Sales Leadership Friday: Sales is Leadership and Leadership is Sales

If you know me or have been reading my blogs for some time, you know I like to use the phrase, “Sales is leadership. Leadership is sales.”

I’m a firm believer in the phrase and believe there is significant upside to individuals and companies that embrace what this means.

“Sales is leadership and leadership is sales” is all about realizing how both those words are intertwined.

Watch a real leader and watch how they communicate and move an organization, and you’ll notice them using selling concepts regularly.  Same thing applies to a top-performing salesperson. And I’m not talking about someone who claims to be a top-performer.

What I am talking about is a top-performing salesperson who is in that position based on what their customer say about them over a long period of time.  These top-performing salespeople are using leadership principles every day, not just with their customers, but also with everyone they come in contact with.

The definition of sales leadership is not something that is done only when you’re in front of a customer.  Real sales leaders demonstrate leadership consistently with everybody they encounter.

A key tenant of leadership is being able to lead in difficult times, because let’s face it… anyone can lead when things are easy.  Sales leadership is about being able to professionally handle the good customers and bad customers. A true sales leader’s demeanor and style does not change when the stakes get high or the stress increases.

Sales leadership is seen when a customer asks you a question regarding a topic they know is not really in your realm of experience.  The example I like to use is the software salesperson who is asked by their buyer for their thoughts on liability insurance.  Those two topics don’t go together, yet if the customer is going to ask the salesperson that question, it tells me they view the salesperson as a real asset and a knowledgeable person. They view the salesperson as a leader.

Ask yourself this question, “Do my customers view me as a leader or a salesperson?”

The goal is to be seen as a sales leader based on your actions.  Does being a sales leader translate into more sales?  I’ll claim it does for one simple reason.  The person who is seen as a sales leader will find themselves in more situations with the opportunity to sell.

Be sure to read my “Sales Leadership Friday” blog each Friday.  In the weeks and months to come, I’ll share more insights as to why I believe so strongly that sales is leadership and leadership is sales.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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