Sales is everybody’s business, no matter what business you’re in. You may be selling a marketing concept to a tech client, a service to a school district, a difficult case to a judge and jury, a first home to a young family or a premium product to a CEO, but the overall purpose and process is really the same.
It took me quite a while to learn this fact, and the path to that knowledge hasn’t always been exactly straight. Let me share the story with you.
Unlocking the Secret
Some time ago, after I had been selling for many years, a good friend who’s a very smart scientist asked me how she could shift gears and start her own business. She said something very unusual: “Even if I created a device that could save the world or cure cancer, no one would buy it from me… but they would buy it from you. People will buy anything from you. Why is that?”
Then she asked me one more question: “How do you do what you do?”
At that moment I realized that I’d never thought about what I do or how I do it in a way that would let me teach someone else to be successful. No one had ever asked before. And suddenly I wanted to know more.
What Comes Naturally
I began by reverse-engineering my sales process. Where does a sale actually start with me? How do I greet people? How do I connect with them and memorize their names — and then what do I next?
I spent days reflecting on these questions and wrote pages of notes. As I did so, I realized that what I thought “came naturally” to me was really the result of years (I’ll admit it: decades) of training and experience.
My friend’s innocent question turned into a quest for me. I did a lot of client research. I asked people why they first chose to do business with me and why they continued. That led me to think about other sales people, and I began to talk with them. I had candid conversations I’d never had before: about sales as a craft, about how these experts felt about their profession, and about what they thought made their customers and themselves tick. My customers told me what it felt like to have me as their sales consultant, and uncovered the qualities they respected in their best and most treasured sales professional relationships.
At that point I was already being hired as a sales coach. My job was to teach and train sales professionals in lasting and meaningful ways. But I found that while I loved to fly in, teach a workshop and inspire the group… I hated to just “talk and walk”! I began to realize I wasn’t generating the sustainable results that each participant and team deserved and was capable of. On each flight home, as I went over my notes, I asked myself: What am I missing? How can I do this better? There had to be a simpler, more impactful way.
A New Model is Born: C5
As I continued my research, I determined almost every great sales person shares a common thread, they are exceptional CONNECTORS. They have a remarkable ability to quickly and masterfully connect with others. These people are approachable, authentic and credible.
Although sales success is more than just the ability to connect, the lack of this skill will prevent greatness. I found the “sweet spot” for skilled sales professionals is a natural, healthy balance of these 3 key elements and real connections will take place when the formula is right. So what if the elements are clearly out of balance?
My quest continued by asking myself, “How do I coach a person to be more approachable, develop and share their authenticity and become and “show up as” more credible?” If I believed in my hearts of hearts, “Sales is Everybody’s Business” and anyone can be taught to sell, what’s was next?
I distilled down my data to five key steps essential in any sale: what I now call the C5 Sales System. These five steps are simple enough to teach anyone to sell and yet enduring enough to stay with sales professionals in a lasting and powerful way.
It all starts with CONNECTION…
Simple to Teach, Simple to Coach
A sales system must be simple to learn and recall. It must be simple to teach and coach. Sales leaders are often overwhelmed with huge goals, analytics, projects and managing others (and at times, leaders are exceptional sales people who have been promoted with little to no coaching skills). Sales leaders are always challenged with creating better, as well as, sustainable results. They need lasting superior results, simply.
This is where C5 comes in. Who says success has to be so complicated?
C5 Sales Solutions: Simple. Sustainable. Superior Performance.
C5s2: So Simple!
Meet Diana Williams, Principal of C5 Sales Solutions
Entrepreneur, change agent, personal brand consultant, designer, sales leader, strategist, coach and passionately authentic public speaker: Diana Williams has embraced all these roles over her 30-year career. Diana spent the first half of her career learning to excel, and today she is devoted to bringing out the best in other people and organizations. Most people have the capacity to make great things happen… but sometimes they need another voice to encourage the development of their ideas and actions. Diana is that voice.