There's a paradox about what makes great sellers truly great. Stereotypically, they are portrayed as those who always want more - more material wealth, more victories and more awards. But the truly great seller is something few really expect: Generous.
It may be a little jarring to consider, but generosity is the key that unlocks a tremendous array of human achievement, including great sales accomplishment. The great ones don't want to be the very best sellers in their industry; they want to be the best sellers for their company, for their customers and for their craft. Every day they give. And it makes them rich.
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Average and even moderately successful sellers may end up talking about their customers as grifters talk about their marks: they are targets to be reached, budgets to be emptied, sheep to be sheared. But the truly elite - whether because of innate character, maturation or positive influence - never even go there. They quickly get to a place where they ask themselves what they can do for this customer. What can they help create? What can they give?
Generosity is a quality that roots you in the present. It's pretty much impossible to do or create something for someone and not stay connected with them in the moment. The generous are better listeners, better analysts, and better resources. People are naturally attracted to them and want to do business with them.
If you've gotten this far and think this post sounds like so much new age hugging, I understand your position. But let me give you a little gift - a strategy - that you'll find very useful very soon.
The next time you are looking at an impossible client situation or a towering sales goal and feel paralyzed by the tasks in front of you, put down your work and take ten minutes to give something away. Write a LinkedIn recommendation for someone; call back that college student who's looking for advice; introduce two business friends who you think can help each other. Don't stop to calculate what you're going to get back...just give.
Now turn back to the tasks at hand and you will find fresh energy and a clear head. You'll now frame the issues around what you'll build, solve, grow and empower - all generous verbs. You'll let go of the outcome, release the pressure and start doing for your customer.
You'll give. And you'll succeed.