The 7 Habits for Sales Leaders: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

 

In our latest whitepaper on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Sales Leaders, we focus on Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. 

This is the fifth point-of-view article in a series on the current issues facing sales leaders, based on the principles of Dr. Stephen R. Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®the ground-breaking bestseller on personal and organizational change. 

Habit 5 focuses on inquiry first for a very compelling reason—it makes our advocacy much more influential! But when it comes to sales, all too often we get it backwards—we start our interactions by “credentializing,” sharing our point of view, telling someone about our company’s products/services and our track record of stunning successes with other clients. We focus on the second half of the habit first. Why? We’re deeply scripted that way and incented to do it. The companies we work for and even our clients expect us to do it.

Clients assign you more credibility when they believe you understand their uniqueness and then demonstrate that understanding by how you tailor your advocacy.

Of all the Habits, Habit 5 is the most immediately applicable, and it’s the one that fits squarely within your circle of influence. No one controls it but you. As a habit, it’s the most important one of Habits 4, 5, and 6 and the most effective when it comes to interacting with other people. 

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Do you listen before responding? Learn more about the habits of highly effective sales leaders by registering for a complimentary Helping Clients Succeed webcast.

About the Author

David Marcum

David Marcum has been with FranklinCovey for over 24 years and is one of the co-founders of our Sales Performance Practice. David currently serves as managing partner for global accounts and is passionate about selling, more specifically, teaching people how to have more meaningful conversations with their clients. David has worked with numerous companies to help them sell strategic must-win opportunities and to have candid conversations that drive better qualification decisions.

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