It's hard to watch television this days without getting the sense that "true understanding" is in reasonably short supply in many circles in our country; however, several things I have read over the years have led me to the conclusion that one of the most critical traits of really successful people is an open mind. The statement, "The mind doesn't work unless it's open" has been drilled into many of us over our life time yet I would venture to say that many of us have found ourselves in recent months with anything but a truly open mind.
Last week I once again watched Dr. Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk called, "Your Body Language Shapes Who you Are". I was prompted to watch it after reading two articles she recently wrote about how important warmth and competence are in order to truly connect with people. The last 5 minutes of her 21 minute Ted talk, which I believe is one of the most watched Ted talks ever, are simply riveting and I believe should be required viewing for anyone interested in achieving more.
The best sales managers I know have adopted a coaching mindset—and engage their employees not as managers but as coaches. I was thinking about this coaching mindset as I read Dan Rockwell’s blog about leadership using the term “go-giver” leaders (Practices of Go-Giver Leaders). He made the point that a go-giver leader starts each personal interaction by first thinking, “How might I give?” rather than thinking “How can I take?” In my opinion, this is a great mindset for all leaders and managers to develop.
How can we help others improve? That’s a question leaders often have top of mind. And they continue to ask themselves this because there’s no easy answer. Let’s face it, people are complex. As leaders we must ask ourselves, is there a way to break through all of life’s distractions and personal issues to coach someone to be the best they can be?
I believe we all want our lives to mean something, to be successful. Exactly what this means varies for each person. What I would call a successful and meaningful life is probably different than your definition. Yet I think we can all benefit from reminders about just what it takes to accomplish that success—however we define it.
I think we tend to underestimate the power of beliefs. The goal of selling is to change our customer’s behavior. We can’t change anyone’s behavior unless we change their beliefs. The simple truth is that we act based on what we think and believe. And as sales people we have the power to influence another’s beliefs.
“Let me boldly state that in selling, intention is everything. By intent, I mean purpose.” That’s a direct quote from my book Stop Acting Like a Seller and Start Thinking Like a Buyer. I truly believe that you won’t be successful in selling (or in business, for that matter) if you don’t have the right intent.