August 21, 2013
If you are a creative person, don’t hide this fact in your sales life. No one gets up wanting to buy something from a stuffed suit. They’d love to do business with an artist who also sells or delivers a world-class product.
You don’t need to stifle creative endeavors in your life. They are your greatest assets for solving the deal. For those of you sneaking off to write music, capture breath-taking photos, paint or draw…I’ve got a message for you. You are successful because of your creative tendencies and not despite them.
For too long, I segregated Tim the sales guy from T.S. the lead singer in a rock band. Several of my bosses thought they conflicted with each other, and encouraged me to leave them behind along with my youth. They were dead wrong. When I proudly took my artsy ways to work, and applied to complicated situations, the difficult became easy (and remarkably fun). As one of my mentors told me back in the day: Integrity is when you are singing the same song on the outside as you are on the inside.
Integrity sells. People gravitate to the real, from what they watch on TV to whom they invite over for burgers on a spare Sunday. No one wants to journey with a conflicted soul. They want to do business with the real deal: brimming with passion, but fueled by a unified purpose you can smell. You aren’t a good enough actor to fake it…especially with the customers you respect the most.
Bring creativity to work. Let your freak flag fly. Walk it past product and marketing, dropping off a little in legal and finance. Make sure it ends up, with your backpack, in the sales department. The next time you are in the field, be creative when it comes to helping your customer succeed at doing business with you. Be a little foolish. Don’t be afraid to tinker with the system. Cajole your hot prospect to do the same, for the sake of the future. No one is married to the structure, just the outcome.
You’ll not only solve-the-deal, you’ll find rays of joy at work. Yeah. Not just with the pitch, but also in the stitching of the enterprise: Where budget, procurement, policy and ambiguity collide to create barriers to all but the imaginative. You will stand out as a creator in a world of funnel squeezers. Your passion will trump their closing skills (which are more manipulative than creative). You’ll bring your customers with you, enriching their lives at the same time.
And they will remember you. They will want to introduce you to their friends and even their boss. You aren’t just money. You are fiscal fun.Tweet
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