need a strong internal belief that they can help someone, to translate into a passionate conversation. They need internal inspiration. Like gas to a car, thought leadership empowers a good salesperson. Their motivation comes from a belief that they can come to the rescue.
Sales Hero To The Rescue
It is this activity that gives the salesperson perpetual meaning and makes them feel relevant. Nothing can replace that in their business life! Without it, they would be just another salesperson pitching their stuff amongst thousands of other voices, trying to get a buyer’s attention.
How A Great Salesperson Does It
Therefore, great salespeople begin their day reading, researching, and thinking. They are trend spotters hunting for new trends that could be impacting their clients and prospects. They are brainstorming how they and their company could help them avoid a problem or seize a golden opportunity. That piece of thought leadership has the power to mesmerize a prospect that needs help, even if they have not realized it yet. To grab their attention, they know their message, which has all the elements of an interesting story, needs to do at least one of the following three things:
- Take their prospect’s mind to places it has never been before
- Put options on the table that they have never considered before or
- Lead them to make connections that they have never made before
And if they do that, they will have just earned the right to ask the prospect or client to do something they have never done before!
Value The Customer
The client or prospect will feel their discussion was worthwhile—a real value encounter. In turn the salesperson will feel their rescue potential soar. Nothing is more powerful in selling than having Rescue Power behind you! It is never the product/service, nor price, that drives the passionate sales conversation; it is the passionate thought leadership, driven by the rescue potential!
This power comes in two types:
- Rescuing from the Present, which is the traditional role of selling that Revenue Storm refers to as Demand Capture.
- Rescuing from the Future, which is the new non-traditional role of selling that Revenue Storm refers to as Demand Creation.
Old Versus New in the World of Sales
Traditional sales training focuses on Demand Capture, where the focus is on a current “pain” or “problem.” This is where the popular term “solution selling” stems from. This focuses on pre-existing needs that are uncovered by an aggressive sales professional that can ask questions and uncover underlying points of pain.
Non-traditional sales training that focuses on Demand Creation focuses on the future. It can rescue a person and their company from something bad that is about to happen or help them exploit a window of opportunity that is about to close without them. This is the home of thought leadership where a value encounter type story has optimum Rescue Power! Until this story is formed, a professional salesperson is not prepared to start their day!
Personal Sales Challenge: Identify one or two business contacts whom could most use your Rescue Power and brainstorm ideas on HOW you can help them. Put together a Value Vision to visually show them your thought leadership.