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Guest post: Doing what comes naturally

September 29, 2014 -  By

Recently I heard a sales professional talk about his career and his approach to the sales process. His focus was all on strategy. He was super sharp and had found significant success through carefully crafting detailed plans for every sales call. He talked about how he anticipated the many potential outcomes with each call and then planned for options to suit each possibility. The way he told it, he always walked into a call ready and able to answer any question or handle any situation with a thorough, strategic plan of action.

At the same event, I heard a woman talking about her plan for building a business and her approach to sales. Her method was built on her innate ability to think forward on her feet, to expand on an idea and to take what seemed to be a challenge and turn it into an exciting pathway to growth. Her approach to sales was very different—much more about being ready to innovate on the spot rather than strategically planning in advance.

Then when I thought about my career in sales, my success was built on strong connections with prospective clients. I found that building relationships, formed through authentic caring and concern for the client’s needs, was the best way to build trust and naturally move to the next step in the sales process. I always felt more able to serve the needs of the client when I took time to get to know and understand them—first professionally, then personally—so that over time, trust would grow into loyalty that was mutual and lasting. Together, I worked with my clients to make sure their expectations were met through open communication and dependable, relational selling.

Three people, three approaches—all of which were effective in achieving a goal of successful sales. Yet, each person used his or her personal approach or style by doing what came naturally. The results were similar in terms of sales success and career satisfaction, but each individual achieved their results in different ways by focusing on using his or her specific set of talents and strengths.

What happens when people don’t approach their goals using their natural abilities? I’ve seen the results of forcing people to work in ways that don’t suit their innate talents and styles. Weakness becomes more evident and people cannot work to their full potential. There may be some success but it will be marginal compared to what’s possible when people are given the freedom to achieve by doing what comes naturally. It’s like the adage of pounding a square peg into a round hole … if you try hard enough you might get it in there, but it won’t be a good fit.

In conclusion, whether it’s sales, designing a landscape or mowing a lawn, if people are forced to do a job without relying on natural talents and strengths, the outcomes will be less than the full potential of the worker. As a result, the lower quality work will affect the company’s bottom-line as employees become discouraged, turnover increases and customer service suffers from a workforce that isn’t able to be their best. Time and again we find that we get the best results by doing what comes naturally.

Photo: Yoel Ben-Avraham/flickr.com

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About the Author:

Leslie Boomer is an organizational health consultant with Pro-Motion Consulting. Reach her at leslie@mypmcteam.com.

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