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Why Leadership and Sales Are Similar

Leadership and sales have more in common now than they ever did in the past.
By Sean Weafer
November 14, 2022

Leadership and sales now have more in common than at any other time in their history. In fact, one could consider them to be two sides of the same coin.

Today's leadership and management style is moving more towards being of service to others. Being of service to our colleagues, team members, peers and basically anyone who could be considered an internal stakeholder whose work delivers on what we need done to care for our clients and customers.

Leaders today require a high level of communication and influencing skills to engage successfully with their internal customers. Networking to build brand or executive presence, the ability to capture and win support through high level presenting and speaking skills, the ability to effectively ask questions and listen are all about us being of service to the people around us.

Influence and authority are no longer just grounded in a leader's expertise but in their capacity to build trust with the people around them. To find ways to identify the challenges that our internal stakeholders are having and being able to help resolve those challenges to drive performance, retention and growth.

Selling is the same, except it's focused on building relationships with external stakeholders and finding ways to be of service to them.

Modern sales and business development is not about pushing one service or product. It's about building highly trusted relationships that have our external stakeholders happy to share their problems with us, so that we can apply the best solution for their needs and so monetise the outcome, over the long term.

From that perspective both leadership and sales share a common ground in that both are now are based on the highest of values of being of service to others and nurturing their needs. Sales professionals 'sell' (find ways to be of service) to external stakeholders. Leaders 'sell' (find ways to be of service) to internal stakeholders.

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