The JF Guest Author Spot
Yep, I know the squeaky wheel is the one that gets oiled. But that's your decision. You've decided to be reactive rather than proactive. You can change your decision at any time. Now may be that time.
When you look at your sales force you have 3 types of producers:
• Top Producers (the upper 20%)
• The squishy middle
• Non-producers (the lower 20%)
Even though you know your greatest return comes from the top 20% unless you make a conscious choice otherwise you focus your attention on the non-producers and the squishy middle. And you know it doesn't make sense, and you know you shouldn't do it, but it's so hard to ignore the whiners and complainers. However, that's exactly what you have to do.
If you reward the whiners and complainers and the excuse of the hour producers you're reinforcing the exact behaviors you want stopped. You think you can somehow motivate them to change their behaviors and improve their results. The truth is you can't motivate anyone to do anything you can only provide a motivating environment. Plus what motivates some of your sale force is de-motivating to others.
Your greatest opportunity is with your producers in the top 30%. Why the top 30%? Because...at any given moment 10% of those producers are fluctuating in or out of the top 20%.
You know the warning signals:
• You start hearing how they already know that
• They lack interest in honing their already good skills because they're satisfied with where they're at now
• They aren't setting stretch goals
You also know the success signals:
• They're looking for opportunities to make big improvements from minor adaptations to what's already working
• They're eager for new challenges
• They're looking for personal interaction and assistance
It's true your top producers are already earning monetary rewards far in excess of their peers. You also know it's never just about the money. These high quality sales people have an inner need for greatness and they deserve more than monetary rewards and prizes.
They deserve personal attention. They deserve the time and attention of someone who can focus on them and their needs alone. Is that you?
Maybe it is and maybe it isn't.
If you want to increase sales, and I'm sure you do or you wouldn't be all that concerned about their performance; you want to invest in your top producers over and above the squishy middle and the non-producers. One way to do that is to align the best of the best with a coach who can work with them one-on-one helping the good to become great. Someone who doesn't judge them or push them in directions they may not want to go, but who challenges them and who calls them out when needed.
The danger with the business owner or sale manager being that coach is even though the sales person realizes you respect them and want good things for them you're still the boss. They worry you have motivations that might not serve them well, and they feel they have to be careful about what they say to you. That doesn't work. If they're going to make real improvements and real progress they need to have open and honest conversation with someone who they don't have to be on their guard with.
Sales training is motivating and highly valuable for your non-producers and the squishy middle. Yet, it isn't a good fit for your best producers. They need someone to help them see their blind spots, someone to ratchet up their accountability, and someone to help them create ways to attain their better future.
What if your top producers increased their performance by even 3%? How would that impact your revenue? How would it impact the culture within your organization?
Looking at the best thing that could happen and the worst thing that could happen if you invested in your top producers by aligning them with an outside coach, could you live with the worst thing?
While you're thinking through your best options invite your sales force to IncreaseSalesCoach.com to sign-up for the report and e-course where they'll review the 7 Secrets Top Producers Know that you can put to use in the next 9 days.
Cheryl Clausen helps clients increase their client base, close more business, and grow into Top Producers. Cheryl works with service professionals on their top 5 priorities: maximum time management effectiveness, assistant buyer skills for improved sales skills long-term long-lasting relationships, a unique marketing position that attracts more clients, obtaining results through other people, and planning a successful business that becomes a reality. Visit Cheryl's site here
Over at Salesopedia: Cheryl talks about leveraging objections to make more sales. How you react to objections determines the outcome of the outcome of the objection. If you expect a positive outcome it changes your mindset. She suggests it is important to both acknowledge and respect the client objection, and then attempt to understand the objection. Cheryl touches on which communication signals to watch for. You may find it interesting to hear you should have an internal smile when you hear an objection, listen to find out why. Just go here
Tomorrow: An end of week message to all leaders
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