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I see far too many salespeople and sales managers think they’re leading their customers by driving the sales process and, for that matter, the entire customer relationship.

I’ll argue just the opposite. We lead best not by driving, but by listening.

The best leaders are ones who listen to those they lead. So too with salespeople. When we listen not just to hear what’s being said, but to understand why it’s being said, we are then in the best position to truly lead.

After each conversation, we have to ask ourselves, “What did I learn and what is the basis for what I learned?”

Before we can begin to lead anyone and, in particular, our customers, we must know the why.

For leaders of sales teams, this is especially critical. If we make an assumption based on what is heard from one person, it can quickly become a faulty assumption for the entire team.   The key is taking the time to listen, not just to one person, but to each person, whether it be a sales team member or a customer.

The most impactful leaders over long periods of time are those who didn’t listen as an afterthought, but made listening the first priority.


Copyright 2016, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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