By Christina DesMarais-
A predominate mindset is that salespeople are a breed of their own who typically exhibit extroversion, confidence and the gift of gab. In reality, introverts may actually be better at selling and conscientiousness is actually the best predictor of success, regardless of business function. Regardless, when it comes to furthering the goals of any organization, every single leader needs to be able to sell its vision, regardless of whether it’s the head of HR, IT or finance. That’s according to Maureen Hoersten, chief revenue officer for LaSalle Network, a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm. Here’s why she says all leaders within a company need to be able to sell.
1. Leaders who can sell gain credibility.
You can know every inch of your job and the intricacies of what it entails, but if you can’t talk in layman’s terms to your peers, staff or partners, it will be more difficult to earn their trust. The best salespeople are relationship builders, and every leader needs to excel at this skill. Relationship is where influence happens.
2. Leaders who can sell move the needle faster.
A good leader motivates people to do their best, adopt change or otherwise follow down a path of improvement. For it to happen, the people at the top need to be convincing, another important part of selling. “You need to be able to tell a story, whether you’re the CFO or the technology leader,” she says. “If you don’t have buy-in from people, and if you didn’t tell the right story to get them to understand why they have to do things this way, they’ll be resistant to change and things will just take longer.”
3. Leaders who can sell add extra value.
Every leader should be able to go into the world, network and get the word out about what makes your company great. While selling may not strictly be within the CFO’s job description, it certainly helps the company broaden its reach when he or she is able to do so. “If you can be the person who can go to that networking event, conference, or dinner and succinctly and confidently talk and know more about the business than just your piece, that ability to get the word out adds value to the company,” she says.
4. Leaders who can sell attract the best talent.
If a leader can’t sell the vision of the company to a candidate, how likely is it that he or she will be excited about joining the organization? “Every leader needs to be able to sell the company and the opportunity to talent, whether you’re interviewing or you’re just talking to people on the street,” she says. “If you’re so into the minutia of what it is that you do and you’re not selling the big picture, you’re missing out on a lot of talent that isn’t attracted to people who can’t explain the company and explain the vision.”