State of the Union, Sales and Term Limits

I didn't vote for Obama, but I identified with him last night.

Mr. Obama said, “It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency, that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better.” He also told Americans, "We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion."

It seemed as though he had mixed feelings about the state of the union, his accomplishments, the things he didn't accomplish, and hoped that he could get something done before term limits kicked in and he left office.

I feel the same way about the state of sales, my accomplishments, the things I didn't accomplish and I'm thinking that it's probably time to get done what I can get done this year, but let term limits kick in and leave office with the President.

Don't misunderstand. I, like POTUS wonder if another term would allow me to make a difference, but then....

Let me apply some of his words to our world. “It’s one of the few regrets of my career, that the rancor and suspicion between the buyers and sellers has gotten worse instead of better.” I ask you, can Caveat Emptor be balanced against Buyers are Liars? Did your mother tell you that you can lie to a salesman and still go to heaven? Have you ever stretched the truth with a prospect to get the sale? If you've read our Road Map, you read, "It's not about you." If you read Pete Caputa's article, you may have read Marcus Sheridan's quote, "They don’t care if you... Consumers care about themselves. They care about how *they* want to learn, buy, shop, and communicate." He's right. His ego still gets in my way, but he's right about consumers.

Mr. Obama closed his speech with, "I believe in change because I believe in you, the American people and that's why I stand here as confident as I have ever been that the state of our union is strong." I, Rick Roberge believe in those salespeople that don't lie and don't tolerate lies. I believe in those business owners that want to understand their customers and won't offer if it's not the right solution. I believe in those professional salespeople that understand that they are responsible for their prospect's comfort, needs, honesty or lack thereof. It is the salesperson's job to discern if it's a fit. Not the other way around. It's the salesperson's duty to be the person that a buyer needs them to be, but not necessarily the person that the buyer wants them to be.

Here's the issue. The President told us that, "We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion.", but how can you tell the difference in any person or prospect if you don't ask questions? If you don't care about their point of view? If you only want to talk about your point of view, your perspective, your solution?

Let me close with this story.

Last November, I thanked someone for a socialization of one of my ideas. I received this reply. 

I back you up because I've never ever known you to be selfish. I've never observed you violate your own rules. Most people sacrifice their values to achieve their goals; including me at times. Few people even have strong values that they've defined.

Thank you.


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