Every new day brings the promise of something grand, promising, exciting and poses a fresh start. We put our disappointments, lost sales and setbacks behind us and move towards our goals and aspirations.
Every single day salespeople come to work. They come with a purpose or an intention. This intention may not always be clear or aspiring, but they come to work, nonetheless. The situations that salespeople face are as unique as their actions and reactions to a situation. Even the role that money plays can bring down even the most talented sales person. Factors such as low grosses, bad CSI scores, confrontational customers and all too common defeatist managers can ultimately drive the overall effectiveness of your sales team. As a manager or company leader, how to determine the mindset of the sales team can be a challenge. Do you interrogate them as they arrive for work or just ignore them? If so, you might have a sales team that begin their day with a coffee clutch huddle so they can complain about the previous night’s customer. There is, however, a more pro-active and productive approach to influence the intentions of your sales team.
To determine the purpose a salesperson has come equipped with, the respective manager(s) needs to gauge the sales environment. Life plays out in every showroom, every day and in every part of the country. As a result there are a massive amount of distractions that lead to a load of moods altering circumstances. As a manager, it becomes your task to understand the activities at play and find ways to re-focus negative energy into a mutually beneficial outcome. So, how does a manager take something as dynamic and complex as the showroom landscape and build a road map for success?
Here are a few simple steps to serve as a guide for your sales people through their day:
· Start by re-affirming specific goals. What are the expectations and productivity requirements?
· Speak in a positive manner encouraging mind, body and spirit that any goal can be accomplished.
· Simplify the goals so that they are realistic.
· Set five achievable tasks that are easy to commit to and can be accomplished in a short period of time, like the end of the day.
· Remember, the goal itself isn't as important as making sure the salesperson is on task so as to meet the deadline.
· Sign-off on the goal prior to leaving. It’s important to make the salesperson responsible for his/her productivity. Having them sign off on their goal sheets makes them accountable for their respective level of success.
Team meetings are an effective tool for reinforcing goals. These meetings should be built on an encouraging and re-affirming foundation that supports positive thinking and action. The simple act of team meetings can alter a negative situation into positive progression. Sometimes all people need is a pat on the back, a little encouragement, group acknowledgement and positive energy. The sales manager(s) must command responsibility for the emotional energy of their staff. Success is a choice as is a failure, so make sure salespeople choose wisely by influencing the intention that your salespeople should come to work with. Make a conscious effort to improve the quality of life for those with whom you work with. Being an effective manager is to lead by example. Leaders should always bring their people into a battle prepared. Preparation is paramount to achievement. Leaders never require others to follow, they inspire the journey.
Provide individuals with a clear and concise road map to reduce uncertainty and instill accountability. Sales managers, service managers and parts managers are the key holders to greatness. The burden of dealing with a wide variety of personalities is a job requirement. All department managers must inspire the results they demand. Stay on the lookout for those who look for reasons to fail. Generally, the underachiever will try to find a reason to bring others down while finding fault in something or someone to excuse their mediocrity. Separate the confused from the disillusioned and teach focus and discipline. Regardless, there will still be those that refuse to see the light of opportunity. These select few individuals have a motivational meter that cannot be moved no matter the effort. If you find these individuals on your showroom floor, service drive or parts counter, waste no time. Call in the exterminator and eliminate the problem before it festers and grows. The response from employees who are working towards the common goals of the dealership will be positive, if they understand the negative forces will be removed from their work environment.
In the end, the responsibility of any manager is to inspire those that work with them. Our job is to fire them up…not fire them.