ABC. “Always Be Closing.” Alec Baldwin’s famous quote in the movie Glengerry Glen Ross was powerful and became the sales foundational block in Sales 101. This speech inspired every salesperson to close deals, make lots of money, and create a name for themselves.
I’ll admit, it’s a common temptation as a salesperson to become “money hungry” and focus on my own ego, output, and numbers. This turns the customer into a means to an end. In certain settings, this mentality is actually embraced; because of commission-based salaries, it becomes easy for a salesperson to think of quick results versus long-term growth. So how do you build a healthy, self-motivated sales team, while still focusing on long-term growth for you and your clients? It all depends on who you hire.
There are two types of salesmen out there: ego-driven and passion-driven. Depending on the goal of your business will depend on the type of salesperson you hire.
This type of salesperson has their identity tied to their production numbers. Attention, money, and status are their focus. With the height of their numbers a priority, the closing of a sale will be made by overpromising and trying to fit square pegs into a round holes to deliver. How the product will actually help the potential client is not a concern because the focus is simply how the sale can help achieve the numbers for that month. Often sales gimmicks are used to strongly persuade the buyer to give in and make a purchase. While this approach may get the quick results a company could be looking for, it actually stunts long-term growth for a business. Client turnover is higher with this approach because the client soon realizes that the product or service does not live up to the promise or was simply never a good fit from the beginning.
A passion driven sales approach often means the salesperson ties their identity to the product, meaning they genuinely believe the product will bring value to an individual or company. These folks are passionate about the product and simply want to spread the good news to all whom may benefit! The excitement for the product comes naturally, which results in clients sharing in this excitement. This passion-driven approach is people oriented versus numbers driven; the salesperson cares about the person they are talking to, not viewing them as simply a transaction to be processed. This approach is upfront about what to expect with the service or product and because of this honesty, the salesperson becomes a sort of trusted advisor to the potential client. With this strategy, it sets up current clients to be advocates for the salesperson and brings additional potential clients in the long run. Having established a relationship of mutual trust with the client from the beginning, this salesperson brings clients who will stick, increasing client retention and long-term growth.
It’s clear what perspective will bring more value to your business. If you need quick results, your ego-driven salespeople will bring in the quantity. Don’t be fooled by this false success! Bad sales of over-promised expectations can later cause problems with support, leaving a bad taste in the client’s mouth as they walk out of the door to a competitor. The passion-driven mindset brings in quality clients who are in it for the long haul.
I have worked with both ego-driven and passion-driven mentalities and each affects the company culture. The former becomes numbers driven, making output the primary incentive. The latter embraces the overarching mission of the organization: connecting people with a product. This is why I believe Webconnex has been so effective in their sales: they hire people who truly believe in the product. Their passion is contagious and selling becomes incredibly natural and easy. Our team doesn’t really see it as ‘selling,’ but instead simply communicating what we already believe to be true. The heart of Webconnex sales strategy is that we don’t need to persuade you. We know that once you have all the information, you’ll choose us every time.