Lead, Sell, or Get out of the Way
Win a Free copy
Leave a comment on today’s post by Sunday October 17, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. EST and I’ll put your name in the hat for a random drawing. You’ll be eligible for one of five copies of “Lead, Sell, or Get out of the Way.”
Why would a leadership blogger review a book about sales?
Everyone sells. Specifically, leaders sell ideas, vision, change, a preferred future.
Ron Karr’s book is much more than a book about sales. It’s a book about leading and leadership. Reading it helped me see leading from the angle of selling results. I believe all leaders need the seven traits of great sellers.
#1. Clear vision of where you are going
#2. Position yourself powerfully in the mind of “customers”
#3. Build strong alliances
#4. Ask questions that create opportunities
#5. Create a clear value proposition
#6. Communicate well and effectively
#7. Hold yourself accountable and responsible
Chapter 7, “Asking Good Questions,” is my favorite chapter. Ron clearly demonstrates that good questions elevate you, the conversation, and potential results. You exemplify leadership by asking the types of questions leaders ask. For example, “What do you want to see happening differently in your company six months from now?”
Here’s another leadership question I’m asking myself and others. “What does it cost not to act?”
Another important lesson I learned is the value of slowing down. The sales process like the leadership process takes preparation, time, and careful execution. People in sales frequently fail because they close too quickly. Passionate leaders may fail for the same reason.
People who rush the process P.U.K.E., “People who Utter Knowledge about Everything.” (My favorite acronym in the book)
Lead, Sell, or Get out of the Way, is a leadership book disguised as a sales book. It helped me look at leading from a new angle.
What would change if you thought of leadership as selling?
Think of leaders as sellers. What are the top “leader as seller” qualities?”
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November 1-2, 2010 Ron is hosting: Ron Karr’s Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way 2-Day Sales Boot Camp.
November 3, 2010 Ron is hosting: Creating a High Performance Sales Culture – Executive Summit.
Call Ron at 201-666-7599, mention Leadership Freak and get 10% off registration for these events.
Wow good point of view…liked the seven traits…really want to read the book…
I am always looking for ideas or challenges to improve myself as a leader. We are all salespeople, regardless of what we do. Reading about news ways to be leader, can do nothing be make ones self better.
I appreciate your idea that people in sales frequently fail because they close too quickly. Generally sales people are target focused. Quicker they achieve the target, quicker they forget customers.And when they forget customers, relationship breaks. This is the widespread perception about the sales work. Sales people are asked to perform or perish. Very less is asked about building and maintaining relationship.
The other point why people close relationship quickly is that usually targets are unrealistic and performance based perks are not properly related. And since there are opportunity available in the market, people find it easier to switch over. so, the main dissatisfying factor is unrealistic target, unrelated incentives or perks, and focus towards selling than building relationship.In the entire process, employees is not loser, but it is the employer because it loses trust of customers. You can hire best talent but it is very difficult to restore customers trust.
When we think, leadership as a selling then the perspective of leadership will change. I think leaders are most effective when they become role model of larger audience. Showing self example is the best leadership exercise. I doubt when we sell leadership, people might ask the result gained. So, selling ideas without having live and relevant outcome might not yield expected result.
The top “Leader as Seller” qualities might be- selling by showing examples, selling of courage, conviction and commitment. Leadership is all about influencing and influencing is all about aligning with emotions, passion and interest. unless we sensitize them, selling might be difficult.
Sounds like an interesting book! Once again, I am just amazed at how many blogs you consistently kick out a week!
I know there is always a golden nugget that I am able to pull out of each one…: ) Keep up the GREAT work!
I think the different angle that “leadership as selling” gives is the idea of the outcome as something the person being led needs to “want” or “buy”. Leaders are obligated to do certain things, but if they approach the execution of these tasks from the standpoint of how the people they are leading can see the tasks (and the feeling they get from doing these tasks) as something they can’t hardly live without, then the advantage will be a task well done by people engaged in its outcome.
One of the top “leader as seller” qualities I would pinpoint is that an effective leader understands the “customer” (person being led) and figures out what motivates them in order to “sell” the task/job/idea.
Dan: Thanks for sharing insights from Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way. From my perspective every leader must understand the sales process and master it. Here is some food for thought:
Leaders MUST be effective sales people. The “products” we offer are sometimes tangible and at other times they are concepts that we are asking others to buy into like the mission, the vision, the values, and the plan we must execute to get there. If you can not get others to “buy-in” you and your organization will fail.
Ask any CEO and most will tell you that they have to participate in the sales process both internally (with the team) and externally (with customers, investors, and strategic partners) on a regular basis. In many cases the leader is the ultimate “closer”.
So as leaders here are three tips:
1. It is not about what you have to sell, it is about a product, vision, or service that others want to buy (or buy-in to)
2. A good salesperson knows that no detail that affects the customer experience is unimportant – a good leader applies this to the team experience.
3. You can learn A LOT by spending time calling on “customers” and actively ‘selling’. You may not always like what you hear, but if you use what you learn, you and our organization will be better for it.
