Salesership: Combination of Sales & Leadership

Season 1 Episode 6









“Salesership” is a combination of sales and leadership. This podcast outlines 3 reasons sales people don’t become leaders.


Sales has a certain amount of the “lone wolf syndrome”. I’ve seen it in myself and in many others.  It is the one thing most good sales people have in common, they get out there and do it their way. They may lead a team or do it by themselves, but they do it their way and do not like anybody interfering.  Their focus and the way they organize is done their way. This seems to be universal.

This is very effective for starting out in a sales career. It gives wanted freedom, one can organize how they want and how they are productive, you can just get it done. This is very good for certain kinds of people. Often people that participate in certain solo sports such as swimming, running, tennis, etc. These people are focused on self-control. Sales fits very well with this type of personality.

One of the problems of this is that as your sales career progresses this mentality comes back to bite you. As you move up or get bigger clients you do not get to do everything “your” way. You start to have to be a lot more accountable to the people on top of you. They want to know how you are handling clients and business.

It takes a while to become a good lone wolf and then it takes a while to not be a lone wolf.


(and the main reason it is hard for a salesperson to become a leader )

Is the way the two have to THINK. 

As a salesperson you have to think, as I like to refer to it, as HORIZON THINKING. A good sales person has at least 35-50 projects on the board at all times. This is what I found keeps me being busy at all times.

You always have to know the next step. From the prospect all the way to closing the sale, paperwork to financing, etc.

As a salesperson, you know what your process is and what needs to happen in each step to finish the sale and satisfy your customer.

Another phrase I use is, TAPPING THE PLATES. I learned this phrase in my very first sales training. Sales is just like the plate juggler in the circus who taps at the plates on the stick till they get going. The juggler and the salesperson both do this same thing over and over. And, after the plates are all spinning what does the juggler have to do? Go back and retap all the plates. In my world I have 35-50 plates spinning all the time. Some fall (for a variety of reasons), so you have to move on, keep tapping the plates.

Another similarity to sales is in a chess match. After playing a few matches against someone you get to know them. You start to understand how they play, what moves they make, and how they are thinking. Same within companies. After a few deals with each individual you begin to get a sense of them and the way they “play”:

Who is empower,

who isn’t.

These are what makes a good salesman: Repetitiveness and Knowing The Game

Being a leader takes a completely different kind of thinking process. It’s difficult to make the transition in the thinking process.

To do this I use the phrase, VERTICAL THINKING. This means not just connecting within your small world, but doing so on a global field. This takes thinking many many steps ahead.

They have to think about two or three steps ahead. This is not nearly as far ahead as a leader must.

This is similar to building a house. Building the foundation is the most important part. Same with being a leader.


Things that make a really good salesperson hurt leaders.

The biggest of these being that salespeople are extremely competitive. This often leads to a level of selfishness. To do their jobs, make the sales, feed their families, they are out there to win.

This personality has a hard time transitioning to thinking. They must change the “wanting a pat on the back” to one of serving. This is very hard to do internally.

Changing thoughts of others being “competition” to a thought of “providing”. It takes time.

But, if they can learn this and learn to be a servant to their own people, they can have a good chance to become a leader.

Doug Soltis has worked in sales and marketing for over 30 years with a vision of revolutionizing the sales industry through Rock Solid Selling. He refined his skill-set while working for companies like 3M, Northwestern Mutual, and Mead, where he underwent some of the best sales and marketing training available.

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