Are You a Salesperson or a Sales Leader?

BY Rachel Cagle
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You may think that servant leadership has nothing to do with sales for people who aren’t in management positions. If you think that, you’re misinformed. James Rores, CEO and founder of Floriss Group challenges salespeople of all ranks to practice servant leadership to boost both morale and sales.

Salespeople can easily increase their sales by, “changing their self-​view from being a salesperson with an ‘either I win or I lose’ mentality to thinking of themselves as a leader,” Rores said in a recent Floriss podcast. So, first, you as a servant leader salesperson need to identify and then focus on your client’s goals. If your product or service can help them achieve that goal, then your job is to lead them to that result.

Don’t think about your business relationship as a sales opportunity. Instead, pitch it as a partnership. You know what the client wants or needs and how what you’re selling offers the best solution. So, during your first sales meeting, Rores says, “Instead of pitching my product or service, I’m going to spend most of my time understanding your goals, the impact of success or failure, what’s been blocking you from getting there and helping you understand my solution in the context of those three questions.” With that information, if the client will enter into the partnership you’re proposing, you can guide them along the path to reaching their goals.

You’re no longer a salesperson, you’re a leader. Salespeople have the negative reputation of caring only about personal gain. Leaders, however, focus on teamwork and progression that benefits everyone involved. Which do you think your clients would rather work with?

The servant leadership model works even in new ventured-​funded companies. While many people may believe that venture fund professionals put emphasis on high pressure sales tactics, it’s actually not the case. Those tactics can ‘degrade the brand and the internal culture.’ And that’s something to stay away from,” says Rores.