Lukas Podolski – Leistung durch emotionale Intelligenz

Heute ist das Abschiedsspiel von Lukas Podolski. Es werden oft Parallelen gezogen zwischen Sport und Business, denn beide Bereiche sind kompetitiv und geprägt durch Leistung. Seit 2004 gehört er durchgehend der Deutschen Nationalelf an und für mich wie für viele andere Menschen hat er Vorbildcharakter. Er verdient einer speziellen Erwähnung und es gibt durchaus Charaktermerkmale, die ihn von anderen Spitzensportlern unterscheiden. Gerade diese sollten aber auch in unserem herausfordernden Arbeitsalltag Platz finden, denn sie sind sehr wichtig.

Würde ich einen Menschen wie ihn in meinem Sales Team haben wollen? Unbedingt.

 Lukas Podolski wird oft in der Öffentlichkeit als der Spaßvogel des Teams bezeichnet, doch dies würdigt nicht die Gesamtleistung seiner sportlichen Karriere. Er hat 130 Länderspiele bestritten in denen er 48 Tore schoss. Hiermit belegt er in beiden Kategorien Platz 3 in der ewigen Bestenliste der Nationalelf. Er wurde 2x Weltmeisterschafts Dritter, Vizeweltmeister und schließlich Weltmeister mit seinem Team. Mit einem Sinn für Spaß und Lebensfreude ist diese Leistung nicht nur zu erklären, wohl aber ist sie Teil des Ganzen. Ich sehe hier drei herausragende Eigenschaften.

  1. Humor

Bei Linkedin ist die Eigenschaft des Humors fest verankert in der Firmenkultur. Dies beschränkt sich nicht auf komödiantische Fähigkeiten, sondern zeichnet sich dadurch aus, dass man als Team Mitglied durch seine Attitüde in der Lage ist, sein Arbeitsumfeld angenehm zu gestalten, andere mitzureißen und eine positive Energie zu erzeugen. Genau dies wird Lukas Podolski durch seine Team Mitglieder und dem Coach Jogi Löw bescheinigt und ist Quelle des Mannschaftsgefühls der Nationalelf. Dies macht ihn so wertvoll für das Team.

  1. Leidenschaft

Es gibt viele international erfolgreiche Spieler, die durch Perfektion am Ball zu glänzen wissen. Taktisches Geschick und ein hohes Maß an Technik machen den Unterscheid aus. Lukas Podolski werden diese Eigenschaften eingeschränkt nachgesagt und es mag in Teilen stimmen. 48 Tore in Länderspielen erzielt man aber nicht nur durch Technik, sondern durch den Glauben an seine Fähigkeiten und die Bereitschaft Dinge auszuprobieren, Mut zu beweisen und auch einmal etwas zu riskieren. Und natürlich auch dadurch, dass man in der Lage ist, sich für das zu begeistern was man tut dabei aber authentisch bleibt. Wer würde das Lukas Podolski absprechen wollen?

  1. Fokus

Auch auf seinen Stationen im Vereinsfußball gab es beachtliche Erfolge. Mit Bayern München wurde er Meister und Pokalsieger, mit dem FC Arsenal holte er den FA Cup und mit Galatasaray Istanbul ebenfalls den nationalen Pokal. Doch seine besten Leistungen zeigte er stets in der Nationalmannschaft. Dies aus zweierlei Gründen. Erstens weil er in Jogi Löw einen Coach gefunden hatte, der an seine Fähigkeiten geglaubt hat und ihm die Freiheit gab sich auf seine Stärken zu fokussieren. Zweitens weil er als unbedingter Teamplayer im Umfeld der Nationalelf das perfekte Team gefunden hat, in das er seine Qualitäten einbringen konnte. 

Diese Eigenschaften sind Schlüssel zu der bemerkenswerten Karriere von Lukas Podolski und sind gleichzeitig wirkungsvolle Attribute zum Erfolg im Beruf. Ein leistungsstarkes Team ist eine Mischung aus Ballkünstlern, Strategen und Akteuren mit emotionaler Intelligenz. Es braucht jeden von ihnen

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The German way of selling

The German way of selling.

I do work for some years now for US companies in international technology business. I learnt so much about how the American way of selling works and I am still impressed about the approach . Not much space left for surprises, well structured,  highly efficient and very much predictable in terms of forecasting.From marketing to lead generation, prospecting up to negotiating and closing there is alwaysa process behind. Very well structured.  To start stereotyping, as a German I should love it. And I do.

When it comes to customer meetings you will not be left alone as well, because before that you have been trained briefly on an Anglo-American sales methodology to be most successful.

