Servant Leadership … In Sales

The more I think about the people I respect, the more I remember the people that contributed to my life, the more I celebrate the friendships that have lasted the test of time. The more I become aware that it is “Contribution” that made them special.

So I ask, how are you contributing to the people you choose to serve (Sell to)?

Are you taking the leadership to be the expert in your field? Are you developing your emotions so you can calm down enough to listen to your clients? Are you taking the time to pay attention to the small details related to client situations? Are you caring enough to ask the right questions and check in on them personally?

The only approach to building a relationship of trust that lasts the test of time is to start serving your clients well.  You are there to do their bidding; hope you get that.  It does not get any simpler. Value exists only in the eyes of the beholder.  With servant leadership you have a fighting chance of figuring out what your clients really value.

I follow these three steps to help serve my clients:

  1. Check in with them personally and see how they are doing.  This is critical.  Take the time to check in with your clients – the individuals. If you can’t have that conversation, you have work to do.  Go beyond the trivial conversations about the weather or the happenings of your local sports team. Ask them about what is happening at work, in their personal lives, about their kids or something that has a direct impact on their mood.  Break through and get in.
  2. Understand the problem and the negative “Impact” it has:  Here you need to complete the loop. Understanding the problem but not the impact it has on their business will not get you far. Your responses will come across seemingly generic and will lack the personalized context that will help them see the value of your offering. People want to eliminate the negative impact problems have on their lives.  Human beings always want to stay as far away from pain as possible.
  3. Provide a solution that takes care of them: It is not enough to just solve the problem your clients are having. Go the extra mile it is important to make sure your clients are feeling better once you helped them solve the problems they were facing. Again, its about leadership.  Help your clients have a better future and a better experience. This way, they will keep coming back for more.  You then become a trust partner and an active part of their world.

In Conclusion:  In the B2B space you don’t need many clients; you need a few that come back to you often.  It is about adding value and getting in sync with the needs of your clients.  Focus on finding ways to help them out, embrace the words; “How can I help” or “I am here to help”; repeat these often and mean it.  Be an expert in your niche then make it personal; it always is.

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