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Servant Sales: Principles for Ethical, Effective and Authentic Sales

ad hoc Servant Sales Workgroup: Principles and practices

Servant Sales is a set of principles that the sales process is itself valuable to the prospect, through asking thoughtful and helpful questions. Practitioners are patient and search for ways to fulfill prospect needs knowing that profits will follow. 


Participants

  • Rick Andritsch
  • Nathan Bares
  • Kevin Hickman
  • Bill Mitchell
  • Jackie Ruppel
  • Grace Redovich
  • Derrick Van Mell
  • Carol White


Three big ideas

  1. Servant Sales success depends on true empathy and authenticity – the 4th principle.
  2. The prospect relationship is strengthened by providing value before asking for the order.
  3. The business case includes shorter sales cycles, higher margins, and increased renewals.

Things to think about

  • I Don’t Get No Respect: Servant Sales principles will build respect for the sales and business development professions.
  • Like-Minded Souls: We need a strong and diverse network that value Servant Sales principles.
  • So Many Questions: What are your best authentic, empathetic, and strategic questions?
  • Proof-Positive: What is the proof statement (business case?) for Servant Sales?
  • Leading the Charge: How can leaders/managers guide teams to learn and adapt these principles?
  • Platform ‘Heals’: Zoom-like presentation platforms demand well-honed attentive/active listening skills.
  • RIP: Buyers who value relationships are harder to find due to cutbacks in sales/BD staff or retirements.
  • No Means ‘Not Right Now’: Securing that 1st meeting with technology requires innovative thinking.
  • (Not Just Any) Help Wanted: Servant Sales principles can help CEO’s learn how to select talent.
  • Put Me In, Coach: Business and personal mentors can use these principles in their coaching.
  • SS-IQ:  Demonstrating Servant Sales principles can help qualify prospects that value them over price.
  • Benefit of the Doubt: What is the genuine benefit to them, the buyers or team leaders?
  • A Likely Story: Sharing Servant Sales success stories for skill-building.
  • Front of Mind: What coaching tools will get principals/CEO’s/boards of directors thinking in this way?
  • Born to Run:  Being comfortably authentic can't be taught, but a good boss can ‘wake it up’ in a high-potential manager. 
  • Badge of Honor: Is there value in a certificate or credentialling in Servant Sales for business leaders?
  • Theoretically Speaking: What are the practical applications of Servant Sales for organizations?
  • For Good Measure: What are enlightened measurements for Servant Sales success? 
  • Hitting the High Notes: Authentic relationships value handwritten notes or cards. A handwritten note is like dining by candlelight instead of flicking on the lights. (Margaret Shepherd) 


Action/Next Steps: Discuss one of these 3 topics:

  1. How to: Building a culture of servant sales.
  2. Stories: When did servant selling really, really work?
  3. How to: How to engage technical professionals in the client conversation?

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The Center for Management Terms & Practices is the standards body for general management. We help managers and executives work cross-functionally because success requires everyone working together. See The GMs Index and The GMs Toolkit for the standard terms, tools and best practices.

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