Originally posted September, 2014 but worth a read again…
I was listening to a keynote speaker at a conference last winter when I heard the words “every leader needs to be able to sell.’
Absolutely! As I think, write and speak about leadership at all levels I realize that the ability to sell is a key ingredient to good leadership. I would even suggest that the inability to sell could be a very large detriment to one’s ascension to a senior leadership level.
Think about typical roles that a leader will play:
- managing people and teams
- front-ending large and small strategic initiatives
- overseeing the acquisition of products and services
- spearheading the acquisition of or sale to another organization
- driving a new direction for an organization
- assisting in the close of a sales deal
And this is just the short list.
Look at each one of these roles and ask yourself if the ability to sell is not critical to the role.
Someone out there defines selling as “persuade someone of the merits of something”.
In each of the roles above, the ability to ‘persuade someone of the merits of something’ is paramount. A good-to-great-to-awesome leader needs to able to take an idea, a concept, a product, a service or a future and make everyone involved believe in it and make it happen.
If you are a leader of any sort I challenge you to look at your selling skills. They need to be up-to-date, sharp and refined. If not already, you will be asked someday to use this important skill almost daily.
Potential leaders who know how to sell will have the leading edge to the next senior leadership position.
Can you sell?