Manage Smarter 60 — James Rores: Servant Leadership and Shared Goals

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James Rores is a sales performance expert, CEO of Floriss Group, author of the Collecting WINS Sales Methodology, and Founder of the Growth Multiplier Movement. He's an expert on the servant leadership approach to sales and how implementing it can grow and sustain sales growth. Listen to learn more about servant leadership and shared goals.

In this episode, Audrey, Lee and James discuss:

  • The definition of Servant Leadership
  • Show up and be in service while leading people we are with
  • How serving shared goals and leading a buyer can boost your business
  • What is the Growth Multiplier Movement and how to implement it 

"Growth Multiplier speaks to the fact that when we build relationships based on servant leadership we really are building teams at their core by virtue of having people involved in a shared goal."

- James Rores

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Servant Leadership and Shared Goals

Manage Smarter 60 Length: 00:25:26

This episode of Manage Smarter is presented by SalesFuel coach our adaptive sales coaching featuring five minute quick coaching, personalized to each sales rep. Learn more about SalesFuel coach at salesfuel​.com. 

Welcome to the Manage Smarter Podcast with host C. Lee Smith and Audrey Strong. We're glad you're here for discussions on new ways to manage smarter, hire develop and retain talent, improve results and propel team performance to new heights. This is the Manage Smarter Podcast.

Audrey Strong: Welcome to the Managed Smarter Podcast everyone. We're going to talk a little bit about the servant leadership lens today. I'm Audrey strong. I am the vice president of communications here at SalesFuel, Lee.

C. Lee Smith: Yeah, I'm C. Lee Smith. I'm the president and CEO of SalesFuel and yeah, Audrey for 30 years that's been our mission here at SalesFuel to get people to think of sales people in a different light,  not as the used car curb [inaudible 00:00:51] type of salesperson or a Glen Jerry, Glen Ross kind of thing. It's like, that's not what sales really should be about. And so it's great to have a partner and trying to change that perception one salesperson at a time who is our guest today.

Audrey Strong: It's a pleasure for me to introduce our guest. It's James Rores. He's a sales performance expert, the CEO of Floriss Group, author of The Collecting WINS Sales Methodology and founder of the Growth Multiplier Movement. He's an expert in the servant leader approach to sales and how it implementing this can really grow and sustain the sales growth. Hi James, thanks for tuning in and joining us in the zoom room today.

James Rores: Hi, Audrey. Great to be here.

Audrey Strong: So, you want to talk about kind of the overwhelming umbrella of the growth multiplier, what that means and what the servant leader approach is.

James Rores: Absolutely. So, a lot of folks can gain or understanding of a servant leadership just by analyzing the two words servant leader. Most of us are either a servant or a leader. We either show up one of two ways. There are many of in business, especially but this can happen in our family dynamic. Any dynamic that we find ourselves in during the day, we can show up and be the type of person that just serves. Meaning there's an overwhelming amount of the other person or the circumstances around us that dictate how we behave much less of us, much more of them. There's also the leader and traditionally thought of as a power leader. So, if that person's heavy on the leadership side too much of them is involved in the dynamic of the conversation or the interaction with other folks, and they leverage their power. Really just to meet their own expectations, their own needs accumulate authority so that they can dominate situations. Servant leader is the combination of the two. We want to show up and be in service, but we also want to lead the people that we're with. So, we like to say that we serve shared goals and we lead a buyer or an individual that we're looking to influence down a shared path to change. So, we serve shared goals. We lead folks down a shared path. The idea here is the key word shared. We are now finding a balance between the dynamics that all the individuals in the relationship bring together. And we are now building a team and we are now fostering a purpose that is shared benefit that is shared a dynamic that is shared, and we can now call ourselves growth multipliers.

C. Lee Smith: So, why do you use the term growth multiplier?

James Rores: The principle reason we chose the word growth multiplier, Lee was to find a different way to refer to this type of person in a sales context there are lots of old phrases like consultative seller, for example. When somebody shows up and is consultative, they are leveraging leadership dynamics, but growth multiple player is much more descriptive of what we're trying to achieve. The why behind the way we show up. The other thing is that when you think about the common refrain out in business today is there is no I in team. There's so much of us are focused on stepping out of the power leadership mode and into a team dynamic, growth multiplier really speaks to the fact that when we build relationships based on servant leadership, we're really building teams at their core and by virtue of having so many people involved in a shared goal and walking that shared path, you cannot help but multiply the effect. So, a team that is run by, or that is led by, or that pursues this idea of everyone working as a growth multiplier will far outstripped any production that a power leader might be able to demand from his or her team.

