"Let's use our sales influence as a force for good" - an interview by John Smibert.
In this discussion Ian J Lowe tells us that "salespeople can change the world". He points out that there are tens of millions of salespeople globally each having conversations with customers and clients every day - this is potentially one of the greatest forces for change in the world.
He goes on to say that "the ripple effect of our influence, and the interactions we have with everybody else, can have either a positive or a negative impact".
He discusses how we all have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure the effect is positive - and if we do - we can change the world for the better. He states that "We can either use our skills and our interactions for nefarious or manipulative purposes, or we can use those as powers for good. If we embrace that - as a collective population - we can change the world for the better". Let's commit to the latter and we will all be better off - and that includes you and your family too.
View the full interview below.
Ian is the CEO of eccoh.co (formally Go-Givers Australia). He is an expert in sales transformation and a specialist in why people sell.
John: Welcome back, Ian.
Ian: Pleased to be here, John.
John: Hey, I’ve heard you say that salespeople can change the world. That’s a big statement.
John: Personally, I like to think they can. But what are you thinking behind that? Why do you say that?
Ian: Well, I think more than any other profession, we touch more lives every day than anybody else.
Ian: If you think about the numbers for a second. LinkedIn has something like 13 million people listed that identify as sales professionals. I think Selling Power came out with some figures in the US recently, the top 500 companies, 23 million people identify as sales professionals.
John: And I’d seen figures worldwide of over 30 million, so yes.
Ian: Yes. Big numbers, right?
John: Big numbers.
Ian: Big numbers! If you think about the ripple effect of all those interactions we’re having every day… How many meetings are those salespeople having with other people every single day, you know? So, the ripple effect of our influence, and the interactions we have with everybody else, can have either a positive or a negative impact.
John: But that’s like voting for somebody, and millions of people are voting, and what’s the value of your vote. The value of an individual salesperson changing the world?
Ian: Well, I think this is the collective opportunity we face. I think we need to have a higher purpose in mind in those interactions. We can’t always make a sale, we can’t always have that interaction resulting in a sale, but we can always have that person leave that situation and interaction with us having been uplifted in some way, having been enhanced, having had their life enriched by simply having met us, if that’s our goal.
John: I’d like to talk more about that, because the reality is that most salespeople have the objective of closing orders, getting revenue, etc. You’re now looking at a pretty interesting subject of why they’re doing it I guess, and they’re being told to do it for a different reason.
Ian: Exactly right. I think the interesting part is that this isn’t disconnected from what’s sales is all about. It’s not peripheral to, or separate to, or addition to; this is actually really what the heart of sales is all about. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, what product or service you’re in, you’re in the people business, and the more you focus on other people, the more likely it is they’re going to want to know you.
John: And we’re not in the people manipulation or even necessarily the people influence business; we’re in the people helping, people guiding business.
Ian: That’s right.
John: We’re in the business of creating value for others.
John: I mean, I argue that a lot. There is still only a percentage of sales organisations out there talk that way I think.
Ian: That’s right. This is why we really have to have this sort of global conversation. If you think about the ripple effect we have on the world, we can use our skills and our interactions for nefarious or manipulative purposes, or we can use those as powers for good. I think if we embrace that, we can change the world as a collective population; we can change the world for the better.
John: Let’s talk about an individual. I think an individual can make some changes to the world that are very positive, and then that can rub off on the next and the next and the next.
Ian: That’s it, absolutely – well said, John.
John: And let me make another statement. I think an individual that has that right attitude can actually be very successful.
Ian: Yes, yes. It’s the core to success, isn’t it? It’s absolutely the core. And you’re dead right, it starts with you, it starts with you.
John: Interesting subject. So, the key message for individuals out there is to think about what influence you can have within your sphere of influence, and do it for the right reasons, you’ll get reciprocal value for yourself. But if your focus is really on the others, it’s going to make a lot of sense.
John: And we can change the world.
Ian: We can.
John: Thanks, Ian!
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John Smibert is the Founder of The Strategic Selling Group, a membership based group for B2B sales professionals and sales leaders who are involved in selling complex solutions. The objective is to share processes, methods, techniques and trends that will help the members achieve more sales success.
Enterprise buying has changed dramatically over recent years and significant investment has been made in developing buying practices, processes and systems. We on the selling side need to adapt and change to respond to this.
This group provides a platform for the members to assist each other to successfully adapt to these changes and to learn from experts in the field.
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