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Season’s Greetings from a sales manager?

salesman

Ahhh… It’s “the holiday season,” that time of year that always brings with it certain tried-and-true traditions.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…

Children laughing and playing in the snow…

Friends and families gathering, full of holiday cheer…

And small business owners and sales professionals giving up on even trying to make any sales during the month of December, using excuses like “no one’s buying this time of year” or “December’s always a crummy month for sales” or “everyone’s too busy to see me.”

Which means that it’s time for managers of sales organizations to dip into their motivational bag of tricks for one of their patented “whip ‘em into shape” messages, designed to inspire the troops to get out and sell, sell, sell!

Speaking of which, one of my followers recently forwarded an email to me which contained this brief excerpt:

“You are not seeing enough people every day. You spend time on your laptops at home getting issues resolved and you justify it in your mind as it is so important. What’s most important to me is that green stuff that goes into my wallet and allows me to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it, buy what I want and have the rest of the country talk about me as being one of those 1-2- or 3%’s.

I’m not going to apologize for being successful and making more money than you. The fact is if you are not running hard, EVERY DAY, you are missing a ton of money…..a ton. Opportunities like these don’t come around much so spend your 40 hours per week in front of prospects instead of your computer. Times are tough and this is one of the best sales jobs you can get. If you don’t believe me, look it up, right now. Are you at home? You are messing up big time.”

We can learn so much from these two short paragraphs, but let me touch on just three points here:

1. Messages like these serve a very important purpose. Even for those of us (the self-employed and commissioned salespeople) who determine our own income level, we can use a little extra motivation from time to time. The key is for us to deliver these types of pep talks to ourselves, and not depend on or need others to do so.

2. The fact is that in any capitalistic society there always has been and always will be 80% of the people “just getting by” or worse, 15% doing well, 4% doing extremely well and 1% wealthy. It doesn’t matter how many politicians and protestors try to fight this fact – it’s still a fact. The beautiful thing about the United States is that each one of us can (and must) determine for ourselves whether we are willing to do what it takes (in terms of investing our time, energy and money) to be one of the “Top 1%” – or not. The author of the above message has made his personal choice very clear.

3. This sales manager is expressing a “hungry hunter” mentality that is typical of most businesses. He makes it clear that he values prospecting and selling FAR more than “getting issues resolved.” In other words, he is focused on the “short-term hunt-and-kill” instead of the relationship-building and nurturing process that leads to long-term, loyal customers who stay and refer others.

(I experienced a similar mentality when I spent three eye-opening years selling for a large corporation. I was constantly laughed at and derided for my insistence on working tirelessly for my clients long after the sale was made, and had to ignore derogatory comments from other reps such as, “You already made that sale. Forget about him and move on to the next one!” Can you imagine if this company’s clients only knew how they were truly viewed?)

What companies like this don’t realize is that we all do subconsciously realize how little they actually care about serving our needs. That’s why we’re in such a “crisis of trust” in this country, and it’s also one big reason why practically all you hear these days is doom-and-gloom about “how bad the economy is.”

Yes, things are tough for organizations with penny-wise, pound-foolish short-term thinking. But small business owners and individual sales professionals don’t have to make the mistake of thinking and acting that way.

Entrepreneurs are much more nimble, and have far less short-term pressure than many people in charge of larger operations. We can treat our customers, clients and patients with the respect and care they deserve and crave – and don’t get from big, dumb companies.

Which means we can thrive “in this challenging economy” while the overall picture of business in America will continue to suffer for years to come.

One Response to Season’s Greetings from a sales manager?

  1. G. A. Finch Reply

    December 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Steve,

    You make a keen observation when you stated,”What companies like this don’t realize is that we all do subconsciously realize how little they actually care about serving our needs. That’s why we’re in such a “crisis of trust” in this country, and it’s also one big reason why practically all you hear these days is doom-and-gloom about ‘how bad the economy is.'”

    Trust is the essence of good business practice leading to a successful business. Customers or clients continue to do business with a firm because the firm has developed positive expectations that are consistently met. There is a comfort and reliability level that has real value to the customer or client. You cannot get to that stage of trust with a “transactional” mentality. I put my finger on the trust factor when I discerned a break through comfort level with my auto repair lady in that I would buy a used car from her. I wrote about this epiphany in my blog YourExecutive Life.

    My hat is off to those nimble entrepreneurs who do what you suggest: “treat our customers, clients and patients with the respect and care they deserve and crave…”

    G. A.

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