Paul shares some insights to help you sell with a deeper purpose.
You must realize that you are not just selling a product, you are serving people. Imagine if you approached your work like that every day.
For some salespeople it’s all about making money—we need money. But find that deeper purpose behind the money, and you’ll find your true motivation.
When times are tough, maybe you can’t rely on money to be your motivation. The impact you have on your customer—make that your motivation.
As a salesperson, you have the opportunity every single day, to positively impact the life of another person.
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How do I sell with purpose?
(Transcribed from podcast)
On today’s episode, we’re going to touch on a topic that is often missed by a lot of sales experts out there. It’s a topic that I do here on a, let’s call it a fairly regular basis. We’re going to talk about motivation, that’s part of today, and passion and all that. But what’s interesting is a lot of sales leaders I will work with, they will tell me, “Paul, we need to motivate our team. We need our team to be more passionate.” I do hear that often. And what we’re going to talk about today is how do we get there? Because it’s not something that just happens. Oftentimes, sales leaders want their team to be motivated. They want their team to be more passionate, but that’s the outcome. And the question is how do we get there? And how we do that is through finding purpose. Purpose is really what is behind the passion. And that’s what we’re going to focus on today. So, the question we’re going to answer, “How do I sell with purpose?”
Before we get into that, pick up your copy of Value-Added Selling. In Value-Added Selling, we talk about being a person of value. It’s really a book that is rooted deeply within a philosophy, and there’s a lot of purpose behind that. So Value-Added Selling is your go-to guide to go out there competing more profitably, and also in some ways, being able to find your purpose.
So let’s get into that. How do I sell with purpose? So, it’s interesting I want to make a distinction here for a moment. You know, I have the opportunity to work with some wonderful organizations, and oftentimes, these organizations are not just profit driven. They’re really purpose driven. And so, I think it’s important that we can also acknowledge salespeople are not just driven by quota, but they’re also driven by purpose. In fact, I’ve had a chance to work with top achievers in multiple industries, and they do seem to have something deeper than just a motivation to hit a number or produce results. There is deeper purpose behind what they’re passionate about. And that deep motivation that they have also stems from their purpose. And it could be a purpose of serving people, of helping people make their lives easier or better, or (this sounds crazy), but in some ways, making the world better.
You know, a lot of entrepreneurs who I’ve met over the years, they have that deeper purpose and that’s what drives them. All right, so I’m going to share just couple of thoughts, a couple of insights to help you as a salesperson either find your purpose or really hone in on what that purpose is.
So let’s get into this first idea of selling with a deeper purpose. We need to realize that we’re not just selling product, we are serving people. Let that sink in for a moment. I know many of you listening to this podcast, you may be world-class market leaders in your space. You may have the premium product. But keep in mind that the product that you are selling and providing is just a means to a greater end. I was thinking about this. I worked with a sales team just a few weeks ago, and towards the end of the meeting, the VP of sales got up and he basically talked about their company’s purpose and mission, which was to really make a difference in people’s lives. And what he said is, he goes, “You know, guys, we may manufacture this product and that product but that’s not really what we do. We just happen to do that as a means to achieve our purpose.” And what I love about that is that it was his way of calling attention to the fact that, “Hey, we’re not just selling product, we are serving people.”
Imagine if you approached your work like that every single day. That you said, “Okay, we’re not just selling a widget. (We’re not just selling a tool.) (We’re not just selling software.) We are serving people and making their life better.” Is that going to tap into your deeper purpose? Can you get more excited about that? It’s critical. And what’s interesting here, we have to realize that we are not just in it to make money. I know some of you may be listening, “Well Paul, what do salespeople do? You know, we’re here to make money. Our company makes money.” Yeah, I get it. I’m not saying that making money is a bad thing. But, I think one of the best quotes that explains the relationship between money, business, and purpose stems from Phil Knight. Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. In his book, Shoe Dog, he tells the story of Nike. And I know there’s a movie coming out about them. I think it’s about Air Jordan. But anyway, I digress.
Here’s what Phil Knight says. He said:
“For some I realize business is the all-out pursuit of profits, period. Full stop. But for us, business was no more about making money than being human is about making blood. Yes, the human body needs blood, but that day-to-day of the human body isn’t our mission as human beings.”
And he goes on to say, “We wanted, as all great businesses do, to create, to contribute. And we dared to say that out. When you make something, when you improve something, when you deliver something, when you add some new thing or service to the life of strangers, making them happier or healthier or safer or better. And when you do all that crisply and efficiently, smartly, the way everything should be done, but so seldom is, you’re participating more fully in the whole grand human drama. More than simply alive, you’re helping others to live more fully. And if that’s business, alright. Call me a businessman.”
I love that. I mean, you think about it. Phil Knight uses a great analogy, right? For some, yeah, business is all about profits, but it wasn’t that way for Nike. And I think we can extend that to salespeople. Yeah, for some salespeople, it’s all about making money, but what’s the deeper purpose behind that? Yeah, we need money. I get it right. Zig Ziglar famously said, “Money isn’t the most important thing, but it is up there with the whole breathing thing,” We need it. It’s up there with oxygen. But what’s your deeper purpose behind that? When you find that deeper purpose behind the money, that’s where you’re going to find true motivation.
You know the other piece here, we have to see the connection to our purpose when we are struggling. You know, for salespeople, when we’re hitting our number, when we’re performing well, and we’re making impact, and all of that comes together, what a wonderful profession sales can be. Because you’re putting in the effort. You’re not only seeing the impact you have on your customers, which aligns with your purpose, but you’re also making some money, which is a good thing. I love that.
But what about when we struggle? It’s those times that we struggle that we can’t just rely on money to motivate us. We need the impact to motivate us. We need to find the connection through the struggle. When you are facing rejection, when you are in a sales slump, when you are stressed out, all that nervous and anxious energy that you have, double down on your purpose at that point. Because, remember that your deeper motivation stems from your purpose. You’ve got to ask yourself, “What is my purpose behind the passion?” And when you focus on that, it’s going to fill your tank back up.
And finally, what I’d like you to think about is, you know, as a salesperson, every day, you meet with a customer, you meet with that individual, you have a meeting. You have the opportunity, every single day, to positively impact the life of another person. If you think about it, nurses, doctors teachers, these individuals can often clearly see the impact that they’re making. They impact our lives in profound ways. You as salespeople have that opportunity. Every day you meet with a customer, and you can help make their life a little bit easier, you’re positively impacting their lives. You go meet with a business owner and you solve a problem for him, and you help his business become a little more successful, you’re positively impacting that individual’s life.
Positive impact can have a compounding effect in this world. Think about. Let’s say every week you meet with 10, 15 customers. You positively impact their lives. You put them in a better state of mind to positively impact their employees. You know, what if we determined that our success as a salesperson is not only determined by the performance, but by the impact that we create? Now we’re talking about purpose.
So find your purpose. Dig deep. Figure out what really motivates you, what gets you excited? What’s going to get you up in the morning? I’m sure it’s more than just selling product. It’s going to be about solving problems, serving people, making people’s lives easier and positively impacting them. You do those things, man, you’re going to be on fire.
Make it a big day.