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Comment and Question: Tom, I been asked by our main manufacturer to be part of a panel discussion that describes why our company is so successful.  They see our success when they measure our market share numbers but those numbers are about how we manage what we sell.  They don’t reveal the leadership reason for our success.  Our success is a function of a leadership decision as to how we sell.  You know our company.  All of our sales professionals have attended your counselor selling workshop.  We’ve embraced the leadership philosophy of selling on purpose.  I’ve told them about this approach at council meetings and they dismiss it as something that will not work with what they call hard core price buyers.  A description of our approach will be very different from the other presenters.  How should I present our approach without sounding confrontational?   S. T.

Answer:  S. T.  What a great opportunity for you to deliver a very strategic Leadership message to everyone in attendance.  Be clear that success in any business is totally a function of “behavior” that can not be measured.  As a Leader, you decided that your business must compete with a very different business approach. To defeat the competition by playing “their game” better was not working.  After attending my workshop to evaluate the Counselor process, you consciously chose Counselor Selling as “The Difference.”  After Counselor Selling, your sales people began to behave “The Difference.”  That was your Counselor Leader decision. They did the Care Reviews to “understand” their existing customers.  That “behavior change” is what “caused” your journey to success to begin.  The manufacturer may not agree with what you are doing until they understand what “caused” it to happen.   


 Key Point:  Leadership is about starting in a new and different direction.  “Behavior”must change in order to start. 


 There is an old truth that states: “No one can talk (negotiate) themself out of what they behaved themself into.”  As a Leader, you were very wise starting many years ago to invest in changing the “behavior” of your sales people.  There were many things that had to change, but the macro “behavior” pattern was to create a critical mass of everyone “Selling ON PURPOSE.”  That was the philosophy taught in Counselor Selling.  You knew this would work based upon your past career. 


 What should you reveal about your success during the panel discussion?  Be “humble” in presentation.  Humility is a “behavior” that is not confrontational.  Tell them about your choice to Be a Counselor Leader, not just a Leader. The term Leader had to have a very different meaning in order for behavior change to begin.  Tell them how you required your people to define the selling system to support ON PURPOSE, Win-WIn behavior.  Everyone needed to learn how to “behave” even with the “hard core” price buyers.  The “arm wrestle” in Counselor Selling proved that this could be done.  Tell them about reaching the critical mass of Counselor behavior with the young people and how you decided that even the most senior sales people had to get on board.  Tell them how your Counselor Leader approach required the senior “guys” to buy-in.  Some resisted claiming they knew “how to sell.”  You tested them and they did not know how to behave the Business of the Business.  Tell them how the critical mass had to include the “behavior” of your entire company.  Everyone had to “behave” their role as described in the story about the Business of THEIR BusinessYes, Leading the Counselor “behavior” was difficult at first, but now it is “effortless and effective.”  Customer loyalty, not market share, is the measure of “The Difference.” 


 You know this presentation.  I’ve heard you tell the story many times. Summarize your presentation by saying, “Customers must BUY who we ARE before they are even interested in WHAT we HAVE (products) or WHAT we DO.  Deciding who we are going to BE was the Counselor Leader decision.  Who we ARE today is proven by our behavior – not tenure or size or the scope of our offering.  That is WHY we ARE successful.  Because it is THEIR business – not mine --everyone is a Counselor Leader in our company today.  We made the Leadership choice that everyone has a role in executing the Business of Our Business and “The Difference” is in How We Sell ON PURPOSE.     


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