The Best Sales Reps Connect Their Work with Their Purpose
The beginning of a new year is always a great time to sit back, reflect and reevaluate. It’s a time to check in with ourselves and our peers, to set new goals and reconnect to what drives us.
For sellers, this can mean reconnecting back to our personal mission as salespeople and the mission of the company we represent. It’s time to remember the “why” behind what we sell and how we sell.
At ASLAN, our purpose is always to serve – to be OtherCentered(R) for our customers and prospects alike.
We’ll discuss how companies, and individual reps, can sometimes struggle with connecting to their original purpose for being. But the truth is, salespeople are infinitely more successful when they are connected to the purpose of the company that they call home.
Selling With a Purpose
To deliver this content, I sat down with Matt Carcieri, Brand Strategist, consultant, and author of Bleed a Creed, to discuss how selling with purpose, for a purpose, can allow you to ignite your personal motivation to serve your customers.
In the world of selling and marketing, it often seems as if we’re engaged in “battle” with our customers. Even some of the language we use like “targeting” and “campaign” all derive from the language of war. This conflictive tone of the interaction between customer and seller is surely not the most effective way to approach doing business.
The key is instead to shift your focus towards serving, to being OtherCentered. When a company, or a sales rep or sales leader, is unable to remain connected to their purpose, we see a whole host of issues arise: failure to innovate and evolve, failure to deliver on promises, failure to see life from the customer’s perspective. In some cases, businesses simply fail altogether and go extinct. And this concept extends from the highest level of the organization, right down to the individual rep themselves.
The Concept of Purpose
As well-known businessman and author Joey Reiman has been known to say, “The fruits are in the roots.”
For individuals, teams, and organizations, purpose very much comes from the place of origin – purpose isn’t necessarily something that is created, it is something that was there at the genesis.
The key is to simply rediscover and reconnect to it. What was the goal at the beginning of it all? What was the (your) intention?
This sense of purpose, over the course of a company’s history or an individual’s career, can get lost.
As sales reps, we have all at some point asked ourselves, “Do I believe in this company’s purpose?” And salespeople that don’t connect to their company’s purpose probably won’t sell their products and services for long.
You, as a sales rep, are a leader within your company in many ways. You have the power to bring back this truth for your own selling practice: the idea that a sense of purpose is important and it is not lost forever. There is a reason for your product, for your role.
You will not be able to inspire your customers if you are not inspired and motivated yourself. In Matt Carcieri’s book, Bleed a Creed, he refers to a line from Socrates that encompasses this idea: “To move the world we must first move ourselves.” This sentiment is relevant for anyone in the world of sales. You will be more powerful with purpose on your side.
So how does one rediscover purpose?
As individuals and as corporations, we have a sense of purpose because of our values, what we hold as true and important. Therefore, finding our way back to purpose starts with getting in touch with those values.
Values tend to fall into four categories: A, B, C, D.
- Achievement – task orientated
- Belonging – love and togetherness, harmony
- Control – systems of control and order
- Discovery – new experiences
Looking for where these overlap with a customer’s ideals gives us “shared values.” The greatest and most successful brands, companies, and individuals are able to align themselves with customers’ shared values.
As sales reps, each time we approach a new prospect, we can make our job so much easier by first figuring out where their motivation and values are. Are they focused on (Control) and order? Or do they want to know about the latest and greatest offering (Discovery)? Connecting on that level of shared values is a really powerful technique as you move through your sales process.
To put it in ASLAN terms, you are approaching this from an Other-Centered® perspective. Seek first to serve. This means that before you engage with your customer, find out what is important to them. Find out what is on their whiteboard. What are their values? What business problems keep them up at night?
This will not only help you get their attention, it will help you solve problems for them and uncover new ones that may require your expertise.
The Purpose Journey
Sales reps are the voice of the customer within the company, the ones on the front line. If they aren’t able to connect to the company purpose and convey that to customers, the company will be in trouble.
Purpose is internally there, for yourself (as a rep) and the company you work for. When looking to resurrect that purpose, it might be helpful to think about the union of two circles, the intersection of them. One circle is about understanding yourself deeply, your place in the world. The other encompasses the needs of the world itself, (in selling, this means the needs of companies and customers within your industry).
Within that union, where the two circles (those two ideas) intersect, the magic happens.
Connecting to purpose is an ongoing and continuous journey. Spend time reflecting. Who am I? What am I about as an individual and as part of this company? And then aligning that with what is going on in the world (or industry) today. What are the needs out there? Where can I find shared values?
Companies and reps that recognize what they have to offer and what the world needs, (and can operate in that sweet spot), are the ones that will find sustained success.
“Bleed a Creed”
As Matt Carcieri said, “passion is persuasive.” Be belief inspired. There is authenticity in conviction. Customers can tell when you are truly OtherCentered because your motive is transparent.
When it comes to being great salespeople, true success comes from that sense of passion and conviction. Spend the time cultivating this. Develop personal motivation. Being truly Other-Centered and purpose-driven will change the game for you and your customers.
The best way to get to know us is to know what we value. If we teach it we live it, because what we do speaks far more eloquently than what we say. We’ll always choose people over profits, and we’re most fulfilled and effective when we serve. It drives our culture, frames our training programs and transforms the lives of the clients we partner with.