Saturday, 11 June 2011

No One Makes You a Leader

Another post courtesy of The Sales Blog by Anthony Iannarino, (my favourite sales blogger).

If you like this article I'd be delighted if you'd leave a comment and if you're a business networker and would like to connect on one of the business networking sites you can send me a message via my About.me page, via my profile the the Profiled.com site and you can also write to me via LinkedIn.

All the best,

Roz

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Selling effectively in business-to-business sales requires that you possess leadership skills. Much of the results you help your clients to produce will come through leading a team of people, people from your company and from your client’s company.

As a salesperson, you are called upon to also be a leader. You are a strategic orchestrator, making sure that everyone is working together to make the outcomes you promised a reality.
No one makes you a leader. You become a leader by leading.

You Lead By Taking Ownership for Outcomes

There are dozens and dozens of attributes that great leaders possess. And there are as many opinions on what makes a great leader as there are great leaders.
But one thing that makes a leader a leader is taking ownership and responsibility for outcomes.

As a salesperson, you have to take ownership for the outcomes that you have sold and promised. This means you sometimes have to lead members of your client’s team, and you also have to manage members of your team (which is sometimes more difficult than managing your client’s team).

Your role is to make sure all of your efforts are aligned and that everyone is playing their part. You have to remind people of the vision. You have to remind them how important their role in the mission is, and you have to serve those you lead by solving problems and making certain they have what they need to get things done.

Leadership means that while you may not be responsible for actually completing the tasks or transactions, you are responsible for ensuring the result is achieved.

You take ownership of the outcome; no one gives you ownership.

No One Will Fight You For Ownership

One of the most interesting things about leading is that once you decide to take a leadership role and own a difficult outcome, no one will stand in your way. No one. In fact, a lot of people will take one giant step backwards so as not to have to lead.

This is especially true the more difficult the outcome is to achieve. The more difficult the task, the less likely anyone is going to argue with you taking the leadership role. This is equally true when there is a lot at stake and the results are going to be visible. No one wants to be captain when there is risk of the ship sinking . . . but someone has to guide the ship through the storm.

If you would sell effectively, you must lead effectively. Don’t believe that it isn’t your job or that someone will make you a leader. Step up. Own the outcome. Lead.

Questions

Why does selling major B2B accounts require that a salesperson be a leader?
How do you lead when you lack the organizational chart authority? Is moral authority more valuable and effective than organizational chart authority?

Who makes you a leader?

What makes you a leader?

Why do so few resist someone else stepping up and taking a leadership role? Why do so many avoid leadership when the outcomes are going to be difficult to obtain and visible?

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Other posts on a similar theme:

Presales Qualification
The Three Biggest Killers of Sales Productivity
Sales Tips Article via The New York Times
9 of the Best Sales Tips for Hight Performing Sales People
How to be Interesting and Useful to C Level Executives
What I Love about Sales and Selling
Introducing The Fox Den

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Selling Diamonds (or any Small Business) on the Internet

As I've mentioned elsewhere I was running my own diamond selling business for a while and one of the things I wished I'd done earlier was start using the internet properly. Whilst I was by no means unsucessful without it I wish I'd invested a bit of time to understand what Twitter was all about and all these social bookmarking sites and the like.

It was at the tail end by the time I got around to it, but in a very short period of time I realised what I had been missing out on. I was mostly dealing in the imperfect end of the diamond market where buyers are looking for a diamond that gives them most bang for their buck.

Whilst not something that you'd think of buying online I did find that at this end of the market people are happy to transact with you providing you:

a) Look like an honest person
b) Have some sort of reputation
c) Are willing to give them their money back if they're not happy

It took me by surprise but complete strangers will part with thousands of pounds just as long as you can tick all those boxes. But during this exercise I learned many things and one of them was the additional value you can get by harnessing the power of social media to drive traffic to your sites and to create credibility when you're really operating out of your bedroom.

It's about being credible, visible, reputable and helpful.

If you're an entrepreneur or a one-man band then you have to have a strong online presence these days and I would recommend you spend some time to investigate the many low cost (even free) ways you can promote yourself on the web by way of online business profiles, social media, bookmarking sites and so on. I'd even go as far to say that if you don't you'll be kicking yourself when you find yourself losing business to a competitor.

Some of the online activities I'd recommend to others looking to establish their business on the internet are opening an About.me page (my one linked) - about.me is a great way to establish an identity for yourself or your brand. If you're a one man band or small business you also might want to consider creating an account at SunZu - or the other good sites for entrepreneurs such as ProSkore and Biznik. Other things you can do include: establishing a personal website, creating a blog such as this one (obviously targeted to your field) or create a Facebook business page. If your business is closely associated with your name you might also want to tidy up and make presentable your Myspace page, LinkedIn profile and any other profiles which you already have such as your personal Facebook page plus ones which you might have forgotten about Bebo, Flickr - even Friends Reunited! I've linked to some of mine here to give you an idea. Good luck :-)

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Other posts:

All New Landrover to help Motorists Overcome Mountainous Kensignton Terrain
Tiny Dancer - Elton John