Are You a Positive Sales Influencer?

BY Gregg Baron
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Why don’t more salespeople influence more positively and effectively? In some situations, it’s a lack of skill set. In more situations, it’s about mindset.

Mindset before skill set to optimize execution”

Some people are influencers by nature. They have a natural style and affinity for empathy, listening and putting others at ease. They are naturals at building credibility, authentic rapport and trust. Others are lucky to have great role models who also coach and guide them to become great influencers. However, in my experience, most of us aren’t naturals at influencing effectively and have poor or nonexistent role models.

A good number of business people just aren’t getting the right quantity nor quality of coaching, training and mentoring around this critical skill. Some don’t get enough and some don’t get any.

You’ve probably heard of Malcolm Gladwell, the author of The Tipping Point, and several other extraordinary books. In his book, Outliers, Gladwell says that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in any field. That’s a lot of practice. The Art of Influence Simplified hopes to save people a good chunk of those 10,000 hours by helping them to quickly learn and understand the patterns of what extraordinary influencers in business actually do.

Perhaps more importantly, is understanding what these influencers believe. There are a few key beliefs of excellent influencers, who are perceived to be trusted advisors by their customers. If you are perceived as a trusted advisor, versus "the salesperson" or "vendor," you are doing something different and that difference makes you more valuable and effective over time.

We could do multiple books on why a significant percentage of salespeople don’t influence as positively or as effectively as they could. A short list begins with:

  • They prioritize their self-​interests over the customer /​ prospect
  • They don’t work on their craft (professional influence) at all or enough
  • They don’t listen effectively on all levels
  • They don’t prepare effectively
  • They pitch too much
  • They don’t customize their approaches at all or enough for each unique customer
  • They don’t effectively establish credibility, which impacts trust, which impacts everything
  • They don’t have the will or the skill to uncover the value the customer wants (what they really care about, prioritize, want and need)
  • They speak their own languages and don’t learn nor speak the prospect’s language
  • They aren’t ETDBW (Easy To Do Business With)
  • They don’t make the sales experience valuable enough for the customer