Sales Manager Tips – Get the Winning Edge With Forgiveness

How to Accelerate Your Life as a Sales Manager with Forgiveness

How important is forgiveness and why would I want to “let people off the hook”?

First of all, let’s cover the first misnomer about forgiveness, that to forgive means to excuse the behavior or condone it. It is neither. Forgiveness is purely and simply the act of taking your negative energy (resentment, anger, fear) away from an event that happened in the past. The decision to continue in a relationship (business or personal) is a separate decision than the decision to forgive.

Why make the decision today, to forgive? Because your resentment isn’t hurting them, it’s hurting you. No matter what they have done or haven’t done, what they have said or have never said, this issue now lies with you and your decision to re-create the hurt is really your choice.

Forgiveness is, after all, for you! That may surprise you, but it’s true. That person that you are holding a grudge against has long ago forgotten or repressed the guilt (if they had any to begin with) about what they did. Holding that grudge is not hurting them one bit, but it could be hurting you immensely, both emotionally and physically.

Holding resentment against another person is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die!

Why not give yourself the gift of freedom? Free up all of that energy that you are holding against someone else and use it to create something wonderful in your life. With all of this new energy, you will be able to accelerate your own life in lots of beautiful ways.

You could paint a painting, ride a bike, go hiking, start a business, volunteer, eat a doughnut, bake a cake, read a book, meditate, make your heart sing. When was the last time your heart really sang? Maybe it is time to take your heart out for karaoke!

Are you ready to forgive?

Here’s how:

  1. Picture the person that you want to forgive (maybe it’s you).
  2. Imagine that they are standing in a beautifully ornate white and chrome shower stall dressed in a long flowing white robe.
  3. As you turn on the shower with your mind, there is white light coming out of the showerhead, no wait, it’s coming from way up above.
  4. This pure white light is now bathing them, washing all of your resentments away and down the drain. Feel what it is like to release all of that anger and fear. Down the drain it goes. Ah, bliss…
  5. Watch them smile… feel yourself smile… start at the top with the next person.

How long will this take? As long as it takes. Enjoy the ride!

No Sales Manager? No Problemo

Why do we need sales people? Why do we need sales managers?

I will come clean right away. This piece is not going to be a great read for sales managers. I am not a fan of sales managers or sales management generally. I read an awful lot written by sales managers about sales managers and the claims they make to justify their existence. I hear all the time about their theories, their frustrations with their charges, their responsibilities, their concerns and their willingness to dish out discipline or tough love and the influence they have upon the success of their “team”. But, the underlying thread most commonly evident during these comments or articles is the view that sales people are somehow lesser beings in need of cajoling, control and coaching by them – the gifted ones – the ones with the inside track on sales excellence who choose to live their life by telling others how to do things rather than doing it themselves. I always think that surely, they would be better off doing the selling themselves and earning huge bonuses from employing their outstanding sales talents. Why hide their light under a bushel? Their companies would flourish and a whole level of management salaries would be eliminated at one fell swoop. Targets would be smashed and profits would soar. Wouldn’t they? Well, they might except it is likely that the sales managers have no personal experience of selling for a living and only have theoretical knowledge or, they are sales people who have been promoted into the role without any recognisable management talent or they have been successful sales people who are now burned out and need a refuge from the day to day grind.

Sour grapes? Who knows. But rather than just have a go at sales managers I thought I’d extend the theme into an alternative view of sales. It seems to me that the real culprits are the companies that employ sales staff and sales managers.

If a product or service offered by a company meets or exceed the needs of the targeted customers it should “fly off the shelves” shouldn’t it? Is there really any need for anyone to “sell” it? Surely, all you need is someone to take the order. “Selling” implies having to overcome a reluctance to commit by the buyer who needs to be persuaded or tipped over the edge into buying. But why, when what is available does what they want it to? They either need or want it or they don’t. The only differential is, I guess is how badly they need it. How important to the potential buyer are the benefits it bestows. This impacts directly upon pricing. Clearly, we all weigh up the benefits versus the costs. Food in a famine is able to attract a premium fee as is a lifejacket when a ship sinks – it’s a seller’s market and the motivation of the buyers is very clear. The need for someone to “sell” will be redundant if the product or service on offer is viewed by the buyer as essential to them. They will buy it if they are allowed to. The clearer the benefits to the buyer the more likely the sale at whatever price.

