Size Does Matter.…In Sales

BY Liz Wendling
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Size matters! There’s no room for a big ego in the sales process. No one wants to be accused of being egotistical and having an exaggerated sense of self-​importance. Research shows that a strong and healthy ego is essential for sales and business success. But a massive, unhealthy and out-​of-​control ego will kill deals and halt success.

Is your ego unhealthy and destructive or healthy and sound? Does it destroy business connections and sales opportunities? Does it build relationships and create high levels of trust?

We all have an ego, even your customers. We need our egos to survive and thrive. Egos are necessary but need to be tempered with a healthy dose of insight, empathy and diplomacy. Big egos turn customers off, compel them to lie to you, and avoid you.

Not all salespeople have big egos that create barriers. Many people think a big ego is another word for confidence, power, expertise, judgment, or experience.  Wrong!  It’s about self-​promotion and self-​importance.  I win—you lose attitude. People with unhealthy egos are proud of their ability to manipulate and persuade people.  They are happy with and see nothing wrong with the way they behave and function in the world.

Your ego is like a fingerprint; no two are exactly the same. Some egos need restraining (example: the loud, take a look at me type), some need lifting (example: the shy, wallflower type), and others only need routine maintenance.

I encounter big egos every day when working with organizations and sales teams. Big egos come out with guns blazing in a room of salespeople. They apparently know everything they need to know about sales and don’t feel the need for any assistance from me. Their ego wants to look good, talk the most, always be right and be the smartest one in the room.

These are the same salespeople who are struggling to close sales. They can’t get anyone to return their calls. And they’re baffled when a seemingly good meeting goes south and prospects avoid their emails and communication. Why? They forgot to leave their big unhealthy ego in the car on their sales call.

Egos, while necessary, tend to help or hurt the bottom line. An unhealthy ego has the attitude and mentality of “get the order, close the business, beat a completion, and win at any cost.” That unbridled arrogance is an ego looking for trouble with a single goal in mind—the sale!

The intrinsic need to win is what is failing humans in the quest for success.  The unhealthy ego has a need and want so powerful that it becomes more about the thrill of the kill, victory over another person and keeping score.

A person with an unhealthy ego has no interest in doing what is in the best interest of another. It has everything to do with winning and achieving through pressure, persuasion and manipulation. An unhealthy ego destroys friendships, business relationships, business alliances, careers and entire companies.

Think about a time when an egotistical sales person tried to convince you to buy something or try to sell you something you didn’t need or want.  Did it inspire confidence? Were they listening to what you were saying? Was the trust level low or high? Chances are you walked away rolling your eyes and mumbling something about how the salesperson was more interested in their paycheck than your situation.

A true sales and business professional knows when to put their ego aside. They have the ability to focus on what’s in the client’s best interest.  They know how to manage and control their ego to benefit the client. Their healthy ego allows them to put their intention and attention on the customer—at all times!

Ego, mixed and balanced, with a dose of empathy creates a potent and powerful salesperson. If you want to increase your bottom line and sales results, remember to leave your unhealthy ego at the door. Focus authentically and genuinely on your potential customers, and you will begin to see your sales grow. Don’t let your unhealthy ego become a liability.  Remember – size matters!

Liz Wendling is the author of two books (and counting) — The Unstoppable Business Woman and Everyone Sells Something, a columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine, and one of the first nationally credentialed facilitators for Napoleon Hill Mastermind groups. Learn more at lizwendling​.com.