Connecting with Customers

January 25, 2018 | Deb Calvert | The Leadership Challenge
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In the Age of the Customer, companies are investing in Customer Experience, Customer Success, and Mapping the Buyer’s Journey. Still, buyers seem fickle and unpleasable. What will it take to connect with your customers?

We went straight to the source. We asked buyers what they want from sellers. Our research revealed that you can make more sales by abandoning sales-y behaviors and replacing them with leadership behaviors. Our new book, Stop Selling & Start Leading, is about the extraordinary things sellers do when they stop pushing people to buy before they’re ready and start guiding buyers by transforming values into actions, visions into realities, obstacles into innovations, separateness into solidarity, and risks into rewards. Stop Selling & Start Leading is about ennobling the sales profession and dignifying buyers, a shift that turns tedious transactions into exciting customer experiences.

This book is focused as much on your buyers as it is on your sellers, which represents a truth every exemplary leader understands: it’s not about you, it’s about your constituents – their needs, hopes, dreams, and aspirations – and leaders can’t make anything happen by themselves.

Evidence abounds that the most exemplary sellers engage most frequently in the practices of leadership. Leaders, like extraordinary sellers, are change brokers. They are guides who show people the way from where they are now to where they aspire to be in the future.

Our groundbreaking research with 530 B2B buyers provides a blueprint of behaviors sellers can follow to book more meetings and close more sales. We also asked hundreds of sellers to tell us stories about their own personal-best experiences in selling. In story after story, the same behaviors appeared. Sellers succeeded the most when they demonstrated behaviors associated with leadership.

Your buyers are eager to see you make these changes. The sales profession needs more people to step into their full leadership potential. The world beyond selling needs leaders, too, in every sector, in every community, in every country. We need extraordinary leadership, and we need people to provide leadership now more than ever. We need leaders who can ignite and inspire us.