Leadership is a quality that most salespeople possess, even if they don’t always recognise it as leadership. But when you think about it, if you are trying to get a customer to buy something, or get a prospect to become a customer, then you are trying to lead them from one position to another. So, there is definitely an element of leadership in the natural course of a salesperson’s work.
With that in mind its helpful to consider the basics of leadership regardless of wether of not you are in position of official leadership within your organisation. For instance, the basic idea behind leadership is getting people to follow you. Why do people follow people? Think about why you would follow someone from one place to another. You’d have to be convinced that;
- They knew where they were going
- That they were ahead of you
- That they were certain of why they were going to that place.
So, their whole body language and choice of words in their presentation would be leaning in the right direction and so almost unconsciously you’d be becoming more and more inclined to follow them.
Therefore, when you are presenting to a customer or a prospect, everything about you should be suggesting you are going somewhere special. And everything about you should be suggesting that you fully expect them to follow.
People follow a positive example because it makes them feel comfortable doing so. In fact, if you do it right, it makes them almost feel silly not to follow you. In this way, you have made it easier for them to say “yes” than it is to say “no”. And people generally follow the path of least resistance.
Developing the skill of leadership as a salesperson will also ensure that others in your organisation recognise that you understand basic principles of leadership. For any of you wanting promotion at some stage, you may find this more than a little useful.
By Bob Smith who has worked in sales for more than 30 years, works as an experienced recruiter, trainer & motivator and is also a published author of both children’s and adult titles.