What Leaders Can Learn from Sales

Leaders must sell. Maybe not widgets, but ideas. Maybe not extended warranties, but top priorities. Maybe not service contracts, but competitive context. If leaders can't sell their organization on a vision, they will fail.

So what can executives learn about selling from the sales staff don the hall? Leadership consultant John Baldoni, writing on Harvard Business, articulates four tips for executive selling:

  1. Listen first.
  2. Present the benefits.
  3. Overcome objections
  4. Ask for support
"Selling is the closure of persuasion, and persuasion drives leadership." Baldoni writes. "It is the means by which leaders bring people to their point of view in order to get things done. Making the sale in leadership terms creates trust."