C. Lee Smith: I tend to think that the growth multiplier concept then doesn't just apply to sales where I'm going to 10 X your revenue over last year, but it's also I'm going to multiply your growth within the company, your professional growth, as a manager or as a coach, it's like does that seemed like that could work in that capacity as well?

James Rores: You're exactly right. In fact, Robert Greenleaf, when I was going through my own kind of turnaround in my career when I had burnt out in sales and was looking for something new to grab onto, servant leadership was one of the first things that popped up for me. And Robert Greenleaf developed servant leadership as a response to the internal leadership dynamic within organizations in the sixties and seventies. The way I've taken what he taught and evolved for sales was really based on the fact that when you think about the dynamic between an employee and an employer, that dynamic is really one where the employee is a volunteer. In that dynamic as a volunteer, the employee can choose to be there or not. Now, if the employee says, well, I need the job, the employee can choose whether or not he or she shows up, whether or not he or she gives it their best effort. The employee is a volunteer. If you think of employees as volunteers, then you must pursue a servant leader model. You must include the employee and their wants and dreams, their purpose in the dynamic of the relationship that you create as a leader. When I learned that and thought about that, I thought, well, there's no greater paradigm or dynamic where that volunteerism is stronger. That in the relationship between a buyer and a seller, the buyer is a volunteer in that situation. I, as a seller, have very little ability typically to create and attract the authority and power required to dominate that relationship. Now, Glen Gary, Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin, coffees foreclosures, we see examples of where people try to create that power leadership dynamic all the time. And maybe we can be successful here and there, but it's not as Greenleaf identified correctly, not something that can sustain an organization, can sustain a relationship, can sustain a brand, can sustain growth for any length of time. And so I think you're absolutely correctly. And that's really in all fairness, that's actually where I got the idea from was really from the dynamic that exists between employees and employers.

Audrey Strong: You really boil that down internally and externally then, and you say, really the approach umbrella term that you use is humanistic. So, humanistic to the buyer who enjoys buying, but doesn't like being sold and humanistic within to your teams who want to be developed, but want to be developed in stuff that interests them, not necessarily what you dictate they be developed on. Does that make…?

James Rores: Yes, you're exactly right. And the question really is as someone who walks into organizations and not only spreads a new concept, but actually helps organizations effect change. We have to change the mindsets, the skill sets, and the tool sets that leaders and teams use every day to create this dynamic and create fertile ground for this dynamic. We have to address the reason why don't we just naturally act this way. Why is it so hard for us to just naturally invest in the team and make room for everyone who has that shared goal of growth? And I think that's really the next step. What is it about us that makes us, and I use the phrase lazy, or you could use the word selfish. I like the word lazy because, we all have been in a situation where it's just easier for us to demand or to dictate, or to order someone to do something. It's harder, requires more emotional control, it requires more developed skills to actually slow down and consider everyone on the team. Now, again, it's really important that we talk about the fact that we're not just talking about a group of people and I'm in service to this group of people, shared goals, shared path. I'm talking about dynamic where everyone that's in this organization on this team, part of this group has the same goal in mind. They're pursuing the same purpose. Now let's all get on the same path that requires leadership. 

C. Lee Smith: Let me piggyback off of Audrey’s question then too. It's not just that buyers like to buy but they don't like to be sold, but also I tend to see there's a lot of sellers out there, sellers who like to make sales, but don't like to sell. A lot is made of the millennials and the gen Z generations and everything like that. But I do believe there is a correlation there that that the younger crop of salespeople or potential sales people that we have, they want to work for a purpose not just for a paycheck. So, for them, I would think that the servant leadership, the concept that applying at the sales would be very attractive to them.