Sandler, Ferrazzi, entrepreneurial Drucker, SPIN selling – all this equips you to have the right answers, to be able to ask the right questions and to find yourself always in the right sales stage. But does this work out for the German market as well?  I changed my view a bit on that. If somebody had asked me some years ago which nation has invented the perfect way of selling, I definitely would have said the United States. But now I think this may have changed a bit or at least it is more relevant to the local market and conditions. Looking at Europe’s trading situation we realise one obvious fact for years. Germany has a huge export surplus compared to all other 27 nations and it is still growing. This causes already lots of trouble in the European Union because it is an imbalanced situation with tension and disadvantages for countries especially in the South. It is likely to be said that the reasons behind Germany’s economic success are the outstanding quality of the goods and the advanced technology, which I agree on.

From a sales perspective for sure it is much easier to sell the products which the customer demands. Not a big deal you might say and I agree on this as well. But this is only 50% of it.  As a sales manager I know that you can have the best products in a territory with the highest potential, but this is never a guarantee to make your quota as the best achiever.  There is more behind it. But what is it?  Is it the German way of selling? What is this exactly?

I will describe three examples.

  1. Build rapport, but keep the distance

Sure, every sales call has to be warmed up. Have a quick chat about the weather,  plans for the weekend or the last football match. But that’s it.  Keep it simple and try not to dig too deep. Your ice breaker should be a short starting point before talking business. As a sales person on the German market, you should be seen by the customer as a trusted adviser rather than a buddy. German sales persons on international markets do consultative selling on the other hand. Their customer really much appreciate it.

  1. Talk details and features.

The value selling on UK and US market is a common thing.  It is avoiding to name products (even not saying this bad word, because it is a solution) and focusing on personal benefits for the customer. German sales persons (and their prospects) like to fire out features. It is because of a certain pride that a specific production unit can do xyz more jobs in an hour as the one of the competition. This is proven by technical details and is part of the sales discussion. If you are good or even better in something – name it. And name the product.

  1. Don’t talk sales wishy-washy

Sales in Germany is still seen as something with a negative touch and has not the best reputation. German customers react really sensitive on influential selling and quickly find out why, you ask about personal impact to get closer to the pain funnel. Leave it out or at least use this technique carefully. Otherwise you will experience that you gain the contrary of that you wanted to achieve – you lose trust. German sales persons earlier go into the final closing question. Even when they lose a deal. Don’t get me wrong. Many sales techniques are there for a reason. But they are not universally adaptable. You have to find your own way to do it. It is a science which you only can learn by practicing. It is because of that why I love selling. So next time you may try it the German way? Happy closing.

Job title customers friend?

Are you working in sales?  Great. What’s your position?  Have you recently opened up an online account where you found a drop down for “position”?  What was your choice?  I am working now for quite a good time in different sales positions, and I am impressed about the variety of different job titles which came up with the years.
Are you a manager? Great. Do you manage individuals or are you an account manager,  or better,  a key account manager?  You could be a territory manager as well. But in fact you’re not manager,  you are an inside sales rep or probably an account executive or a relationship manager. Maybe you are a sales agent or a pre-sales with revenue target.  In some companies a director is apparently a manager and in others a director manages manager – front line manager. Then they are manager,  not team leader, cause these carry targets and manage a team.  Still with me?
Let me give you two advices.

1. Do not chase for job titles on your business card in your career – have a brief look at the job description you may apply for and have a high level of self awareness,  if your personnel skills fit to it. If no, leave it.If yes, you can bring real value to your employer and you will be a rockstar.

2. A sales role means understanding the customer and prospect. This understanding will only achieved by active listening and an empathic response on personnel impacts and pains. Would you share those with a customer representative or just with a friend?  Be a customers friend,  not just a job title.

Never eat alone – relationship management essentials – read it, not only for business

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a TimeNever Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You want to work in sales and prepare your future career? Read this book.
You do your studies and do not know actually where to go and what to do? Read this book.
You work in an organization or company and want to develop yourself into a leadership role? Read this book.
You work in or within a non-profit organization and aim to to fund raising or increase popularity?
Read this book.

It is a stunning and complete masterpiece of all you need or need to do to be successful. Don´t forget – it is all about you and how you deal with other persons in your social environment.
It is much more contemporary and up to date than Dale Carnegies “How to win friends and influence people, as it also involves social media and the internet.
For sure there are some approaches far away from daily routine, but overall I never found up to now such a holistic work about all situations and how to deal with them when you are in business.

I strongly recommend this book for those of you, whose objective it is to be not mediocre and instead of wanting to lead your (business) life.
Make an appointment for your first lunch now with your next mentor and be willing to understand giving as reciprocal.

View all my reviews

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