If you are working with customers, hiring (and retaining) people, leading people, selling products or services, applying for a new job or promotion, enrolling people in an idea, or essentially wanting to influence anyone about anything — you are in "sales." (I don't think of it as "sales" — see video below — AND this is the quickest way to speak to this.)
The thing about "sales" and "sales processes"— even the most excellent ones behind the most phenomenal services and products — is that our Intentions, Energy, and Presence (our "IEP") and how we show up in that conversation or process, will make or break our success in the "sale."
Consider the last time you went to buy something, hire someone, or be led by someone— maybe the product you were considering was awesome, the potential hire looked great on paper, or the leader was masterful in their craft and even held a high-level role — but for some reason, it just didn't feel right. You didn't feel good with them. Something was off.
It was likely their IEP — their Intentional Energetic Presence® and their Intentions, Energy, and Presence. Our IEP is like food coloring in water, it influences and "colors" everything we do, and it is present in every moment. It is the intangible quality that makes us want to follow people or run from them, trust them or feel super careful with them, buy from them or choose their competitor (who may not even have a better product).
Why you maybe missing your mark in sales and leadership. (And why they won't tell you.)
If you have people who work for you (or lead for you) on the front lines of sales or customer service, and they're showing up without intention, tired, "busy", judgmental, unprepared, unaccountable, etc... it is affecting your bottom line. At best — you are not optimized for sales and leadership; at worst — your prospective "clients" won't "buy" from you regardless how phenomenal your product or service is. Even worse, they're likely not going to tell you why (but they'll tell their friends and associates).*
Why won't they tell you?
- Feedback can be "scary" — telling the "hard truth" takes courage and energy; very few of us love conflict (especially when there is not a high ROI for it and we have a million other places to put our energy).
- Because "intentions, energy, and presence" are often the "intangibles" it's hard to identify and give feedback on (this in itself is a leadership skill).
- It's not their job to take their time and energy to explain "why not" (if they do, thank them big).
- If your prospective people walk away feeling icky — they'll most likely want to just move on with their lives.
Yes... no matter how awesome your product or service or company may be.
Here's the thing... If your sales people (or you) are having a hard time selling (leading, etc.) — it's likely not that your process or product isn't great or that your people are "bad" or don't care — it's likely that they're not aware of the nuance of I.E.P., the impact it has, and HOW to "get in front of it" so they can show up well, authentically, AND effectively. Plus, they may be exhausted. A lot has happened over the last few years...
There is a method to the madness of impact in a busy and stretched and
exhausted world, and it is called IEP.
My team and I just went through several processes in trying to hire outside partners to work with us; we had the desire, budget, clear ask, and energy to do it right. After meeting with 7 different companies, we ultimately chose partners who had solid IEP and felt good to work with because we trusted them more. It wasn't their product, it was them.
In fact, in one case, I know the partner/product we went with has less capabilities than one of their competitors, but the way we felt meeting with that competitor left us feeling anxious, unseen, overwhelmed, and not at all held or trusting they'd be the partner we needed. When the team and I debriefed what was missing — because we really wanted it to work (so much so that we gave it multiple chances) — we found that it came down to that organization's IEP and the way their front-line sales people showed up with us. Were they "bad" people or "bad" sales people? No. They were exhausted and understaffed (and told us so), they were disorganized, they weren't present, they weren't curious — and, bigger, they did not have the presence or self-awareness to realize the impact this was having on the quality of the conversation and prospective client.
There are THREE simple things they could have done — even being exhausted and understaffed — that would have changed with IEP and the quality of that experience. But they don't know that yet. Even when we asked them to pause, take a breath, slow down, and get clear about their intentions with us — they didn't know how.
This experience got us thinking deeply about the IEP of "sales" and how much it aligns with the leadership and culture work we do. We are not a "sales training" organization — we are a people organization, but that is what sales is so...
See my video below for what we're going to do about it and how we can contribute to this conversation. This is an important conversation — especially now — because I see a level of grief, fatigue, busy-ness, and exhaustion that I have not seen in over 20 years of leading this work. And it impacts EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. So let's lean into this here.
The upcoming masterclass (Using the IEP Method® in Sales) will not be about defining your sales process; it will be about making sure those intangibles are tended to so your sales process works optimally and you set yourself up as best possible. And yes, we'll be addressing those "3 things" and more.
*You can replace the word "clients" with "employees" and "buy from" with "follow". Your IEP is not only impacting your sales, it's impacting your leadership, psychological safety levels, talent retention and attraction, training ROI, culture, innovation, collaboration, relationships, and results.
0:00 - IEP + Sales Program
00:23 - Welcome
1:25 - Losing sight of our IEP
2:29 - Bringing your IEP to your sales pitch matters
4:28 - Learning + Opportunity for IEP
5:55 - IEP is making an impact
6:51 - Master Class for IEP + Sales
7:53 - Sign Up + More information
8:18 - Wrap Up
Get on the First-to-Know list for the Master Class below: