Everyone knows the stereotype of typical salespeople: aggressive, slick “type As” who won’t take no for an answer and always “get over” on the people they are selling to. Unfortunately, stereotypes are often based on truth, and there are still — to this day — jerks in the sales profession that bully, use shady tactics, or prey on unsophisticated buyers.
While an aggressive, competitive personality can drive to break sales records are and are great characteristics, there is much more to the puzzle. In an industry built on connections and relationships, many sales professionals overlook one of the most powerful tools in their arsenal — giving selflessly & generously to others.
The Go-Giver, by John David Mann and Bob Burg, turned heads when it debuted and headlined this principle, as it countered the “me-me-me” attitude associated with making lots of money. Years later, its message still holds true.
Here are a few takeaways from The Go-Giver to take your sales performance to the next level.
Anyone Can Sense a Phony
Humans are intuitive, observant beings. If you come into a situation and it’s all about you and your inflated ego, people notice. Being genuine is a cornerstone of successful sales. Whether you are networking with other sales professionals or talking to prospects, fake people tend to get ostracized — except by other fake people!
Show a real interest in the concerns and needs of others. Find ways to add value to their life and assist in situations. Build a reputation for always being there to help. We’re not talking martyrdom or selling yourself short. Simply make them believe in you. However, show that the emphasis is on what you can do for them, not what they can do for you — and this involves being willing to listen more than you speak.
Redefining Value to Improve Performance
Before you can realize the true benefits of being a go-giver, instead of just a go-getter, you have to understand the true value of your actions.
Those seeking revenue growth tend to emphasize only one value: the profit that can be made by providing goods and services. The value yardstick that will truly improve revenue in the long run is: how are these goods and services helping and impacting your customers.
Measuring sales against this type of value will always provide greater returns due to the goodwill, word-of-mouth, and referral business that naturally follows.
Build Relationships Not Just Rapport
You’ve met the guy—the sales superstar who always has someone he can call in on a favor. He smashes quotas, spurs revenue growth and is always at the top of the chart. He does it all without breaking a sweat. You wonder how he builds his lists of contacts and has people stumbling over their own feet to help him out.
The secret to his list? He never set out to make one; he set out to build relationships. The influence and favors are simply a helpful perk of giving and adding value to your business relationships.
If you’re playing the game for yourself and no one else, people will notice and shun you. If you are actively trying to contribute to others and try to like them despite their flaws, you’ll attract like-minded individuals and build an army of givers that, of course, will end up giving to YOU.
Tap into the Power of Reciprocation
All of this is based in one very powerful human trait—the desire to reciprocate. If you help others, show a genuine interest in them and add value to their life, they will often feel the need to do the same for you. Reciprocity is a powerful tool in any area of business, but it is especially potent to improve sales.
However, it is important to understand this is a two-way relationship. If you simply give once and only take from there, the effect wears off. Continually giving is the best way to keep the engine running. Use what you receive to continue giving to others and watch the influence, clout and benefits multiply.
It’s no longer enough to simply be a go-getter. Those who make giving a focus of their sales arsenal achieve greater success, enjoy sales more and naturally rise to the top. For more on the benefits of making giving your sales mantra, check out The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann.
And contact me here for more tips on incorporating “Giving Before You Get” to better your sales.