What makes you unique? In Mark Hunter’s sales video, he says you need to find one thing you do unique and capitalize it, leverage it. How can it benefit others? Make this one thing your “point of difference.”
Why? In sales, you need to stand out to your prospects. You want to be thought of as distinctly different. Take one thing about you that is unique, and enlarge this. Find a way for your uniqueness to show in your pitch to possible customers.
In Keenan’s video, he says that too many of us are operating on auto-pilot. Many with 20 years of experience are not experts in their field. Experience just marks time. It does not mean they have a high level of expertise.
A depth of knowledge to bring to the table that allows someone to change the game? That’s expertise. Thankfully we can control expertise - how deep will you go into your field?
“Experience simply marks the time we’re do something, but it’s a bad gauge of how well we actually do it. Expertise, on the other hand, is a far better gauge of our competency.”
Become an expert, because of your experience.
In Nathan T. Washburn and Benjamin Galvin’s article, the authors discuss how great leaders are not seen as real people but as “mental images”. “They may be flesh and blood to the senior team and the assistants in the C-suite, but to people in outer orbits, from operational departments to business units, they are imaginary constructs. Employees create pictures of what leaders seem to be, based on the bosses’ accumulated emails, tweets, speeches, and videos, plus whatever tidbits are picked up here and there.”
The authors found four rules that govern how people create and respond to the imaginary leaders that live in their minds:
- “Employees tend to judge a book by its cover. In saying this, we are not being disparaging toward employees; everyone does it. People are content to base their assessments of a leader’s ability and appeal on very little information. In fact, they prefer to have skimpy information, since it’s easier to digest.”
- “Employees look for answers to a few specific questions: Does the leader care about me personally? Have high standards? Offer an appealing vision of the future? Seem human in a way I can relate to?”
- “People prefer to get answers to these questions in the form of stories, which are then used to create the mental image. The image helps people decide whether to believe in and follow the leader.”
- “In assessing stories, people pay attention to those they perceive to be trustworthy, and disregard the rest. In assessing trustworthiness, people look for unexpected moments of candor and unbiased third-party accounts, communicated through unscripted and informal channels. Formal, planned interactions don’t provide these moments. As trustworthy stories are retold, they take on a life of their own, affecting people throughout the organization.”
How have you seen these rules in your thinking? Seeing how employees view leaders can be discouraging to leaders. What can leaders do? The authors offer some suggestions:
- Show concern for employees.
- People prefer to reach for high standards. Set standards.
- As a leader, you need to seem accessible. Show your humanness.
Find Nathan: LinkedIn
Find Benjamin: LinkedIn
In Emma Seppala’s article, Seppala says that giving feedback is often one of a manager’s hardest tasks. You need to be honest but you don’t want to alienate them. “You tread a fine line between maintaining cordiality and successfully getting your point across.”
It’s important to have a positive workplace culture. This creates psychological safety. “Psychological safety improves learning and performance outcomes. More important, feeling safe in the workplace helps encourage the spirit of experimentation that’s so critical for innovation.”
By having an open, positive, and supportive feedback style, you are building trust with employees. But when you have to criticize, how should you do it?
First off, you need to remember how important nonverbal cues are. They are as important, if not more, than what you say.
- Facial expression. Smile appropriately, with warmth.
- Eye contact. Eye contact brings a feeling of connection with it.
- Watch your tone.
- Take a non-domineering stance, so as to intimidate them less.
- Take calming breaths.
- Don’t let your mind wander.
Find Emma: LinkedIn
In another Keenan video, he says that few sales managers have their sales people understand the “hows”. “The only way you can find a problem, a really good problem, is to understand ‘how’.”
It’s important to learn how people do things, even before trying to figure out ‘why’. Research your prospect and try to see a peek into their life, their day to day schedule.
“How does your prospect do what they do?"
Here’s how it works.
Start with what your product or service does. What value does it bring?
Then start asking your prospect how they do what your product or service does now.
Ex: You sell hauling equipment.
- How do you haul today?
- How long does it take?
- How many people are involved?
- How many trips does it take to haul?
- How expensive are your fuel costs?
- How frequently to you have to fuel?
- How much waste do you experience?
- How much manual loading is required?
- How far can you go without refueling?
- How much can you load in a single trip?
- How quickly can you unload?
- How fuel efficient is your hauling?
I don’t run a hauling equipment company, but if I knew the answers to these questions, I’m pretty sure I could sell a lot of hauling equipment.
If you’re selling anything that is valuable, what your selling should be an improvement over what they are doing. If you don’t know what they are doing, you can selling an improvement.”