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  • Jerry Phillips

It's Not About Me

I work with a non-partisan nonprofit that focuses on ending violence through national legislation. I don’t say that to earn your praises or to brag about how philanthropic I can be. I share this because the first sentence has some depth. Non-partisan. Nonprofit. Ending violence. Working with the government through national legislation.

It’s popular now to focus on the corruption of the Republicans or the Democrats. It’s popular to say government doesn’t work. It’s popular to complain, believing that complaining it going to drive change. It does not. Action drives change and action through legislative bodies, through our elected officials is the way to drive change on a more permanent basis.

I worked with a client from Australia several years ago and it was around election time in the U.S. There was a conversation about government in our country and my client commented on how we were focused on single issues. We voted for the candidate based on how they would support the issue that we felt would most affect us, not the country as a group. It is not about me as an individual. We all must give and take for the benefit of the entire country. That comment has stuck with me.

In business, as in politics, as in life, it’s not just about me. Rarely has a customer purchased your product or services because you needed them to do it so you could reach your goal. They buy because you are solving a problem for them. That sounds obvious. Do you, as a salesperson think about that before you reach out to someone? The bigger the problem you solve, the bigger the earnings for you.

Shifting the focus of your sales meetings from what we need to do to make quota, to how do I help my customer, changes the mindset of both you and your customer. It builds credibility and it changes you from just another salesperson to a trusted advisor. You still need to plan to make your sales goals and you need to take action to reach them. You do it through solving problems and selling solutions instead of just selling products. Balancing the customer needs with your need’s leads to success as a salesperson.

When I was in the marketing group at Black and Decker, I had a colleague who had a motto of “Don’t yell fire unless you bring a bucket of water.” In other words, no complaining unless you have thought through a possible solution. Complaining without acting doesn’t work. Working through the proper channels to solve problems can change the world.

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