Salespeople Think Like Swordsmen, When Selling is a Matter of Life and Death
It is Life and Death
Make no mistake, Sales is a matter of life and death. We live in a fiercely competitive world. In Sales, no less than in a duel, there is no reward for second place. Once engaged, like the swordsperson, the victory can only be claimed by one. And the rest hope to live to sell another day.
Swordsmanship is highly efficient…by necessity!
The practice of the art of swordsmanship is a discipline spanning centuries. By design, the swordsperson excels in a thorough appreciation for the authenticity of the engagement. There is no time, no room, for lapse. Each component of the engagement, from why we fight, to whom we fight, through how our choices, practice and preparation effect each moment of the duel, all translate to the sales motion.
The Swordsperson and the Salesperson, Same Contest, Different Arena
There’s a reason the word “Conversation” is in the lexicon of swordsmanship. The Glossary of Fencing describes it as, ”The back-and-forth play of the blades in a fencing bout, composed of phrases (phrases d'armes) punctuated by gaps of no blade action.” Initiative, delay, response, retreat, feint, attack, openings and closing…all the tools of the salesperson’s trade describe the armed bout.
The Qualities of a Great Swordsperson are Shared by Champion Salespeople
Swordsmanship, like salesmanship, is not for everybody. Those who choose to live a life measured by the daily embrace of risk, where excuses are meaningless and dedication is self-evident, are few and far between. Not everyone can put themselves on the line day in and day out, to declare their security is self-made, and reject the lure of “good enough”. Smart, driven, dedicated, self-aware…these traits describe great salespeople and the swordsman within them.
Anyone can call Themselves a Salesperson
Sales is the easiest low paying job in the world. Anyone can flash a business card and claim the title of Sales Executive. Just so, there’s nothing stopping one from waving a sword around and calling themselves a Swordsman. Each can flail away, unwilling to sacrifice the comfort of their façade for the sweat and tears of the training ground. They operate among their fellow under-achievers, unworthy and, unwelcome, in the company of Champions. The easy contest yields baubles and crumbs, and it’s the prizes of real value, like respect, security, control, satisfaction, adventure, and wealth, that are earned by the Champion.
Champions sacrifice for something greater than simple personal gain.
The one out to get a buck, whose goal is to get someone to write the check at all costs, is not a Champion. The one who wields a blade to compel obedience, is not a Champion. They are merely thieves and thugs.
The Champion is a defender first, according to his or her mandate. Through that defense does their reward flow.
In history, the swordsman’s currency was his or her reputation. Those possessing a reputation for skill, courage, loyalty, integrity, and intelligence were sought after by great lords and powerful leaders. These persons of power and wealth valued the swordsman as a reflection of their own virtues, and gained from them instruction and service. By these means did the swordsman, by acting as a champion to the interests of the patron rise in station and accumulate wealth.
The salesperson who serve to realize the goals and objectives of their customer have themselves a patron. This patron values their unique and rare qualities, and are themselves benefitted by the champion’s dedicated skills.
The Swordsmanship Seller secures a patron by championing their customer. And by this service do they achieve greatness.
Executive Swordsmanship, llc
Berkeley, California 94706
Phone: +1 415 3075524+1 415 3075524
Daniel Hunter has built, trained and managed sales teams around the world. As an awards-winning sales pro who's carried a quota himself, Daniel has trained outside and inside sales teams for multinationals like PSINet, IBMROLM, and Memorex Telex from the salesperson's perspective. While competing for stakeholder value, Daniel has also earned the distinction of a pioneer in historical european martial arts, both successfully competing in national and international sword combat tournaments, and training swordsmanship around the world.