What salespeople can learn from change agents

Trick question! Although most salespeople generally don't conceive themselves as such, the reality is that they are change agents.

When people think of situations commonly associated with change management, they generally think of things like introducing a new work process, communication protocol or work environment. Because this is all that most people generally think of, it's easy to have a paradigm in which these purposes are viewed as the only ones of a change agent. As such, we often fail to acknowledge other roles in which professional success relies just as much on bringing about change.

In considering how salespeople are change agents, look no further than the similarities in how we recommend people manage change and create value for customers, as discussed in our management training program and sales training program, respectively. In the former, we emphasize throughout that in order to implement change successfully, managers and leaders must understand their people and the psyche of how they react to and embrace change. And when creating value, above all else we stress that salespeople must first solidify their relationship with the customer so that they can understand their current business situation and their goals and aspirations for the future.

Another example of salespeople as change agents is in the communication of change and value. When introducing change, we recommend that managers and leaders communicate what the change is, why it's happening and how it's going to affect people – both professionally and personally. The same exact structure holds true for salespeople when they communicate value: what the product/service proposition will do for the customer, why that will help them and how it will solve their problems – both professionally and personally.

Salespeople: Do you view yourself as a change agent for your customers? If not, the next time you're working on creating value for a prospect, make a conscious effort to think of yourself as one. And leaders and managers, do you ever think of how you can create value for your people when *selling* change? In the end, it's all one in the same, but a different perspective may yield surprising results.

Posted: 4/5/2011 5:29:51 PM by Andy Klein | with 0 comments
Filed under: change, leadership, management, sales, value
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