By Bana Qashu
What does the term “mindful leadership” mean to you?
It’s not all woohoo! To me, it’s the ability to live life with a clear and mindful consciousness and exercise my core values – integrity, humility, hard work, innovation and confidence – as I manage vendors and partners for Avant Communications’ sales enablement organization.
I recognize that others’ core values may differ from mine; understanding and recognizing those differences is what makes us great sales leaders. Be mindful of the fact that someone’s core value may be your trigger when communicating, though the intentions are pure. Be mindful of your triggers, and let them go when communicating with that partner, customer or individual. Both take practice and patience.
It is never personal until you make it personal, especially in business.
I share with you today the four key steps to mindful leadership in sales, based on my own experience and core values. I urge you to create your own principles to sell and partner by.
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When I was promoted into channel sales, initially I was taken aback by the culture. I had to take a step back to examine the overall environment within the industry. The adage that I learned in direct sales was that “those who sell on price die on price.”
Similarly, in the channel, I realized “those who sell on percentages and spiffs die on those commissions and spiffs in a complex sales environment.” Remember, your competition is adding value with confidence and resources that may be costly, but that deliver lasting value.
I found myself referencing Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” and questioning the meaning of partnership. Until recently and after joining Avant, I realized that my passions and core values were not in full alignment with previous roles, creating a slight imbalance in achieving my goals. I hold myself to personal financial goals that extend beyond my published “quota.”
I went back to my core values and have experienced tremendous success, to which I owe and am grateful to partners and customers who truly understand the meaning of the word partnership. Investopedia.com defines a “partnership” as “an arrangement in which two or more individuals share the profits and liabilities of a business venture. Various arrangements are possible: All partners might share liabilities and profits equally, or some partners may have limited liability.”
Complex sales have created a need for subject-matter experts to guide customers to the right solution.
Are a need for channel harmony and collaboration changing your view of direct and indirect sales? Then it’s time to drill down further and see what values mean most to you as an owner, channel manager, seller or technical expert. Are they aligned with what you’re doing today to go to battle for your customers and partners in a mindful way?
As Sun Tzu said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. For questions, comments or feedback, contact me today at email@example.com.
Bana Qashu is senior partner manager at Avant Communications.