Friday, April 16, 2010

The Role Your Self-Image Plays in Your Results

It's a topic that no one wants to broach, but it is "the topic" when it comes to sales results and that is: What is the image you have of yourself? The most common way this comes out is: What is your image of the role you have in the buyer-seller process.

One of my clients is a middle-aged man who's been in his position for twenty years and is arguably the most knowledgeable person in the US when it comes to one specific niche. Yet, as we went through the exercise of finding your value, he could not come to the conclusion that he, personally, brought any extra value to the table, beyond his product/service.

It was preposterous yet at the same time common. Sometimes our humility gets the best of us, and we discount the value we bring to the process in favor of the value our product brings to the process.

In this case, the question I asked him was, "What would you do to help the customer maximize the use of the product they bought post sale?" He came up with a list of five things that he would do over the course of a year that would virtually guarantee that the customer maximize the investment in the product. In essence, the product itself was not the issue in this sale. It was how to get the product to work right after it was installed. (And I don't mean that it was a flawed product. I mean, that like a lot of technology products, most people underuse the potential.)

After he came up with that list, his eyes got brighter and he stood up straighter and discovered that he is the thing that his customer cannot get anywhere else on the planet, and when they decide not to do business with him, they give up his expertise and his ability to make that small investment into a large return.


I urge you to think about the value you bring personally to the table through your experiences, your insight, your perspective, your collective knowledge of others in your organization that have expertise. You'll be shocked at how valuable you really are. And if your self-image will allow you, you'll be able to talk about that in a nice, conversational, elegant, non-cocky way.

Bill Caskey is a sales development leader and experimenter. His ideas about selling are convictions about life, money, and meaning. He has coached sales professionals and executives for over 19 years. To learn more, visit his website


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