Are You a “Walter Cronkite” of Sales?

This past Friday, Walter Cronkite passed away at the age of 92. For decades, he has been recognized as the most trusted person in the world. What an honor to bestow on a person and how it must have made him feel.

Research continues to show that trust is the most significant selling competency for professional sales people. Furthermore, sales professionals that are most proficient at gaining their customers trust are most adept at generating higher sales revenue.

Here at The CPO Institute, we believe trust can be built on what we call the “Attitude of Caring.” The “Attitude” is based on three crucial components:

Caring about them-

Professional sales people ask the right questions, listen to the answers and truly care about the client and their needs. Demonstrating how much you care for and are knowledgeable about your clients specific business will earn your their trust and loyalty.

Caring about your company-

Nothing will undermine trust more rapidly than “selling out” your own company. NEVER discount or dismiss the importance of the rest of your organization. Accept responsibility and help make the necessary changes to enhance customer satisfaction. Giving away the store or bashing other departments will weaken the foundation of the very trust you are seeking. One of the best ways to build trust is to be knowledgeable of your industry and your company.

Caring about the order-

Getting the order is simply the first step in building trust.

Now they trust you enough to place the order. This is where trust is truly built. Follow-up on the order, make sure the customer gets what they expect, show how you and your company is actually concerned about them and deliver everything you promised.

All too often, trust never develops in a sales relationship because once the order is written the sales person begins to focus on the next sale.

Sales Professionals truly live with an “Attitude of Caring” and continuously build trust in their customer relationships. Sales Professionals that build trusting relationships with their clients generate greater sales revenue.

Wouldn’t it be great to be considered the Walter Cronkite of your industry, company or marketplace?

“Most trusted!”

Be You Own Chief Performance Officer and visit The CPO Institute today.

Generate Change with Workplace Civility

As shoppers in the high-end department store strolled by, it was evident the “manager” was giving the sales clerk, direct (and somewhat hostel) feedback. The young lady was left in tears. It looked like a scene from a Career Builder commercial.
Do you think this young lady enjoys coming to work? Is she fully engaged? Will she look for opportunities to excel? Is she proud to work for this company? Would she consider her workplace to be civil? Probably not!
Daily most of us experience what I refer to as a lack of “workplace civility.” We either observe it externally or live in it internally.




In my Leadership-Don’t Just Do It! program, one segment deals with fostering Workplace Civility. A recent global study was performed by Towers Perrin, a global workforce study organization. It revealed that less than 21% of workers worldwide were engaged in their work. Twenty-One Percent!
The following is a quick review of the five keys to creating a civil, engaged workplace:






Foundational Trust





The organization must have a high level of trust. Employees must trust the leadership and customers/ clients must trust the employees. Employees must truly be valued by the organization. By the way, trust doesn’t result by simply being mentioned in the mission or value statement on the company’s home page.





Clear Expectations





One consistent element in high performing organizations is a thorough uderstanding of what is expected of every employee. Having worked with many companies, large and small, I have observed that this element is a key factor in the overall success of the organization. It’s not enough for employees to know what’s expected of them, but also what they can expect from their leaders and co-workers.





Applicable Skills





Everyone in the organization must have the skills and abilities to accomplish the tasks they are being asked to perform. If an employee is a leader, they require training in leadership skills. If they are a sales professional, then they need training in selling skills. Highly effective organizations truly embrace continued, life-long learning that leads to continuous performance improvement. According to CLO Magazine, economic powerhouse GE spends over $1 billion on training their employees. In today’s difficult economic environment, companies cannot allow their employees performance to erode. Workforce performance improvement is more important now than ever before.





Developmental Feedback





Unlike the earlier story, feedback, more importantly, what I refer to as developmental feedback, is critical to employee engagement. People need to know how they are contributing and how they can go about improving their performance. Companies should measure the right things and recognize the right behaviors.






Attitude of Gratitude





The most civil workplaces are those that have a culture wherein everyone helps one another, including their customers or clients. They are thankful for the organization, for their fellow workers and most importantly, their customers.

Workplace Civility is not something an organization does. It can’t be accomplished. It is a way of thinking and acting that encourages high levels of employee engagement and overall performance. Get a re-printable version of this article at the following link.