you think Vincent van Gogh ever allowed someone to sit behind while he painted,
someone who said to him, “Vinnie, I think the wheatfield needs a richer
yellow”? No way. Well, salespeople are no
different. Once they’ve been
trained and are up to speed on product knowledge, a good salesperson wants to
be left alone. He doesn’t want
someone hanging over his shoulder telling him what to say and how to say it.
I comparing salespeople to great artists?
Absolutely. There is an art
to selling and the salesperson learns it over time, and although he can be
“shaped” by management, in the end, he creates his own work and his own
destiny. If you love what you do
and are committed to it, then you are an artist. You don’t need to hold a paintbrush or a guitar pick or have
pipes like Susan Boyle.
last Sunday’s New York Times
(“Corner Office”) SunGard CEO Crist?bal Conde said, “If you start micromanaging
people, then the very best ones will leave.” The best business managers are the ones who are not
interested in collaboration with the salesperson. Instead, they’re the ones who lead by example. They have their own individual style,
developed over years. The best
business managers are the ones who make suggestions to the salesperson but
don’t dictate. These managers sit
back and allow the salesperson to develop as an artist. They counsel but they do not
collaborate. Huge difference.
business world is full of managers who believe they have to “manage” every second
of every day. These folks are
confusing the big picture (results) with the small picture (themselves). Whether conscious or not, they want to
take the paintbrush away from the salesperson and paint their own
masterpiece. If you have a manager
like this, dear salesperson, it’s best to meet with him immediately.
might be the fault of technology.
Nobody wants to be out of the loop—people want to be updated with the
newest gadgets, they want to be on every social network, and they especially
want to be linked in. In other
words, they want no small detail to pass them by because nobody wants to miss out
on the party. The trouble with
this mindset, “God is in the details, I want to be God,” is that one forgets all about the big
picture. Results. A manager hires a salesperson because
he believes the salesperson can generate revenue for the company. Period. End of story.
What the micromanager forgets is that we’re all different, we all have
individual skills and talents.
When you pool those individual talents together, and nurture those
talents, then you’re talking about collaboration at its best. One purpose, one goal. One word: success.
by example and get out of the way.
Let the van Goghs of your office do their thing.