James Rores: You’re dead on, Lee. And this is the thing I think that and I'm raising two millennials. So, I think I kind of understand what you're talking about. But the idea here is, so let's talk about sales specifically. In my experience, again, 30 years in the biz over 15 years as a top producer, I've built teams. I've been part of a lot of new teams, coached teams. What I see out there are sales people that understand their product. They understand their process. They understand the world as they see it and as they experience it. Very few salespeople really see the world as the customer sees it, as the customer experiences. That's the first step. That's the first requirement of a servant leader. I must understand. I must seek to understand and also strive to be understood. In that dynamic, that mutual understanding must occur. Too many salespeople, too many leaders don't consider the other party. Don't consider the customer. What's the objective? It's not just to consider them so you can ask good questions and manipulate them to buy from you. I understand their needs so I'm going to start there and then suggest my solution. It's much deeper than that. You must understand the problems they face. So, you can understand how what you bring to market will solve of that problem. This is about matching problems and solutions. And it's about putting yourself in the situation of that buyer, not just doing discovery, where are you? What are you experiencing? But provoking and understanding in them of the things that they're not considering. When I'm buying something that I haven't bought before or haven't bought often enough to be an expert in I'm depending upon the salesperson to help me see the light. It would be ridiculous if I walked into my doctor's office, after being on the internet to explore a pain in the left side of my abdomen, to tell the doctor, I have a pain in the left side of my belly, I need an appendectomy stat. When can we schedule it? The doctor must show up and say not, “Hey, yeah, let's schedule that.” And count the money from the surgery. The doctor must show up and say, “Hey, James, your appendix is on the right hand side. Would you mind if we think about this?” And then they start asking some questions about what I might be experiencing to provoke awareness in me that I didn't have when I walked in the door that is a leadership paradigm that most salespeople lack and never develop.

C. Lee Smith: It's not just about the whole find the pain thing. I hear that from a lot of sales trainers and things of that nature, it makes me cringe, but it's also about, “Hey, I have a goal that I want to achieve. I have an objective here that my department needs to reach.” But it's also goes beyond that. It's also I have a goal that I personally want to reach. And so it's just not a matter what problem that we can solve as a sales person, how we can help there, but also how can we help your company achieve an objective? And just as importantly, and quite frankly to them, maybe more importantly, help you achieve the objective that you want to get out of this. So, if I can make goal for the third time in a row, whatever, I'm in line for this promotion or something like that, great, how can I help you get there? 

James Rores: Exactly. So, in that context, Lee, what we must realize as corporate leaders or as individual contributors as salespeople, success is not the transaction. Success is not convincing someone. Success is not persuading. Success is not gathering and applying influence. Success is not manipulating. Success is not the signature. Success is, we use the phrase, successful buying decision is the very best recommendation you can make as a salesperson to achieve the goal that the buyer has, not to sell them your product or service. Of course, we hope that our product and service is the very best choice for achieving that goal. But at the end of the day, we are not going to be evaluated based on whether or not we sold them a great product or service. We will always be evaluated based on the impact or the value of what that person purchased from us. Did it get me where I wanted to be? So, when someone's improving their home and investing in a new master bath, we have to not just sell them a new master bath. We must understand why they want it. What's the motivation? Why would you go through the pain and agony of not having your bathroom? Why would you spend the 30, 40 grand to fix it up? What is it you're trying to achieve? What's the ultimate goal? Why change? As a salesperson for a construction company? I have to know that the ultimate objective is to improve the value of the home. So, as a servant leader, wouldn't I say to them, look, to improve this master bath, it's going to cost you 30, 40, 50 grand. Are you prepared to invest that money and will you be here long enough to realize the improvement that this will have in your house. And it's my responsibility to say to that person, look, if your objective is to improve the value of your home, I'd put it in your kitchen. That's my responsibility as a servant leader. Why would I do that? Audrey, go ahead, sorry. 

Audrey Strong: I'm going to put my practicality hat on because that's just what I do. 

C. Lee Smith: Good luck for you. 

Audrey Strong: Yeah, thanks a lot. It’s like the hat and Harry Potter that talks, you know. But so let's see for our listeners listening, they go, this is really interesting I'm on board with this. But what is the additional day to day expenditure of time, it's going to take me to implement this model versus the dictatorial model, which is what I have now. And is it more time or just a change in how we do things?

James Rores: Yeah, that's a wonderful question. The idea that this takes longer, the idea that this is more expensive, the idea that this is less successful is an illusion. The idea that you have more control through force is an illusion. It's a false thought. It's a false narrative.

C. Lee Smith: Because you're not hearing what they're saying about you in the break room.

James Rores: Exactly, the more I try to hang onto something the more that thing I'm trying to hang onto fights against it. The more I piss off a client, the more angry I make them. The more [inaudible 00:18:29] and angry they are when they're talking about my company on Twitter or on the internet someplace. We have more control the more collaborative we are, the responsibility of the leader and the salesperson is to ensure that there is a shared goal. When I go out to sell, I qualify my client. Do they have a goal that I can deliver? The more specific view of how I qualify is do you have a problem I can solve? That must be solved now, that's how I qualify. Whether or not I'm going to spend my time with this person as a leader, is this somebody that I'm qualified to serve? Do they have a goal that I'm qualified to deliver? Now Audrey, to your point, oh James there's risk in this. What about my pipeline? What about the deals that I have to make? The truths in sales that exist for power leaders also exist for servant leaders. The easiest way to de-​stres as a salesperson, the easiest way to respect the customer and to not take a deal that you shouldn't is to not live in scarcity, is to not be afraid of not hitting your number, is to not have a lack of emotional control. How do you do that? The best way is they have a full pipeline. Stop thinking that your life is going to end if you don't close this deal. Work on having a full pipeline of qualified opportunities, get rid of the scarcity mentality and treat people the way you know you should be treating them, the way they want to be treated.

