What if we aimed to sell better instead of focusing on only selling more?
At risk of giving every sales manager and business leader a coronary with this question, especially if we are running behind on our sales targets, I would like us to consider the following proposition.
‘Strive not to be the best company in the world, but the best company FOR the world’
What if we took this approach to business?
This is the philosophy of BCorps which is encouraging the proliferation of a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. They encourage businesses to be a force for good for everyone.
That is not saying for an instant that all other businesses are bad; however, it does mean that if we endorse the intent of ‘being the best business FOR the world’ we (business leaders, management, staff and investors) need to consider the consequences of our actions – past, present and future.
It doesn’t mean less profit either. Study after study have shown that companies that have a purpose beyond financial profit outperform other companies in their industry in the long term.
When it comes to selling what does ‘selling better’ versus ‘selling more’ mean in real terms?
At Barrett, we have been contemplating this interesting perspective for some time now and wondering how we incorporate ‘selling better’ and ‘being the best business for the world’ into our daily business practices.
We endorse the philosophies that ‘selling is everybody’s business and everybody lives by selling something’ and effective selling is about the ‘fair exchange of value between seller and buyer’. These are ways in which we can introduce ethical effective selling into the business world. We are also doing everything we can to be a carbon neutral/negative business – solar panels, paperless online sales training programmes, and so on. We aim to sell better every day.
Now we are considering what the implications are for other businesses if they focus on selling better instead of (only) selling more. And selling better allowing the company to make a profit and keep their employees working and grow. A company that goes out of business is not good for any one.
Would selling better mean selling products that decrease emissions, reduce and/or avoid landfill, are made of sustainable resources free of exploitation, have longer effective lives thus reducing or avoiding obsolescence, or completely recyclable moving from cradle to cradle?
Would selling better mean winning more clients who are looking to partner with like-minded businesses?
Would selling better mean better attraction and retention of staff who want to work for such businesses because they know they are ‘doing good’ for the world in some way?
Would selling better mean helping those people with ideas and/or innovations for positive change and better outcomes for the world get better traction with clients and prospects?
Would selling better mean that people would be able to sell more confidently, more honourably and make a decent living out of selling those ideas, products and services that do good?
Would selling better, ironically mean, that we could sell more but in a way that is best for the world?
That is what we would like to explore with you.
We believe in selling better, not just selling more.
Remember everybody lives by selling something.
Sue Barrett is the founder and CEO of the innovative and forward thinking sales advisory and education firm, Barrett and the online sales education & resource platform www.salesessentials.com. Sue was the first in Australia to get Selling a university qualification and has written more than 600 blog posts and 21 e-books on sales and with her team produces the ‘must read’ Annual 12 Sales Trends Report. Striving for better sales practices and improving sales teams and operations, Sue is a Sales Philosopher, Activist, Strategist, Speaker, Trainer and Adviser. Get to know her further on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.
If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and also share via your Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook social media platforms. You are welcome to join the conversation or ask questions so feel free to add a comment on this post.