Guest article provided by: kevinsidebottom.com

 

Have you ever wondered why certain friends, managers, executives just seem to have a certain way about them that people engage and follow them so easily?  Ever wonder if you could have people working with you to that capacity?

 

Did you know that all the successful leaders know sales?  Now before you stop readying because you got a cold shiver about sales people, let me ask you this.  Have you ever been on a job interview, or a first date?  In each case you were selling yourself as the best option.  See that phrase, “selling yourself”.  That is right you are selling during those two examples and many more scenarios.  We are actually all selling anytime we are interacting with others.  Whether it is our ideas, a product/service, or that your son to not stick his tongue to a frozen metal fence won’t end well.

 

I know the persona that is out there about sales people.  Unfortunately, a few bad seeds and various movies have bruised the sales persona.  Not all sales people are bad, just look in the mirror after an interview   We are not inherently bad are we?  Most of the not so successful sales people is just plainly, they just don’t know how to sell well.

 

I am not what some people would think of as a sales person.  Most people think of sales people as the life of the party, extroverts, and people that like attention.  I am an introvert and hold an engineering degree.  Not what you would think about when you think of sales person right?  I can tell you that I have secured multi-year multimillion contracts in my career and all the way down to thousand dollar deals.  Anyone can sell and everyone sells all the time, including leaders.

 

Here is how I got into sales which was something that I never thought I would do.  I was sitting on a boat on one of the great lakes when a well-known business owner that wanted to have “the talk with me”.  See I was dating his daughter so he was wanting to know what my intentions were.  The question started with “where do you see yourself in five years.”  I know, not the kind of question you’d think a father would have, but as a business owner and successful person he thought about business al great deal.  

 

Being fresh out of college and in a job… I thought about it and said, “I want to be a manager.”  I know high aspirations right…  What he said next was definitely not what at the time I wanted to hear.  He told me that I needed to know sales if I wanted to cast my vision and get people to follow my lead.  I didn’t like that idea because I had that same mindset when it came to sales people.

 

What I learned through the process of learning sales has actually helped me to understand why people can build high levels of momentum in movements.  It’s because they had influence.  A great deal of influence.  In fact, the more they have the more people wanted to follow these individuals.  

 

What does sales have to do with influence?  

Sales is actually the art of building influence.  Not in a sleezy way, or creating leverage over people either.  Selling is about helping people with their current situation and understanding their issues as well as helping to avoid the ramifications with not making the best decision for them.  That’s right, sales is about helping people get to where they want to go.  Helping them make a difference in their lives and others.  I know at this point you may be thinking that this guy is on something, but hear me out.

 

People ask three questions at every interaction.

Do I like you?  Do I trust you?  How can you help me?

It has been programmed into our brains since the beginning of time.  Not for selfish reasons, but for survival.  We ask these questions and form answers in the first seven seconds of every interaction.   

If we want to be successful and have momentum with others we should at least learn about sales.  We should understand why certain colors, the environment, and how we interact with others affects trust.  In the sales process uncovered training that I teach it is how we take the focus off ourselves and focus on helping others.  Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”  

 

That is what sales is meant to do.  Help people find solutions to their issues and avoid the ramification of making the incorrect decision.  That is what a true sales professional is supposed to do.  Help others and not focus on just selling something. 

Selling well will start building influence with those that we help.  It has worked for me with over 15 years of sales experience in multiple industries, in different demographics, and different regions.  

If we focus on helping people through the sales process, we will gain influence and momentum with people.  I’m not sure where you are and where you want to go, but if you want to go anywhere with others, you need to learn sales.  There are tons of books, podcasts, and blogs out there.  You don’t need to know everything, but having a basic knowledge will help you grow your influence levels and lead well.

 

Have a great day and if you need anything feel free to reach out with any questions!

 

Sincerely,

Kevin Sidebottom

 

“Businesses wonder why the majority of their sales teams struggle at winning profitable business.  I teach your sales team to walk with the customer through the five buying decisions, and in the correct order to generate more sales with high margins!”

 

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