Sales professionals who are successful are often found to be in leadership positions, either in their field of expertise or within their company. Those who want to be in this category sometimes struggle with how to accomplish the success goal. Leaders who command respect from their peers or subordinates find that their success can be attributed to a variety of reasons. Those who demand respect usually don't get it—that is mere homage to a bully in fear of retribution. Those who are respected as successful earn it, are usually humbled by it, and don't typically flaunt it as a sign of superiority or smugness.

Leading others can be a complex and challenging task full of good intentions which must be backed up with good leadership practices, according to Steve Ventura with WalktheTalk.com. Here are a few tips about successful leadership that he promotes:

  • Welcome ideas that are NOT your own. Be open to what others have to say without getting defensive. Make it okay for others to share their ideas – even if those ideas conflict with yours.
  • Hire for "SPARKLE"! Once you're satisfied that a candidate possesses the necessary technical skills for a job, make your hiring decision based on their "fit" with your organizational culture. Do they add to, or detract from, your culture of creativity, energy, and enthusiasm?
  • Create shared vision – the collaborative shaping of an idea for the future. If a vision is to guide an organization, leaders must communicate it so that all team members understand their roles and what each must do to achieve the vision.
  • Delegate responsibility … and authority. Assign a big job to one of your more promising team members. Encourage him or her to develop a work plan, make decisions, solve problems, and be accountable for results.

Success in selling has been the goal of every sales person for thousands of years. Everyone who has a product or service to promote wants to be successful. Too often, those plans are thwarted if the sales person has not learned valuable lessons regarding how to sell. But more importantly, the effectiveness of their plan is outweighed by a lack of knowledge, expertise in the sales craft, poor attitude, or a combination of all of these areas. Leadership, especially involving sales, is not based on how much you know about your product, or what kind of deal you strike with the customer, or how much money you potentially can make.

Very simply, leaders lead. Character, wisdom, humility, knowledge, ethics, personality, background and more all play a part in the makeup of a true leader. But more importantly, leaders recognize that in order to be successful, they must learn to serve others. Sales leaders serve their customers by being aware of what the client wants and how to deliver it in a timely basis without excuses. Sales leaders also know they serve their team by recognizing leadership qualities in others and how to promote the success of those with whom they work. Leaders stimulate others through brilliant effort. Finally, sales leaders serve their families and themselves by providing financially for them, displaying good use of time, and through strong personal relationships.

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