Although sales is mostly a solo journey, having the right chemistry on the floor is essential to the success of the individual and the company. When everything clicks employees are fired up to come to work, they’re motivated because when they wake up in the morning they say to themselves, “I got to close this guy, this guy, and this guy.” They don’t say, “Oh gosh, I got to go to work and make calls.” There are no hangdog looks when they enter the office, no mumbles of “good morning.” They’re ready to go.
Maintaining the right chemistry, however, can be more difficult than discovering the magic. How do you retain your employees? How do you maintain the positive energy when sales are down and the sales people begin to doubt the product, themselves, or you?
First, know thyself. What kind of manager are you? Are you a yeller? Do you get directly involved, or do you take a more passive role and let things play out? And more importantly, how are they responding to your coaching? This might not be so evident in the beginning but you’ll know exactly where you stand within a few weeks, and you’ll have to make slight adjustments. Be flexible and know your employees.
Tom likes some encouragement. Mary likes to be left alone. Jim responds best when he’s challenged. Sue needs a little more direction. The team responds very well to incentives.
The better you know your team the better they perform. That’s no big secret. But you need to be absolutely clear with your employees from the start about how you operate. Set the tone early, communicate your coaching style before they make their first call. “This is what I expect from you. This is what you can expect from me.”
The trouble with most managers, in my experience, is that they fail to set the tone and communicate with their employees from the beginning. The “rules” of the game are unclear, or worse, they seem to change every five minutes. Consistency is the key to selling and it’s the key to good managing. Nobody likes a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde leader—the world’s unpredictable enough.
Emphasize your beliefs and expectations on a daily basis. Sometimes this is best done by actions alone. Lead by example. Let your employees develop their individual style, and you’ll be sure that they will integrate your high standards when pitching the prospect.