I was asked this question by a very successful salesperson recently.
He was asking it very seriously, as he felt to be successful in sales you don’t have to demonstrate leadership. His belief was as long as he completed the sales, then who cares if the customer saw any leadership from him as a salesperson.
Can I say I was miffed by his seriousness? I couldn’t believe someone would actually believe leadership does not have to be present in the sales process.
My response to him was a series of questions:
Do you feel you are maximizing price/profit on each sale?
Do you feel you are developing long-term relationships from which you can obtain even better sales?
What is the level of customer satisfaction after the sale?
What is your measurement process for evaluating your sales process?
The salesperson answered each one of them in an incredibly arrogant manner and that right there showed me how wrong he was. He felt he walked on water and his customers should be truly thankful for the opportunity to buy from him.
Needless to say, I wasn’t going to change his mind, but here is where his argument completely fell apart. Yes, he had been successful, but he had only been in sales for two years.
Second, what he was selling was in short-supply and very high demand. I’m sure you can see this for what’s worth. This guy isn’t selling. He is taking orders, and he’s too arrogant and naïve to know the situation he’s in is not going to last.
When his market does change, he’s going to be in for a shock. I can guarantee you right now he will be struggling. What will make this funny is when he does wind up struggling, he will be quick to blame everything else but himself as to why he is not successful.
Leadership is a big part of sales and some people like this guy are simply slow learners.
Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.