Is it tenacity, hard work, a larger than life personality, confidence or something else?
Of course all of these attributes can help, but for those who climb to the very top in the most difficult of circumstances, undoubtedly there is more to them than meets the eye.
Here at SalesRadar, we often ponder the bigger questions about human achievement and what makes individuals stand out. And, particularly in the field of sales, we believe the very best individuals are those who think ‘Win-Win’ about those they are trying to sell to.
The ‘Win Win,’ term originates from the excellent book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, written by personal development guru Stephen Covey over 25 years ago.
Even if you haven’t read the book, which we suggest you should do, the term has become pretty familiar to most business people and sales professionals in particular but whether they’ve applied it is another question.
The ‘Win Win’ solution isn’t about being a nice person, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is predominantly a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.
In life, most of us learn to base our self-worth on comparisons and competition. We think about success in terms of someone else failing – that is, if I win, you lose; or if you win, I lose.
In sales, we too often hear : “It’s a dog eat dog world out there,” and too many base their professional lives on believing there is only so much pie to go around, and if you get a big slice, then there’s less for me.
However, the ‘Win Win’ habit, which is the 4th habit in the book, sees life as a co-operative arena, not a competitive one. Win-win is a code of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. It means agreements or solutions are beneficial and satisfying for all parties. In other words: “We both get to eat the pie, and it tastes yummy!”
In sales, we see too often those who feel they have to continually badger the prospect, until the prospect either gives in or says a few words to the sales person, which are not fit content for a professional blog.
However, this breed of salesman has skin as tough as a rhino’s and just harangues the next person on their radar.
It’s a million miles from a person or business that approaches conflicts and negotiations with a win-win attitude.
This type of character possesses three vital character traits:
- Integrity: sticking with your true feelings, values, and commitments
- Maturity: expressing your ideas and feelings with courage and consideration for the ideas and feelings of others
- Abundance Mentality: believing there is plenty for everyone
Even though Stephen Covey’s book has been read by many world leaders, CEOs of top corporations and key influencers in many arenas, it is somewhat frustrating that too few in the world of sales at a senior level have bothered to learn some valuable lessons from it.
Many people view it in terms of either/or. For instance, either you’re nice or you’re tough.
However, as the book explains, Win-Win requires that you need to be both. It is a careful balancing act between courage and consideration. To go for the Win-Win result, you not only have to be empathic, but you also have to be confident. You have to have the ability to tap into the person you are negotiating with by being considerate and sensitive; you also have to be brave.
To achieve that balance between courage and consideration and make sure the person you are negotiating with can also see you side, is the essence of real maturity and is fundamental to Win-Win.
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People is now over 25 years old and sadly Stephen Covey, is no longer with us, having died in a cycling accident in 2012.
However, his lessons live on and in a world where too many think sales is all about getting the deal done at any cost, there is a lot we can learn from his wisdom, which will ensure all our organisations get more leads and sales, and continue to prosper.
More about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People can be read here. We suggest if you haven’t already that you make time to read it. We’re sure you will think it worthwhile.