How do you get to the next level in your sales career? The key may be to know your values.
Gino Wickman, author of Traction: Get a Grip On Your Business, defines values as “a small set of vital and timeless guiding principles for your business (or life).” The more connected we are with our values, the more we will attract the kind of employees and clients that we enjoy working with and appreciate what we do.
Smart business leaders should take the time to develop and communicate the values of their organization. These value provide the framework to make great decisions. This is especially true when it comes to hiring and coaching people. Wickman says, “Once they’re defined, you must hire, fire, review, reward, and recognize people based on these core values.” This is how you build an amazing culture.
Smart sales professionals should also know their values for two reasons:
1. It Helps You Attract Ideal Clients
In the same way a businesses’ values help attract good-fit employees, a sales professional’s values help them attract the type of clients they want to work with. Clients are not created equally. Some clients are wonderful. They respect your advice, see you as a partner, value great service, and pay their bills on time. Other clients are the exact opposite. They don’t respect you and see you as a vendor. They want ridiculously responsive service but never want to pay for it.
The more ideal clients you can attract, the more successful you will be. How do you attract ideal clients? Know your values and communicate them throughout the sales process. Share them on your LinkedIn profile, in your presentations, in your proposals, and during your quarterly business reviews. Write about your values when you blog. (Yes, sales professionals should write!) When you ask for referrals, instead of asking if they know someone else who could use your services, ask if they know someone else who would value a business relationship with someone that holds your values.
Knowing your values helps you attract your ideal clients. People who share your values will notice. (For more ideas on this, listen to our recent podcast, How To Attract Ideal Clients.)
2. It Creates True Differentiation
Decision makers are looking for value. The value you bring as a sales professional goes beyond the products and services your company provides. Your value includes what you bring to the table. A huge part of your value is your values. Just as a business owner needs to know and communicate the company values to the employees, as a sales professional you need to know and communicate your values to your prospects. I guarantee this will make you stand out from the crowd.
How To Uncover Your Values
How do you find your values? It doesn’t have to be hard, but it does need to be authentic. Sit down with a blank sheet of paper in your journal. Ask yourself what traits are important to you. Start writing. Once you have a list, then take some time over the next few weeks to write about why each of these are important to you. This will give you a ton of clarity.
I’ve gone through this exercise many times over the years. Each time, my list of values changes. It’s not that my values change, it’s that they have become more personal and focused.
If you’re interested, here’s my list of guiding values:
- Inspiration: God guides and energizes my life. In turn, I inspire others with vision.
- Integrity: I live from a whole heart. I am courageously honest with myself and others.
- Intention: I am strategic in how I plan my time, setting goals for each meeting.
- Innovation: I create ways to solve problems and improve the world.
- Investment: I invest prayer, time, energy, and money in ideas that multiply.
- Impact: I structure my life with habits and actions to maximize the effectiveness of myself and people I lead.
What are your values? I challenge you to take the time to reflect on this. It will help you grow your sales and find more fulfillment in your life.