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Humility Sells

Jonathan Schultz
December 4th, 2017

We all know the stereotypical top earning sales associate is a highly confident individual. He or she is capable of walking into a room and wowing their potential client with their powerful presentation and demonstration. Then like some unstoppable force, they are unable to take no for an answer.

This sales professional confidently discovers and overcomes their prospective buyers objections with ease. This impressive feat to an average or new sales rep, is an every day occurrence to the superior selling guru. But where does real confidence come from? Once a sales rep is a "top earner" within their organization, can they continue to grow and improve with all that confidence? Is there a better way to sell than to be 100% confident ALL the time? I believe true confidence comes from humility. I believe there is no ceiling on what one can accomplish in sales if one is humble. I also believe selling with humility will get you further than selling with over confidence.

Humility Helps Top Sales Associates Make Big Money

Humility helps top sales associates make big money for many reasons. The first of many being that a humble person is not a "know it all". A great example is how a sales rep with humility knows that every lost sale is a chance to learn from their mistakes and become better at their job. The number of sales that are "lost", in most cases outnumber the "closed" sales. A truly humble sales associate will not dismiss a lost sale as, "The customers loss, they were idiots for not buying my product or service." or "I did everything right, they just weren't ready to buy..." nor will they create some other assumptive explanation to soften the "sting" on their ego after losing the deal. The sales pro with humility looks at each lost sale as an opportunity to ask themselves,"What went well?", "What could I have done better?", "What will I try next time to create a better outcome?". [blockquote-left]The most humble of them all, will even go as far as too seek the truth by asking the client exactly WHY they lost their business.[/blockquote-left] The most humble of them all, will even go as far as too seek the truth by asking the client exactly WHY they lost their business. Sure, it hurts a little bit to discover your only human and made a mistake. However, if you can be humble and learn from your mistakes, you will make them less and less, which will help you to sell more and more. Over time, the humble seller who seeks to improve from their mistakes wins over the overconfident "I can do no wrong!" sales person.

Yet another great example of selling with humility is when your able to say to a client, "Great question! I have never been asked that before, I am going to jot that question down and get back with you. When do you need that question answered by?" You appear honest and humble, vs someone who has ALL the answers ALL the time, in reality they may afraid to say "I don't know." Have you ever been tested by a customer? Where they ask you a question that you felt they already knew the answer, in order to see how you handle the situation? What if you try to "B.S." your way through one of these tests, your customer will smell that "B.S." and walk away very fast. Being humble is being able to say "I don't know." in a way that makes you sound professional, and gives you a chance to follow up in a way that satisfies the client!

Pretty much everyone agrees that today's market is changing at an unprecedented rate. Is what you are selling today, the customers you are selling too, their methods of purchasing, and the processes used to make the deals, different from 5 years ago? 1 year go? What about 6 months ago? Chances are the answer to this question is "NO, many things have changed!" If that is the case, then a little humility towards ones scope of knowledge, goes a long way in growing, honing their craft, and staying ahead of the competition. The product and service one is selling, along with the knowledge of your clients, their needs and wants, and all the processes that come along with sales must all be mastered and remastered again when things change. Humility in this part of your life will help you keep abreast of important changes, and stay on the cutting edge of your chosen sales career. Your learning and growing, as opposed to that "know it all" who has ceased learning because, "I have seen it all." mentality has taken over. That all too common sales rep can look forward to career stagnation, lower earnings, less than satisfactory ratings from clients, client retention loss, or even being passed up by a newer, more willing to learn sales up and comer!

Humble sales professionals are not afraid to ask for help. Two heads are better than one right? Its the same reason why a computer with a "Dual core" or "Quad core" processor is better. Its because when you add more brains, you add more thinking power. No one, and I mean no one, has all the answers all the time. Through collective reasoning and brainstorming with a co worker or manager, you can solve more problems. Solving more problems in sales means one thing, selling more: selling more means making more money. So the next time you are about to lose that deal, the next time you are unable to get that prospect to respond, or the next time you catch an objection you just cant seem to overcome. Instead of trying to be that super hero, one man/woman sales army, just ask for help! If asking someone for help assists you in saving 1 extra deal per week, per month, or even per year, how much extra earnings does that make you and your company? Does making more money for your company and yourself make you look bad, or does being to cocky to ask for help and losing sales because of it? Humility Sells.

[blockquote-right]Sales people with humility are much more thankful than their less than humble counterparts.[/blockquote-right] Sales people with humility are much more thankful than their less than humble counterparts. They are grateful when their manager takes the time to train, or coach them. They are extremely happy when a customer chooses to buy from them instead of the competition, and they make sure their valued client knows this. This appreciation oozes from them in a way that says to their manager, team, company and customer, "This person cares." This humility shows that you have a greater purpose for what you do, other than the self serving reason so many people say they sell for, "To make big money." Conversely, the other sales rep who in their mind believes, "I deserve this sale because I did so much for the customer." Probably doesn't value the customer or the deal. The one who feels they are owed the referrals from their clients, probably wont get any. The sales rep who thinks they are entitled to that next promotion, when they have done little or nothing to earn one in reality vs their co workers, probably wont get it. Even if this entitled sales associate did receive the deal, the referral and the promotion, they would not be grateful upon receiving any of them. If you are humble, you will be grateful for any opportunity given, any extra attention, and any referral from your customers. This gratitude will be a magnet for more sales, more positive attention from your supervisor, and more referrals from your customers.

Confidence is great and is an integral part of a strong sales career. I am not telling you to sell scared, or be meek when selling. However, knowing when to turn off that ego and be humble is equally important. Being able to look at yourself and your customers with true humility is every bit as important as sheer confidence. Always seek to improve, always ask for help when in need, always be thankful. Humility sells!


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