I started writing my new book this week called “The Sales Shaman.” The idea struck me in my elevator going to the 9th floor to my office last week. What appears to me weekly in coaching leaders and top producers around the world is it is not WHAT they sell, rather, the WAY they sell that makes a difference. I’ve asked thousands of sales people to describe themselves when they are at their very very best, and they all say the same answer: “When I’m selling.” Specifically, when they are helping others, listening, and defining their needs. This is when they are truly there for them. They say that helping others think of new ideas and possibilities makes their career ultra rewarding, but to do it they must inoculate their tendency to elaborate too quickly without proper understanding of the buyers actual state or problems.
The law of economics we all tend to buy and sell upon is the generalization that motivation is built upon self-interest first. But what if we invert this belief to what if everyone is self-less? What if we propose each of us has this innate capacity within us to come forward and some are higher on it than others. Familiarity is the pathway to this. So what if selling was delivered on this governing paradigm? What if people want to give value just for the joy of it? This is pointing at a generous, voluntary energy. The path to profits isn’t through profits, it’s through value creation. And if this was among us in the world, what kind of world could we become?
Sales people would unleash the power of compassion capital. Understanding would replace presenting and showing value. Adding value would become more important. The whole could become greater than the sum of the parts. When put together, the bond of buyer and seller could flourish into a co-creative state. These are the ingredients of a gift economy where consumption moves to contribution. Instead of “what can I get?” turn to “what can I give?” We need to count on people to be generous, not self-interested. And it starts with sales persons around the world!
So I began a journey to redefine what selling is in this new light, and see how a sales person who relates with him or herself differently in the role, is the key to creating enormous value for buyers to whom they serve and sell. Selling is a natural process of being more of yourself, to create value for others. Selling is an invitation to tell the truth, and making it safe to do so is the responsibility of any seller.
Since people buy people, it is relationship that is primary to building confidence from buyers, and listening to deeply understand the buyer and their situation, so that selling is the essential element to defining needs and meeting them together as a collaboration, not as buyer and seller. This co-creative effort is why so many leaders of great companies today are connecting with buyers more genuinely through story-telling rather than following a traditional sales process. The longer they keep their product in the pocket and have consultations, not presentations, the more essential they become, and for a long period of time!
This approach evaporates the traditional stereotypes people generalize about sales people which I call “the Joe Isuzu Effect” This effect is selling something people don’t want or need. For these trends and more, I must write “the Sales Shaman.” A Shaman is the “bridge” between the future and the current reality, who brings the original medicine of herself, to close the gaps. I think the universal mission of all people in selling is to bring their customers capabilities to create their dreams, even one’s they didn’t know they were missing, until you came along, the Sales Shaman!
Please listen to this months podcast with some of the concepts going into the new book!