However, even the simplicity of this scenario is more complicated than at first sight. Have the potential buyers the wherewithal – either money or goods or services to barter or some other asset to swap in exchange? – So, cost is a variable to be considered and perhaps, becomes even more of an issue when the imperative to buy is smaller, less important or of no consequence to the potential customer. So we have inverse proportionality. The more important/useful the product the larger the potential customer base and the fewer the sales people needed. Order takers yes, sales people, no. The less popular or relevant the product or the greater the number of producers of a product, the greater the need for someone to push it. If we assume that uniqueness and relevance in the market can support a product with few if any sales people we see the only reason for sales people at all is if the product is unremarkable or of no hugely, vital use; is poor or has many competitors between which customers have to choose. These are the environments most heavily populated by sales people. Where companies struggle to sell product or services they will employ sales managers to drive the sales people. There seems to be no correlation drawn by management between producing “stuff” over producing more relevant and attractive “stuff” which will sell better. Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) or Value Propositions (VPs) can help win the race and the sales person can be a big differentiator but basically the product is the key to winning business. All else is smoke and mirrors. Innovation and originality of product or service is the best way to succeed. Companies need to take stock of their offerings and make some hard decisions about the realities of the industry in which they operate. If they are also-rans or just followers-on they should recognise it and make the changes necessary to overcome that situation. Expecting sales people to work miracles or using sales managers to beat up the sales force won’t solve anything. Mediocre products are mediocre products. Sales will not improve and sales managers won’t make the slightest difference to the bottom line apart from still taking their salaries.

Leadership Tips For Team Management

There is the entire world of difference between making a team function as opposed to leading it. As a sales manager if you want a great and high performing team you will need to master both.
If numbers were all that mattered, making a team of people function is something that even a computer program can do. If people meet certain numeric productivity metrics, then they get certain rewards. If they don’t pass certain standards, then they are punished according to certain procedures.

Unfortunately many new sales managers initially think in this fashion, reducing their people to numbers. This ultimately leads to a team’s downfall. With a corresponding dip in sales.

Just like the members of their team, a leader is a person too – but he or she sets the standards by which the rest of the team operates. A leader is someone that people are happy and proud to follow. Here are some tips to help you become a leader, not just a number crunching manager.

Take Part

A leader doesn’t dictate to his team. He spearheads the actions that the team takes. If you simply tell people what you want done then odds are they’ll eventually wind up thinking “so what are YOU going to be doing?”

Always take initiative and let your people see that you’re doing your share of the work to make their work flow smoother. Every time you’ve got an idea or a new goal make sure that they see you at the forefront clearing the way for them. This makes them know that you’re not just ordering them around then sitting back and resting on your laurels while they do the dirty work.

Granted, some people would say that a smart general never stays on the front lines. While this war analogy is true, on the other hand no true soldier would follow a bureaucratic pencil pusher whose never held a gun in his life either.

Establish Your Authority

An effective leader makes sure that his authority and right to lead is not in question. People have certain standards in regards to qualities that they would like to see in the people leading them. Ascertain and meet those qualities as closely as you can for your team members.

If they value competency and efficiency, work on those traits. If they want empathy and compassion, work on those. Image is everything. Most people usually go to either of two errant extremes; either they become (one of the boys) in an attempt to make their team feel comfortable, or they remain aloof and distant so as to keep their team on their toes. Neither one makes a person seem like an authority figure. Strike a balance between the two.

Be an Example to Follow

Think of all the traits you want in a “perfect” employee. Then follow it yourself. If you want your people to never be late or absent, then don’t be slack yourself. If you expect them to be quick witted and hard working, and then make sure that you put in your fair share of brains and effort too.

Whatever the things you expect of them, demand no less from yourself. People can never respect someone who demands of other people what he or she is unwilling or unable to do. As a matter of fact, you should perform beyond what you expect of them, since you’ll be setting the benchmark for your team.

Encourage Symbiosis and Synergy

Lastly, there are two key traits a leader instills in the people under him or her. Symbiosis, in nature, means two entities existing to each other’s mutual benefit. Likewise, make sure that your team has a symbiotic relationship with you. Do right by them, and let them do right by you.

Synergy, on the other hand, is a trait where the different components that make an entity up will all interact in harmony with each other. This is how it should be with a good team. Everyone should have a role to play within the team that complements the moves and actions of the other members.

This makes everyone on the team feel valued, and at the same time thankful to be working with the rest of the team and under your leadership.