Have a great week, and Thanks Again.
Asking the right questions is crucial for success in many fields. Unfortunately, we only teach our kids how to answer questions, not how to ask good questions. Also, it can be the timing of the questions.
This looks like a great book in this regard.
I am always impressed when a really good question is asked during a conversation, a presentation, or at a conference. I cannot tell you how many times I have said to myself, “I really wish I could have asked that good of a question.”
Learning from those people, in my opinion, makes you a better presenter and leader.
Thanks for sharing this book, Dan.
Got a hunch I fall into the “P.U.K.E.” category. I’d be interested in learning how this affects sales.
Marshall, greetings from another Floridian. I imagine many of us fall into the P.U.K.E. category. I also imagine the “K” is questionable — many times what we purport to be knowledge may be opinion or unfounded belief. But P.U.O.E. or P.U.U.B.E. don’t make great, memorizable acronyms!!
Thanks for sharing – I agree that there are so many lessons and ideas that can cross so-called functional boundaries (e.g. selling leadership).
One point that seems particularly salient to me is this: if you are ever perceived to care about “making the sale” more than meeting the needs of the customer (or follwers, in the case of leadership), you will lose credibility and your ability to be effective.
We all know what this looks like in sales – think of the used car salesman stereotype.
One example for the leadership version is this: if I’m a leader who wants to create a significant change in my department, I must make it clear why this matters to the business, and to the people in my department. If they perceive that I’m making this change – and asking them to change – to make myself look good, or to secure my next promotion, I will have lost my ability to “make the sale” with them!
Thanks for sharing your insights about this book. Once leaders demonstrate a level of vulnerability, and focus on asking great questions versus having all the answers, they’re hard to beat!
Excellent Dan — and Ron. The opposite of spouting knowledge all the time is great listening!! It is the key to sales, service, and relationships.
Good luck with this book. Dan’s synopsis here shows it to be FULL of great (and practical) advice.
In today’s world where buyer has more information than the seller about seller’s products/services, the customer intimacy and trust is the biggest factor affecting sales. Will be interesting to see if Ron’s book addresses that aspect.
Dan, you always share such wisdom. Thanks for uncovering these treasures for all your readers. You are making a difference by helping us improve ourselves and for that, I know I am grateful!
My theory…if you can be a good listener you will hear and recognize what your customer REALLY needs and wants. Then, you can ask the perfect questions that will help you get the sale.
Keep up the good work, my friend!
Lots of great nuggets to pan for today!
One simple word in a question, “What do you want to see happening differently in YOUR company six months from now?” It could have been the company or our company, but it is YOUR company. Spot on! S.M.A.R.T. too!
It seems the last few blogs have incorporated general themes, one of them around pacing and timing. Sellers/leaders do have to pace, internally and align their pace externally. For leaders it is creating (and directing) the sense of urgency that is needed to advance. Adrenaline and often passion speed us up and cause us to not be attuned to the pace of the experience.
Speaking of pace, watch the History channel’s ‘American Pickers’ and see how Frank and Mike have to pace themselves to the people and situation to achieve the deal. They listen and see very well. While they are ‘buyers’ ultimately they are selling too. (I think Pickers is an excellent snapshot of Americana, maybe a twist on Edward R Morrow.)
“What does it cost not to act?” That is the devil’s advocate role, often missing in leadership, so important. Have to incorporate that one more actively. What does it cost financially, inter-personally, and even in perception of the organization. How much positive regard might be lost by not acting. Had a hole in a tire recently, tire dealer, Les Schwab, fixed it. I said, ‘how much do I owe you?” “No, charge, it’s just something we do.” Sold, on many levels into the future.
And P.U.K.E., man, would someone please take down that mirror! 😉
As an alternative to P.U.K.E., maybe we can develop Hearing Ultimately Reveals Lessons (H.U.R.L.) or …People Listening Eagerly and Actively to See Excellence (P.L.E.A.S.E.). …(I think we need an acronym blog Dan!)
This looks like a great book. You are right about leaders being salesmen as well. I’ll be considering how I can ask better questions with my clients.
Anything that has to do with leadership and business development, I am always seriously interested in!!! Looking forward to being a possible winner for this book. 😉 And if not, I will more than likely purchase it anyways!
I read this post and I like the resume of the content of chapter 7, its seems to be true help for any leader.
Looking forward to reading the book. I have heard far to often “I am not in sales”. Wether you are an entrepreneur, a leader or a parent – you are in sales! And sales done the right way is a win win for everyone.
Among the most valuable reflections your insights and disparate sources of inspiration provide is as a jumping off point for attaining the “revealed truth” It is that availability to be surprised and inspired by learning what we think we know is exactly that, what WE think. As mentioned in an earlier reply is that mirror your 300 words holds up for us to see ourselves as we are, not as we perceive ourselves the world we inhabit and our relevant / relative ability to create value through our leadership characteristics.
The treacherous Leadership pitfall I fall victim to which is fundamentally the most anachronistic of leadership characteristics that is to believe my principal accountability is for making decisions.