C. Lee Smith: So, one of the things I've learned the hard way actually is when I do discovery in a sales process, I discover a need or they really need this. And then I find out, but that they still don't buy it. It's very frustrating. And it's funny because they’ll end up go and buying something else that they don't really don't need, but something they want to buy. It's sort of like how I tell Audrey, “It's like at lunchtime, it's like, you know, I know I really need to eat a salad, but I really want to eat a donut. So, guess what I'm eating for lunch?” 

Audrey Strong: Yeah. But you're stubborn now. 

C. Lee Smith: Yeah. I know, donuts have never killed anybody unlike lettuce lately, but anyway.

Audrey Strong: Talk to the FDA. Yes.

C. Lee Smith: I know. So, I'm wondering though, does this servant leadership concept then tie in to the idea of are we looking for their needs or are we focusing more on the wants? How does that work?

James Rores: Well, that's a wonderful question. So, it sounds like what you're getting at is this idea that when you're out looking at food, you're buying with your eyes, right? And your taste buds, you're not thinking about what the doctor says or what the calorie count is or what the fat count, et cetera. So, I mean, this speaks to a universal truth that the buying process is emotional before it's rational. So, yes as a servant leader I am going to be focused on what my client wants. Now, we define what you want as the reason to change. So, the first question that exists for anyone out there who's buying anything is always why change. The answer is I want something. That is an emotional conversation that has feeling behind it. The servant leader must explore what some somebody wants and why they want it and how it makes them feel. We have to understand that. Now the beautiful benefit that this provides to us as sales people is that we are not talking about our product. We're not talking about our solution. We're talking about the client and we're understanding who they are, where they are and why they are. We're exploring whether or not we really can help them. So, we start with those wants, and then we're always looking at the impact of achieving what they want or not. So, we're looking at the impact of success, the impact of failure, the impact of doing nothing. When we define impact, we're thinking about the economic definition, the strategic definition, the personal definition. We're exploring all those components of impact by looking at wants and impacts, we are absolutely, as you said, Lee, we’re having an emotional conversation, which is where people make decisions. They make buying decisions, they support those buying decisions rationally, which is now where we talk about needs and solutions. So, let's talk about what's stopping you from getting there, those the needs. And then we can talk about the recommendation in terms of how our solution fits those needs. So yes, you're right. 

Audrey Strong: Empathy beyond discovery. Yeah. 

James Rores: Sorry, Audrey. 

Audrey Strong: I was going to say I little empathy required beyond the discovery sounds like.

James Rores: Empathy, you're right at a high level. One of the things that [inaudible 00:23:45] people suffer from is having too much empathy. So again, it's a leadership paradigm is you must have empathy but not too much. In other words, if I understand that you're in this horrible situation but if I have too much empathy, then I join you in that horrible situation. 

C. Lee Smith: I'm going to give away my product to help you out. Like that's not [crosstalk 00:24:06].

Audrey Strong: Yeah. I see what you guys are saying. 

James Rores: I can no longer lead you.

Audrey Strong: Well, it's, Floriss Group​.com. James, you're JamesRores1, numeral one on Twitter. And also, you have a Florissgroupllc on Twitter as well, and you're on LinkedIn and Facebook and you're everywhere. How would you like people to get a hold of you if they're interested in engaging?

James Rores: Yeah. My email is excellentJames@​florissgroup.​com. We are doing a lot on social media now. Our clients over the last 12, 13 years have really helped us develop what we're calling now The Growth Multiplier Movement. You can learn more about that movement on our website, through social media. We'd be happy to chat with anybody who's interested. 

Audrey Strong: Thanks a lot James. 

C. Lee Smith: Fascinating discussion, James. I really appreciate your coming on board today. 

James Rores: My pleasure, it was delight.

Thanks for listening to this episode on servant leadership and shared goals. If you enjoyed the show, please rate and recommend on iTunes, overcast, or wherever you get your podcast. You can also get more great information at salesfuel​.com.

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