At this title, you might be wondering how I know what it takes to make the close. But, having spent fourteen years in sales and marketing at Bloomberg, as well as serving in a few different leadership roles in business development, I can tell you effectively leading is being an effective salesperson.
In sales, you are driving a prospect to buy what you are selling. It takes relevant information, understanding, and persuasion on the part of the salesperson to “get the sale” or “make the close.” Successful sales individuals don’t just sell, they provide solutions to people’s problems and convince them to take action.
Leaders too must get those around them to “buy in” to their leadership goals and initiatives. This requires leaders to be effective salespeople in a sense. There are three phases required to help you “make the close” – or, lead in a way that people will follow.
Phase One – Preparation
What are your goals? What is it you hope to achieve with your team? It’s easier for individuals to feel motivated and inspired if they understand what the goal is, how it’s importance and why you/they care. Goals will be a product of different sources – mostly likely upper management. Be able to take these goals and break them down so that everyone has a reason to what to accomplish them with you. Consider what who your audience is and what you need them to think, feel and do in order to accomplish the goals you want to achieve.
Phase Two – Execution
When you understand the why (your goals) and who (your audience), you need to properly execute your communication and how to achieve those goals with the help of those you lead. Each time you speak, conduct meetings, send emails, etc., impressions are being formed. Your words, the way you appear and how you engage with those around you make an impact on what is heard and understood. Be deliberate in what you say, how you say it and why.
Phase Three – Call-to-Action
If you expect to move individuals to your cause, you’ll need inspiration, persuasion and provocation – all of which I’ve discussed in great detail over several blogs. As an effective leader, your mission is to change someone’s mind, heart, and provoke action. Consider what motivates and inspires you, then consider each of your team members. If you are actively seeking to move through each of the phases before, you’ll not only understand what needs to be accomplished, you’ll understand who you are working with.
You might not have an official “sales” role, but if you are managing and leading others in the workplace, you are most definitely a salesperson. Learn more about being a leader who persuades, motivates and provokes action by reading my blog, Language of Leading.