Much is written about sales leadership. There are thousands of articles on building relationships, people skills, sales skills to the use of CRM. However, very little is written about this word “intentional” when it comes to sales leadership.
A colleague, Kelly McCormick of Out Sell Yourself, shared on her LinkedIn Post, an article about picking one word to describe you for the next year. My first choice was focus. Yet upon further reflection I selected the word “intentional.”
Merriam Webster defined intentional as “done in a way that is planned.” Other synonyms include: conscious, deliberate and purposeful.
For me this word supplied the emotional and intellectual energy needed to achieve my sales goals this year. How often do we in sales leadership tire as we work through each day, doing what we need to do?
Our energy drains and then discouragement sets in. Suddenly we take a break and sometimes that breaks extends into the next day. We have lost precious time because our energy is gone.
So far this year, I have become far more intentional. On Sunday, January 3, 2016, I posted this article on LinkedIn Pulse, Putting the How into Employee Engagement. Even though I had written the article two weeks earlier, I became intentional about the day and time to release it.
Within 24 hours, the article had 2,655 views. Now four days later, the views have increased to 4,900. What has also been interesting is the number of shares, now at 198 along with 611 likes.
Since I had adopted this word intentional, I remember the words of a colleague who said many years ago “We drive by more business than we will ever have.” His words have stuck with me and when reviewing the statistics provided by LinkedIn, I realized I was driving by a lot of potential business.
In the past I would have acknowledged those in my stream who had shared the article. However being more intentional I went through all 198 shares, recorded the names and personally thanked each one on their update. Yes, this did take some energy and time. What I learned was less than 5% of the shares were from my first degree connections while 95% where from second and third degree connections. Had I not been intentional I would have gone on presuming the likes were mostly from first degree connections.
Being intentional gained me over 20 LinkedIn invites, two sales leads, several promising prospects and now one confirmed speaking opportunity on healthcare leadership. Had I not been as intentional, I would have missed these opportunities.
Yes there is a lot more to sales leadership than many realize. However, when sales leaders are truly intentional meaning having a plan executed with conscious deliberation they will succeed in all their goals including the one to increase sales.
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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA. Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.