Rhonda Petit: The Spirit of Selling
Some sales professionals come to their careers because they knew at a young age that sales was what they wanted to do. Others fall into it more or less by luck. Sales coach Rhonda Petit falls into the second category.
She was fresh out of school and working as a laboratory technician for a chemical company, but had a strong interest in the business side. When a sales position opened, she jumped at the opportunity and never looked back. She became the company’s first female outside sales person who had no previous commercial experience.
Sales Pro to Sales Coach
Rhonda’s move into sales coaching was also somewhat accidental. After several years in sales, her company eliminated her position in 2019. Undaunted, she started her own business, 3×5 Coaching, to coach sales professionals at any career stage. She was also inspired to write a book, The Spirit of Selling, about her observations on the “universal laws of sales” that she wishes she had known early in her career.
Rhonda recently shared her thoughts on the Empellor CRM podcast, Sales Lead Dog.
Highlights from The Spirit of Selling
In the book’s first chapter, as Rhonda describes it, she identifies “most of the misconceptions that hold salespeople, anybody, business owners back from selling. One of the big ones is I think some people have an association of a salesperson with a con artist.”
The difference between a sales professional and a con artist, of course, is that con artists are in it only for what they can get, with no other interest in the client. Sales professionals are in it to help their clients, by listening to them and understanding their needs and pain points. “We don’t ‘make’ sales,” Rhonda says. “We earn them.”
Another common attribute that prevents sales professionals from meeting their highest potential is their attitude towards money. The book’s second chapter, “Do You Judge Money or Expect It?” goes into detail about this issue. Successful salespeople understand that money is nothing more than a reflection of services rendered. For a salesperson, this service is the act of providing value by helping their clients “cross the bridge”–that is, get from where they are to where they want to be.
Throughout the book, Rhonda describes what she calls “universal laws of selling.” Some of these include
- Determine your overarching goal, desire, or purpose in pursuing a career in sales. You can’t reach a goal if you don’t know what it is.
- Revise your self-image as you grow in your career.
- Examine your habits when engaging with clients. You may not even be aware that some things you do are off-putting or fail to put the client at ease.
Sales leaders, too, can benefit from understanding these universal laws. When a team member is underperforming, it’s important to examine the issues and determine the root cause, which is often an internal block or misconception.
Rhonda firmly believes that sales professionals succeed because they have a core, spiritual purpose of helping others by understanding their needs and providing value. “Everyone has divinity within them,” she says. Becoming a successful sales professional means tapping into that core purpose and motive.
To learn more about Rhonda, her sales coaching company, and her book, listen to her interview on the Sales Lead Dog podcast.