Would we have the freedom to have an Integrated Dialogue™ without the sacrifices of our Men and Women in Uniform?

Published on May 25, 2009

On This Memorial Day, we take time to thank all those, both past and present, for their heroic efforts to protect our freedom of choice, freedom of speech and our liberty.   In thinking about today, my mother comes to my mind.  She fought in two wars- Lieutenant in the British Army in WWII and a commander of a battalion of 2000 women in the War of 1949. Her leadership roles in these positions, as well as her positions of leadership in her banking career have helped formulate some of the ideas in the book Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way.   

In fact, any person who served in the US military is responsible for the concepts listed below for one simple reason: The underlying theme in Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way is the idea that to be a top producer, you need to have quality conversations with your customers.  These conversations would not be possible  were it not for the sacrifices of our men and women in the military who fought for our freedom of speech.  We pause today to remember their efforts.  I too pause, and also remember the efforts of my mother Miriam, who was a pioneer in her own right and a leader for generations to come.  The following is an excerpt taken from the Introduction of Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way.  While reading it, please remember the men and women of our armed forces who gave us the opportunity to have these open and frank conversations.  Please also remember those whom you feel made similar sacrifices for the same causes.  Interesting how we start with the concept of choices – The freedom to decide.

The following is an excerpt from the Introduction of Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way (Published by John Wiley & Sons).  

Three Choices 

In today’s market, you have three basic choices. 

1.    You Can Lead. You can establish a leadership role in your ownlife by taking full responsibility for your own outcomes andestablishing an attitude of complete accountability.  2.    You Can Sell. You can use that leadership role in your salescareer to build alliances that establish zones of strategic mutualbenefit for you and others, 3.    You Can Get Out of the Way. In other words, you can makeroom for a competitor who is willing to do both of the thingslisted above. Make no mistake—that’s what’s on the horizon ifyou choose not to sell as a leader. 

This book is designed to help you make the first two a reality andavoid the third altogether. My mother, Miriam Karr, was a well-known economist and,eventually, a vice president of a large U.S. bank with offices in severalcountries. She made a name for herself by identifying and buildingbusiness with emerging markets. She embraced choices one and twoabove, and she taught me at a very early age how to build businessesand make deals that produced OUTCOMES that were so powerfulstakeholders could not afford to shut them down.  In her case, that meant starting a counter-trade group for the bank that helped ThirdWorld countries find buyers for their products. These were deals onwhich commissions were paid—and a percentage of these commissionswas applied by the bank to offset that particular Third Worldcountry’s outstanding debt to the bank. Her ability to see this opportunity,put her ideas to work, and initiate powerful dialogues madeeveryone involved in her work a winner. The countries needed tofind buyers for their products; the bank needed to write down its debtand improve its bottom line. My mother made both of these thingspossible by championing something I call the Integrated DialogueTM. The Integrated DialogueTM Leaders know that a one-sided conversation is not as likely to get peopleinvested with them as allies as a powerful integrated dialogue is.What exactly is an integrated dialogue? It’s a conversation thatyou take full responsibility for initiating and guiding that draws peopleout and elicits their experiences. It’s a conversation based on a visionand a sense of shared purpose that identifies previously unidentified opportunities. 

An integrated dialogue instantly distinguishes you and your offeringfrom the competition. This is exactly how my mother built herbusiness unit in emerging markets for the bank. Whether you’ve beenselling for 30 years or you just started yesterday, there is still somethingfor you—for all of us—to learn about the way great sales leaders takeon the responsibility of initiating and leading such a dialogue.This kind of dialogue is what the very best sales professionals—sales leaders—use to give their customers something they couldn’tpossibly get from a long monologue, or a brochure, or the Internet.This conversation allows you to lead the process and establishyourself as a resource for everyone who comes in contact with you.The Internet and brochures are only capable of selling a transaction.You, on the other hand, represent the ability to create a powerfulrelationship, one that identifies whole new zones of mutual opportunity,addresses far-ranging issues, and positions you as an invaluableresource: a leader.  Leaders know that people don’t want to be sold. They simplywant someone who’s responsible and accountable to help guide them through the buying process. They are not looking to buy products orservices. They are looking for solutions to their problems. They arel ooking for positive OUTCOMES. Over the years, I’ve been privileged to work with thousands ofsales leaders—beginning with my mom—who established an integrateddialogue to share their vision, identify previously unimagined opportunities, build alliances, and guide people through the processof buying. In this book, I reveal everything I have learned from those leaders.I share their case studies with you and show you exactly how theconcepts were put into action. Let’s get started! 

End of Excerpt

Thought for this Memorial Day:  Would we have the freedom to have an Integrated Dialogue™ without the sacrifices of our Men and Women in Uniform?

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