Slowing down, pacing, and honoring my opportunity for wide ranging interactions and listen to my own and others’ questions, analysis, and reflections opens my mind and expands my emotional IQ exponentially.
A POV on your queries of leadership qualities that draw on recognized requisite sales competencies include creating an environment of collaboration in seeking the optimal sustainable objective and clear establishment and communication of the agenda with ownership of the results.
A word of praise for giving an interesting lesson on leadership from Ron Karr’s book with comparison of Sales Process with Leadership. The seven traits of good sellers are quite comprehensive and result-oriented which can ensure sure success and the same can be applicable for business leaders to lead the business effectively.
Please continue the teachings through varied novel ways and keep the interest of your readers live. Tempting readers to put comments and win the free book or availing 10% discount on forthcoming seminars/ workshops also deserves a good applaud.
I don’t think it’s much of a leap at all to correlate selling with leadership, mainly because, that’s what leadership is. A good salesperson understands the clients needs and provides the client with what will suit him/her best. The salesperson demonstrates the benefits of the product and stresses how the product will improve the client’s life. Isn’t that leadership? The leader has a vision and he/she must sell it to the managers by demonstrating the benefits and eventual improvement(s) to the bottom line.
Not everyone is meant for sales, and not everyone is meant for leadership – but to me, both require very similar talents.
I am always interested in leadership as in related to making art.Then there are sales. Artists are notorious for falling down in this area. So to link the two would make sense. We always want to share our passions with the viewer and asking questions connects the viewer to the artwork so this sounds like a book I should read. Asking the right questions and not resorting to P.U.K.E. Terrific…
I can certainly see the connection between leadership & selling. It is all about a cunning plan to bring folk on board. It’s about having a huge bag of ideas that you bring out to ‘tempt’ customers! Book looks great!
To all readers,
I am thoroughly impressed and appreciative of all the great and kind comments regarding my book Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way. So impressed that I am increasing the discount Dan offered from 10% to 20% off of our 2 day Lead Sell or Get Out of the Way Sales Boot Camp on Nov 1-2 in Chicago. Simply call me directly at 201.666.7599 and mention Dan Rockwell and you will get the discount. We have a couple of seats left.
Most importantly, keep the comments coming on this and other posts. Dan, you are doing a magnificent job and thank you for including me.
I’ve been a “lurker” on your blog for quite some time and have always found the posts relevant and useful. In today’s post I especially enjoyed the P.U.K.E. acronym! Way too often we are spewing “knowledge” when we would be better off shutting our pie-holes and listening. This shows our customer that we value them and their opinion.
Keep up the great job Dan!
i am a young leader age 23 from the philippines! i want to learn more and read more book on how i can be a better leader. im overseeing 300 young people at our church and our mission of reaching the world for Christ! what would it mean if i can train more leaders, annd believe they can lead.
thank you so much!
Hey once again Dan, great advice. The book sounds really interesting and worth reading. I believe life is full of selling and becoming more of a leader in your sphere of existence and I would love to learn more about the art of selling and becoming a more proactive leader.
Leadership, selling, questions…
Hmm … leaders sells their vision to the people to make them serve the vision…
Hmm… Sales people ask question to discover the vision their prospects/clients have to serve better their vision.
I don’t see more now! 😉
Lead from the front or follow
Thanks Dan for putting a different light on this book. Before, I would most likely have passed it by as a “sales” book, and missed out on what I could learn from a “selling” book.
Authenticity – believe your offer and communicate with passion – leadership is the sales frontier – think Neil Armstrong. There is a quote from Caddy Shack that always resonates for me “be the ball …” – demo:
“What drives us is a deep conviction that our futures are linked. When our organizations are healthy, productive and competitive it flows into our economies and our communities.
We believe that innovation is a part of the answer for all of us and that quality Change Management is critical to adapting to the “new normal”.
Has your organization breathed in and embraced individual, group and organizational change? Today’s nimble organization must be innovating and flexible with change. You can build this capability.”
Great review – now I am curious about the book. Gail
Gail Severini, CEO
Indecisiveness is the equivalent of paralysis in a leadership role. Standing still, refusing to go in either direction. long enough to get your bearings and gather the facts is one thing. Standing still beyond that is a crisis of confidence in your own ability to make decisions based on the information available. If you are a true leader, you must be willing to make a decision and go in the direction you beleive is best. The worst thing that can happen is that you may discover that you have gone in the wrong direction, but you will have more knowledge at that point, than if were still standing there, not making a decision. An educated move is progress. This book is needed for any leader in today’s highly dynamic business environment who struggles with this issue.
A Leader has to sell his/her integrity and how it develops others into Leaders.
This will earn him/her the trust therefore people will follow him/her towards the destination/vision outlined by the Leader. The best selling point is walking the talk!
I am working on selling my knowledge. Know I now I also need to sell my management skills as well. I am curious about this book now.
Great share. I look forward to reading this book.
I would love to receive a copy of this book!