Stop Selling & Start Leading® is a behavioral blueprint for sellers that preaches listening over pitching. The more people on your team who follow this movement in sales philosophy, the more buyers will want to follow your lead and buy from you.
The movement is not about using sales behaviors. It’s about exhibiting more behaviors associated with leadership. Those are the behaviors that make the kind of leaders that others want to follow.
The people you hire need to subscribe to this sales philosophy, or at least have the traits of someone who can learn and eventually champion it alongside you.
Look for Empathy in Your Employees' Sales Philosophy
Buyers are disenfranchised. They don’t want diagnostic assessments; they want needs assessments. Such an assessment can become a catalyst for them to keep wanting to move forward with the buying process.
How do you encourage current employees to engage in dialogue that’s more inspiring for the buyer? It all starts with intent.
For example, have them go into a discovery call tuned in -- facilitate a true dialogue. Ask natural follow-up questions. Actively and empathetically listen to buyers. Probe to understand the “why.”
That creates buyers and gets them to, no pun intended, buy in.
How do you make this a habit?
- Look for traits like empathy and curiosity in the people you hire going forward.
- Show your team the importance of empathy, then make sure everyone makes the choice to ask empathetic questions.
Do this, and you’ll grow a better sales culture. It’ll make you the employer of choice, and you’ll retain employees at a greater rate.
So, How Do You Find These People?
Maybe you aren’t using enough assessments when you hire. Assessments should always be a factor in your decision (though not the only factor). Use them to help make decisions after you interview someone rather than as a prescreening tool. You don’t want your test to override human judgment.
Some more tips about testing candidates:
- Assessments should be customized to what’s going on with your best sellers. Competencies in every industry and role can be different.
- That said, whoever’s doing the interviewing should always ask the same questions in the same way to every candidate. This consistency levels the playing field for each applicant.
- The interviewing process should be behavioral-based -- no more gut-instinct decision making. Instead ask questions like, “Can you describe to me a time when you needed to demonstrate real understanding of people’s feelings? What you did in that situation? What were the results?”
- We typically look for people who are like us. But we have blind spots and areas where we are living in the past. There are better ways of doing things sometimes -- keep that in mind.
Build Proud Sellers
Sales shouldn’t feel like a dirty word on your new hires’ business cards. Enable them to lead rather than carry around perceived “baggage” of being in sales. A Stop Selling & Start Leading® sales philosophy will give your employees an empathy-based mindset that will be contagious with buyers.
(Note: This blog is based on my appearance on the Accelerate! With Andy Paul podcast. A big thanks to Andy for having me on!)