Really? The idea of a left brain thinker, or STEM colleague, running your next sales team meeting probably is one of your biggest nightmares. Mostly because you avoid working directly with the STEM colleagues and left brain thinkers in your organization. As a result, your stories are not connected to one another.
Of course, you are far too busy churning through leads and dashing between sales appointments to make quarterly quotas. Then again, are you selling yourselves on the importance of how your efforts “look” to others, like your managers? When your stories remain disconnected, everyone is very busy being very busy. These habits are exhausting and keep everyone good and stuck where they are.
The best thing I ever do when working with clients is discover just who the left brain thinkers are in their organizations. Especially during pre-sale. Because once the client signs a contract, sales teams are off and running towards their next close. As a result, these left brain folks remain out of sight and out of mind. Until a problem arises, post-sale. And, inevitably, it will.
So, do you know who these valuable employees are in your own organization? Let alone your clients’ organizations?
First, figure out just who these left brain thinkers are, in your organization. Because they run your post-sale universe.
When I was an outside sales rep, I spent at least four months correcting a billing nightmare. The situation left one of my customers double-billed for two different versions of an interactive on-line catalogue product. I keep good records of the contracts I execute. So, I knew once the real-deal catalog went live online, the beta-version of the product went offline. Then, invoicing for the fancy catalogue would start and invoicing for the beta version would cease. Well, at least that was the plan. But that was not what happened.
Has this scenario ever happened to you? What did you choose to do?
By walking that contract through my own organization, I discovered who all the formerly nameless, faceless left-brain thinkers were. They had names, faces and were horrified that systems and processes allowed this situation to happen. And my former employer? Their solution was to send my client to Collections because, of course, the client refused to pay all of these double invoices.
Working together, my left brain thinkers and I cleaned up the mess and made process improvements. Let’s just say, moving forward, we became quite a team, together, working on behalf of our customers and each other.
Next, I invited those left brain thinkers to run the next sales team meeting.
Because our sales team was notorious for executing contracts which created post-sale invoicing nightmares. When you discover who your left brain thinkers are, you get an entirely different perspective on how your sales team is perceived within the organization. Regardless of whether, or not, you are sales rock stars.
Also, truth be told, our sales team was intimidated by these left brain thinkers. And, our sales team thought working with these left-brainers was not cost-effective. Consequently, our sales team (and most of our sales force, my left brain team and I discovered) took short-cuts executing contracts, to close sales. And left it up to these post-sale left-brainers to clean up their mess.
Left brain thinkers connect the dots between what you do and what they do, on behalf of better serving each other and your customers. Isn’t it time for you to connect your stories to one another?
In meeting their quotas, our sales team did not think about internal stakeholders or even external customers. Until, of course, those left brain thinkers ran the next sales team meeting.
There is nothing like meeting all of those nameless, faceless “somebodies” in your post-sale organization to make you realize that sales is about better serving others. Especially if you want to retain your customers for more than the next sales cycle. And, especially if your organization wants to retain their employees, starting with those valuable post-sale, left-brain thinkers.
Isn’t it time to connect your stories to one another? Your clients will thank you.
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Babette Ten Haken‘s One Millimeter Mindset™ Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs are created for organizations and associations who want to catalyze stakeholder success and customer retention. There is no better way than storytelling to bridge communication disconnects between professional disciplines, pay grades, generations and levels of education. Babette’s programs are forged from her own background leading teams simultaneously requiring left-brain mindset for clinical research and e-commerce, as well as right-brain thinking for new product development, market research and sales. Find out more right here.
Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform. Contact her here.
Image source: Adobe