In his seminal book on how operational effectiveness, ‘Good to Great’, Jim Collins outlined that becoming ‘great’ was not a matter of luck, and, was not even that difficult: it was in fact a matter of mindset, systems and discipline: disciplined people, with disciplined thought, operating disciplined systems.
The first of the 6 key factors that made ‘good’ companies become ‘great’ was what he called: ‘Level 5 leadership’. This was leadership that empowered others to perform way above average, as normal. Level 5 leaders were not great icons or famous personalities: instead, in his words:
‘Level 5 leaders display a powerful mixture of personal humility and indomitable will. They\’re incredibly ambitious, but their ambition is first and foremost for the cause, for the organization and its purpose, not themselves.’
I would suggest that exactly the same rules apply to selling … they would, of course, because that’s just common sense!
As an individual seller, how do you lead yourself, and how do you lead your sales process? Is it with a powerful mixture of personal humility (focusing obsessively on the needs of the customer above yours), and indomitable will (honing and executing excellent systems, based on learning and experience)? Or do you just ‘go for it’ and try as many tricks as you know to ‘get a sale’. Go on, be honest!
As a leader or manager of a team, how do you lead them, and how do you plan their sales process? Is it with a powerful mixture of organisational humility (focusing obsessively on the needs of the customer above your oganisation’s (and this is VERY hard to do properly)), and indomitable will (honing and executing excellent systems, based on empowerment and feedback). Or do you just set targets and exhort them to ‘go for it’ and try as many tricks as you all know to ‘get a sale’. Go on, be honest!
Perhaps, above all else, in ‘Good to Great’ Jim Collins makes the point that ‘build-up to breakthrough’ takes a long time: an ‘overnight success’ is usually 10 to 20 years in the making…
So, take a leaf out of Jim’s book: slow down, work on mindset, processes and continual improvement; support this with top quality professional feedback processes, and then you might just move from ‘good’ to ‘great’ in your selling…
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