“Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission.”
– Zig Ziglar
Why do companies create mission statements? To impress their employees? Customers? Investors? Maybe all of the above?
Of course that’s the cynical way to look at it. Many companies actually create mission statements to define the mark they intend to make in the world. How and where they will do “good work”. How they add value and how that value is born of principals, values and good intentions.
There are plenty of good companies, and good people working for them.
And GOOD SALESPEOPLE working for them too!
If you are one of the “good ones”, this blog post is for you.
It’s unfortunate that poor notions about the sales profession continue to persist, even though there are many principled and ethical people involved in this noble profession. Too many see sales as nothing more than coercion and manipulation to the service of self interest. Of course many times this is born of real experience, unfortunately. As they say “a few bad apples…”
But the good ones know that in it’s highest form, sales is the intersection point of vision and value. We bring great benefit to our clients and show them how to have better outcomes and make their corner of the world a better place. We dig deep into their unique challenges and identify where our products and services can make a material difference. We are purveyors of real value in the world.
Without us, our buyers may not know about the value we can unlock, or may not be able to adequately investigate and navigate the options available to them. And if we cannot unlock value for our clients, we move on. No manipulation or coercion here.
Doesn’t that sounds a lot like MISSION??? Bringing positive outcomes to others? Unlocking latent value? It does to me.
So maybe it’s time for salespeople to craft individual mission statements! And in the process, commit ourselves more fully to our highest good, our highest value in the world, and our sense of purpose, principal and a shared view of mutual success.
What would happen if your personal mission was aligned to the mission of your company? To the unique value your products or services deliver? What would happen if put our full focus there.
I know. I know. That’s all a nice notion, but how do we align this altruistic idea of mission with real world things like sales targets, quotas and our own individual financial goals? Isn’t there real pressure to perform and hit a number? Didn’t we join our profession – at least in part – to have more control over our financial circumstances, and therefore make more money as a result? Doesn’t desire for material success run counter to true mission?
In my humble opinion, it all comes down to your definition of money. This is the key to aligning mission and economic success, and can unlock a more healthy approach to sales targets and sales approach in the process.
If your definition of money is something that just makes you feel good, look good, have nice things, and no more… YOU WILL STRUGGLE with money on one side of the ledger and mission on the other – always in conflict. With this self-oriented view of money you will find these competing ideas at odds with one another, and may be tempted to take the shortcuts that violate your best intentions, and your mission in the process. In fact, you probably will.
If, on the other hand, you define money as the representation and “CURRENCY OF VALUE” – which it is – and see it as the mechanism for how value is exchanged between two parties – how you actually make other people’s lives better – then you will have no problem pursuing a worthwhile mission and personal financial success at the same time. In fact, they will be in lock step.
It’s really quite simple. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
What is the average ROI of my product or service?
Does it unlock 3, 4, 5 times or more value to the client then the investment required?
Knowing that, how much value do I need to unlock for my clients to hit my own sales goals and associated personal financial targets? What if I focused on that number instead of my sales target?
Now that’s a completely different kind of quota!
I challenge you to really think about this and start quantifying the value you are unlocking for your clients, while knowing that your income and financial well being will take care of itself as a result of doing the math above.
Then, GO FIND CLIENTS who have the problems you can solve. IDENTIFY their goals and aspirations, and how you can add real value. QUANTIFY that Value! Make it your new PERSONAL QUOTA and please, stop spending time with clients who do NOT have meaningful challenges your product or service can solve.
Give it some thought. It takes only five to minutes max. Then commit yourself to hitting this new target.
If you actually take the time to this work, please let me know the results. I love to hear about contentious sales people who make a real difference in the world and who reach their own personal goals in the process.
It’s time for Mission. Mission Responsible!