“How will your customer be different as a result of doing business with you?” That was the game-changing question posed to us by Lisa Earle McLeod on the opening night of the EcSell Institute spring summit. Throughout the next 90 minutes, Lisa challenged attendees to find their purpose and use that purpose to communicate a more powerful and effective message with their sales teams and customers.
The author of “Selling with Noble Purpose,” Lisa is an expert on how defining and embracing a sense of purpose in your organization can lead to more profit. Lisa’s message was both simple and powerful. Essentially, when sales managers and sales reps approach their customers with a connection to a broader purpose, beyond just hitting their sales number, they are able to achieve better results.
This is not just an inspirational message from Lisa, but one that is based in research. In exploring the difference between good sales performers and the sales “rock stars” that we all want to have on our team, Lisa found a surprising conclusion. The rock stars didn’t necessarily work more hours and call on more accounts. But when they spoke about their role and communicated with customers, they always spoke with a sense of broader purpose. For some, it was providing pharmaceuticals that helped patients. For others, it was offering a service that made their customers’ lives easier. Regardless, the common thread was that it wasn’t the end result of more sales that motivated them. Revenue was important, but only as a measurement of how well they were executing their purpose.
Lisa then concluded by challenging the audience to define their company’s own purpose. And most importantly, once they define that purpose, to talk about it constantly. Ultimately, we learned that as sales leaders, it is essential that we set a positive example. How we talk about our customers matter. How we talk about our purpose in relation to profit matters. When we can lead our sales team with a sense of purpose, we can not only help make their work more meaningful, we can also help them sell more.