If a young player strikes out multiple times fighting hard at the plate against a good pitcher, is the kid a failure? What if you live during the depression, your arm is broken, you barely have enough money to buy milk for the kids, but you go down to the docks each day to find work?  Are you a failure?  Watch the movie Cinderella Man and ask yourself at what point in the movie is the washed up fighter, James Braddock, a success? Is it when he’s struggling to keep the lights on for his family by begging for money from those that have it, or is it when he wins a fight?  At what point is he a success?

If someone is fired after giving their best, are they a failure? Is success earning a lot of money?  If so, how much makes you a success? Is it reaching a goal? Is it reaching a goal while cheating? Is it being happy? Is it being free to do what you want?

Defining Success Differently

Joshua Becker wrote an article for the Epoch Times entitled “Defining Success Differently”. He starts his article by saying:

“Imagine a society we could create if we valued a different kind of success? A success not defined by the amount of money in our bank account, but by how much money we used to help others. A success not defined by the size of our house, but by the amount of love that was in it. A success not defined by our level of education, but by the degree of our honesty toward others. A success not defined by the number of likes on our Instagram post, but by how edifying and encouraging the post was to others …” 


So, I got to thinking about imagining a sales team we could create if we valued a different kind of success. A success not defined by the number of sales each person made, but by the number of customers whose lives were positively changed by our products and services. A success not defined by the sales per market area but in the income levels the salespeople make that changes their lives for the better and helps them live beyond survival. A success not in closing percentages but in a sales style and philosophy that generates repeat sales, a high number of referrals and outstanding customer satisfaction levels. A success not in just making a sale but in making one that fills a person’s needs, satisfies their wants or solves their problems.

A “People First” Approach to Leadership

What would happen to a company if sales success was defined in these ways.  What would happen to its reputation?  Who would fit this kind of culture and who would not? How would a “people first” sales culture affect turnover, customer service and internal cooperation.  How would a “people first” culture affect a company’s brand? How would it’s attitudes, values, and behaviors affect the lives of the people they live with in their homes?

True success is doing your best for the benefit of others,  and, if you believe in him, the glory of God. You know this is true. If salespeople treated your wants and needs as if they were important, you would pinch yourself as if you were in a dream. It’s so seldom we get this time of service.  It’s so seldom that reps see this type of focus from their leaders.

Today’s reps want:

  1. To be mentored
  2. Someone to hear them and see them as individual people
  3. To be listened to and to give their feedback
  4. To be encouraged and someone to lift their optimism
  5. To know about their strengths and how they can be of value
  6. You to help them find purpose and meaning

So, ask yourself, “What’s the purpose of a salesperson?” Is it to sell widgets or is it to help customers with their needs, wants and problems? I think you know the answer. and I think you can figure out how to help your salespeople for a long-term impact in their lives and the lives of their customers.

We are all on this journey to discover a better way of living at home and at work.  You can make the change, It’s just a new philosophy, set of attitudes, habits and behaviors.  Do them and you will bring new life and better long-term results for your team, your company and your family!

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