The Power of Perspective

Sam Reese, CEO, MHI Global

“We need to grow the business.”

Sounds simple, right? Kind of like when a sports coach says “We have to win this game.” And yet, how do you keep scoring points – both in business and on the field? The power of perspective gives you the strength to grow and to win.

What is this elusive, but all-important concept of perspective?

Perspective is taking what you know, think and experience, and then using the combination to create your own distinct point of view. It’s converting input into insights. It’s being smart about the decisions that have to be made in every interpersonal interaction. It’s having the courage to bring up undisclosed problems, discover untapped solutions and uncover new ways to deliver value. It’s being authentic, earning every customer’s trust.

Perspective is a differentiator, especially now that selling has changed. Customers are more informed and more demanding. They used to value salespeople for their availability to provide tangible information, from product specs to pricing. But today, customers are looking for something they can’t get from automated systems or websites, something more personal – perspective. With perspective, salespeople are better able to understand the customer’s concept of what he or she wants to accomplish, fix or avoid. This leads to well thought out solutions.

Sales leaders can offer perspective to their customers and sales teams, when they have the ability to see the big picture. This picture helps them see the effect of a decision on the customer, the sale and the entire organization. This bigger vision is extremely valuable, earning the trust of their customers and sales teams. When you sell with perspective, you transform the complexities and challenges of selling into growth opportunities.

So how do sales leaders empower their sales teams to develop and provide perspective?

Insight – It’s important to embrace a new way of thinking, share insights and engage customers. Staying on top of trends and industry news also provides insight, leading to a more educated and broader perspective.

Data --Selling requires a business-focused, buyer-centric relationship, one in which the sales team provides value-added perspective. Buyers will be receptive to listening to your point of view, when you proceed from a fact-based standpoint. Providing them with data – from the customer, about the customer – not only proves the case you are proposing, but allows them to predict their results going forward.

Research –A salesperson also needs to be able to provide specific research that supports his or her position and shows customers and team members the direction that others have already taken for success. Most importantly, a sales person needs to bring the “experiential research” – lessons learned and experiences from other customers – so they can help new customers avoid unintended consequences. A point of view from proof, lessons and experiences adds credibility and perspective.

Empowerment --As a leader, enabling perspective also means empowerment. Customers want to talk to someone who can deviate from a script and has the confidence to make independent decisions. Likewise, sales leaders should empower their teams with the resources, skills and knowledge to be effective and to be authentic.

Coaching –Spreading sales leadership and decision-making responsibilities across the sales function can liberate, inspire and motivate everyone – if they are equipped with the proper skills. The most successful sales leaders are able to coach their teams to provide their own valued perspective and unique insights, to accomplish the following:

Build collaboration, initiative and trust – both within the team and with the customer;

Improve the ability to manage customer relationships; and

Contribute to the bigger picture and communicate effectively.

Alignment –Simply put, sales leaders and associates must be aligned with the organization’s strategy and be ready to achieve results. Through their combined perspective, they can demonstrate the following:

  • Understand the customer
  • Offer clear, meaningful analysis of the situation
  • Combine ideas in unique ways of thinking
  • Provide valuable advice, leading to solutions

To realize the vision and benefits of perspective, top-performing companies are providing their sales leaders with the knowledge, insights and support to help sales teams develop their unique perspective – meeting the needs of every customer, personally, intellectually and authentically.

So, how to “grow the business?” Create a culture that encourages the power of perspective – leading to long-term loyalty and scoring with “points” that will help grow the business.

Sam Reese is CEO of MHI Global, the newest and largest dedicated sales performance company that brings together established expertise and methodology from five other companies, including Miller Heiman, where he previously acted as CEO. Sam also oversees the Miller Heiman Research Institute, a research organization for improving companies’ performance.