This episode of Improving Sales Performance takes an interesting twist where host Matt Sunshine interviews a big competitor of The Center for Sales Strategy. And while we are competitors, there is one thing we absolutely agree on, and that is creating impact for clients.
Tune in as Jim Doyle and Matt Sunshine discuss servant leadership, selling with a servant heart, and lessons to help sales leaders coach, lead, and manage servant heart sellers.
About Jim Doyle
For the past thirty years, Jim Doyle has been helping salespeople make more money, serve their clients better, and find more joy in their sales careers.
Jim made his first sales call as a broadcast sales rep 50 years ago this month.
He fell in love with our business and for the 30 years he led Jim Doyle and Associates — now jda.media — he helped thousands of salespeople fall in love with the TV/Digital business, and also fall in love with their ability to make a difference for their clients.
In his latest book, Selling with a Servant Heart, Jim interviews dozens of incredible salespeople in 20 different industries to see if the characteristics of top sellers in other businesses were similar to what he learned from the best Digital and TV sellers.
The book outlines ten lessons that ultimately lead to greater joy in sales while also increasing income. Doyle describes the concept by saying: "When you commit to serving customers as a ‘Servant Heart Seller,’ you’ll find more success, greater customer loyalty, and far less churn. And you’ll have a lot more fun, too.”
He also adds, “Lots of good sellers would describe themselves as 'Customer Focused.' But think about a level that is even above that. ‘Servant Heart Sellers’ would better be described as 'Customer Obsessed.' Obsessed that the products they sell and their work personally provide the absolute best outcomes for the client. They are outcome-focused, not just customer-focused.”
More information about Jim Doyle and “Selling with a Servant Heart: Ten Lessons on the Path to Joy and Increased Income" can be found at https://servantsellingbook.com.
Why Selling With a Servants Heart Was Written
When Matt asks Jim why he decided to write this book, he replies, "Because when you Google sales books, or books on sales, you get titles related to closing and winning. That stuff makes me gag! And that's the perception of so many people have of salespeople."
Salespeople are given a bad reputation of wanting to close the deal and move on. However, the salespeople that we know are the complete opposite — they're focused on closing the sale, but it's more about making a difference.
Jim explains how he wanted to reject the idea that salespeople were all about taking more because that's not sales at all.
When asked for a big picture outlook on what Selling with a Servant Heart is about, Jim says he wanted to look at mega high-achievers in sales and see what ideas we could all steal from them.
"I like to hang out with smart people and learn from smart people — the people in this book are the smartest and most effective salespeople I've ever met." He continues by saying, "I wanted to know what these people were doing and how it was successful."
What is Selling with a Servant Heart?
Jim defines selling with a servant heart as someone who is obsessed with customer outcomes.
"Selling with a servant heart is way more than being customer-focused," he explains. "A servant heart seller is more than a win-win — they focus on winning for customers. If it's good for the customer, it's good for them too!"
For the perfect example of selling with a servant heart, tune in now!
As Jim states, "If you get a relationship built based on trust, you better be good and know your stuff! It's one thing to build a relationship, but if you bring the relationship and can't bring the solution, you haven't honored the relationship or that customer's trust."
In the book, Jim lists 10 lessons from servant heart sellers. The one lesson he shares on this podcast is "ask a million questions."
During the interview, he deep dives into this lesson and explains how his mentor talks about acute listening. He defines acute listening as if you're in a crowded room and can hear a pin drop. "You listen without thinking about the next question. You listen to really hear the answer."
Managing a Servant Heart Seller
Servant heart sellers truly believe they work for the client.
As a manager, how do you effectively manage this mindset?
"It's a real-world issue," Jim explains. "Servant heart sellers occasionally forget who they work for, and if they feel like you have different values (aside from making a difference) then they may choose to work somewhere else."
The command and control leadership that many sales managers were taught isn't going to work anymore. "Servant leaders focus on the well-being and growth of their team," states Jim. "Become a servant leader, attract servant sellers, and set records!"
Don’t miss another episode of the Improving Sales Performance series where Managing Partner Matt Sunshine speaks with thought leaders, experts, and industry gurus, who share their insight, tips, and knowledge on various topics that help companies improve sales performance.
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