How do you start selling with noble purpose?

Have you ever been a part of a sales team? If that was the case, what was it? how’s the ambiance? Many sales teams operate in a high-pressure, macho environment. Regardless of the circumstances, each employee is urged to focus on increasing their personal sales. You should push, push, and push again, regardless of what you’re selling or if your prospect really needs it.

However, as widespread as this is, it isn’t the most effective strategy to increase sales and revenues. Instead, a sales culture should focus on ensuring that those selling the product understand its purpose and how it will benefit customers. Selling for a noble cause will provide the motivation and drive that every sales organization requires. Let’s look at how that’s done in Lisa Earle McLeod’s book, Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Do Work That Makes You Proud.

Do you avoid attending to parties because you don’t want to be asked, “So, what do you do for a living?” If that’s the case, there’s a considerable probability you don’t believe your work has a substantial impact on the world. “Oh, I work for a software business,” or “I work in sales,” is a frequent, evasive response to the inquiry.

You can try it right now: pretend you’re speaking to a new acquaintance and listen to yourself as you say what you do out loud. Do you seem dissatisfied with your work? If that’s the case, it’s time to make a change. After all, it’s crucial to feel like you’re contributing to the greater good.

Begin by posing a new inquiry to yourself: “When was the last time my job had an impact on someone else?” It doesn’t have to be a client or a customer; perhaps a coworker? If you’re able, convey this scenario to someone else and think about how it makes you feel. It’s likely that your speaking will improve, you’ll feel more involved, your self-esteem will rise, and you’ll leave the conversation feeling energized about your work.

This reply demonstrates how critical it is to find significance in your work for your personal well-being. There’s also a medical explanation for this reaction, as having a sense of purpose encourages your brain to work at a higher level.

It’s as if you’re on autopilot and expending the least amount of cognitive effort when you just fire out your work title. When you communicate the change you’ve made to someone else, though, this isn’t the case. It activates the frontal lobe of the brain, which is responsible for reasoning, planning, problem-solving, empathy, and altruism.

Noble selling begins with a focus on the requirements of the customer, rather than forcing them to acquire worthless or even dangerous items. Let’s take a look at one of the biggest sellers, Procter & Gamble, which started out with noble intentions (P&G). Despite their determination to increase sales and outperform its competitors, P&G was losing money around the year 2000. When Jim Stengel became chief marketing officer, he saw the company had lost sight of its mission, so he refocused the employees on one concept: selling items that made people’s lives better.

Every P&G product produced under Stengel’s leadership has to demonstrate a substantial and demonstrable means of improving someone’s life. This idea would guide all decisions related to the product’s sale and marketing. It was exactly the kind of drive P&G required, and by 2001, the company was back in the black.

Other corporations, such as Southwest Airlines, have found that selling with a noble aim is profitable. People need to travel from time to time, and Southwest’s mission is to make the skies more accessible and affordable to everyone.

Southwest’s marketing specialist, Roy Spence, recalls one of his favorite anecdotes from years ago, when all airlines began charging extra costs for bags. Roy Spence was not on board when his consultants told him that if they added the fees, they would likely generate $350 million per year. He understood that these costs would make flying less accessible and more expensive, which would be in direct contrast to the company’s goals.

Instead, Spence devised an ad campaign that stayed true to their mission. “Bags fly free,” the tagline read. Adherence to the company’s noble aim paid off once more: the advertising drew in new consumers and raised revenue by $1 billion for Southwest.

During your school years, you almost certainly had at least one terrifying and threatening teacher. Whatever subject they taught was likely to become your least favorite and get you the lowest grades. It just goes to show that fear is never a good incentive, which is a valuable lesson for all organizations to remember.

Return with me to P&G for a good example of why terrifying leaders are never good for business. The author was working for P&G in the late 1990s when her department was reassigned to a new boss. This scary boss once joined the author on a trip to one of P&G’s largest clients in order to evaluate her sales pitch. Even though the presentation went well, as they returned to their car, the boss was upset with her. He screamed at her for not pressuring the customer to purchase additional products.

So, what did the author do as a result of his enraged attitude? The following time her boss accompanied her on a sales pitch, she called the clients ahead of time and persuaded them to play along by saying they’d buy more things and then negotiating an actual contract to buy fewer items afterwards. If the manager truly wanted to boost the author’s sales, he shouldn’t have utilized fear because it just serves to divert the employee’s attention away from the customer’s requirements and toward the satisfaction of their boss.

When you’re scared, whether it’s a growling bear or a yelling boss, your fight or flight instincts kick in, and all you can think about is how to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. So, if you’re terrified of your boss, you won’t be thinking about how to best service the client; instead, you’ll be focused on selling as many things as possible.

Naturally, this puts your accounts at risk, as a client may conclude that you aren’t paying attention to their demands and begin doing business with a competition instead. So keep in mind that anxiety equals fewer sales. Apart from fear, a salesperson should be mindful of other instincts. If you’ve ever had the uneasy feeling that you should decline someone’s sales pitch, no matter how appealing it seemed, you know how powerful these instincts can be.

Customers catch up on the nonverbal indications that any salesperson might send, such as body language and voice tone. Albert Mehrabian, a UCLA psychology professor, investigated the elements that influence a person’s decision to trust or not trust someone. He discovered that 55 percent of the time, a person’s choice was based on their body language, whereas just 38 percent was based on their voice tone. Only 7% of the cases included what they were actually saying.

This is why, if you show signs of being frightened or scared, which is guaranteed to happen if you know you’re selling a lousy product, your sales pitch is likely to be rejected. Finally, you can’t fake selling with conviction, so you have to believe that what you’re selling is actually valuable to others.

Despite the fact that unconscious signals cannot be consciously controlled, many businesses will try to defy logic by implementing training programs that educate salespeople how to change their voice, body language, and expressions to appear more convincing.

All of this is unnecessary, however, if the salesmen believe in the product they are selling and can confidently state that it would improve the customer’s business or life. Then there’s no need to play games with your body language or be concerned about unspoken signals. Salespeople that are genuinely enthusiastic about their job and what they have to offer will send out signals that the customer will pick up on.

Check out my related post: What else can you do to thrive in the modern world?

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