Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success! Henry Ford
One coach looks for the perfect team while another works to perfect the team!
Early in my career as a front line car salesman I experienced a period of time when I would flounder. The dealership I worked at ran with a 3rd party selling system which consisted of between 8 to 12 teams of 6 to 8 sales pro's on each team. It was a very fast paced sales environment with a tremendous amount of shuffling among the managers and sales pro's. Managers would continually cross trade sales pro's, as well the dealership would do a full sales team draft to mix things up, which would increase accountability and competition among the managers. The method of drafting sales teams is sports oriented and can be very effective in high performance sales environments. With any draft, the best players get picked first. When I say that I floundered, what I'm really telling you is that I was a bottom performer.
Upon doing a draft, most of the time the (team captains) floor managers were allowed to keep their #1 and #2 top performing sales pro's, the rest of us bottom performers would be included in the draft. As a coach, it's like keeping your best quarter back and building the rest of the team from scratch. This worked out in my favor in the long run. You see, I had been passed around at least a good dozen times and had the privilege of working under several different managers before I became a manager myself. Although I was a bottom performer, although I had been traded and passed around by many of these other managers; it was from this that I would get a first class education on different philosophies, selling techniques, and management styles. By sitting in on deals I learned how seasoned veterans would negotiate and consummate sales. Most great leaders experience stunned, shunned and passed up on. These are all great signs. STICK WITH IT
There's a price to pay when it comes to learning a new craft, the dues we pay are the actions we take; the mistakes we allow ourselves to embrace and learn from. The best way to learn anything is to do it, keep doing it and before you know it you'll go from being new at it, to being great at it. Looking back, working at this dealership was nothing short of elite training grounds to learn big business acumen. Business acumen is an almost intuitive and applicable understanding of how your company makes money. If you walk enough you'll become a master at walking. Your potential is tied to your discipline. Some people call it obsession, I say it's paying attention to detail!~
Having been passed around by many managers, I would be introduced to yet another "new" manager; one of my many mentors, a man whom I'm proud to call a brother in arms, Dave Campbell. Some managers talk a big game while far and few really do what Dave did as a leader. The higher ups in management gave Dave all of us Bad News Bears, he was a brand new manager hired from the outside who had something to prove. The upper management didn't give Dave a fair shake from the get go, rather than doing a store draft to equal out the talent among the teams, they gave Dave all of the bottom performers, which included me.
The best managers I know say bring it on; give me all your bottom performers & I'll beat your best team!~
Dave brought all of us Bad News Bears to a meeting room and introduced himself. He said that the upper management team had given him all of us bottom performers because he didn't think they thought he or we had what it took to succeed, that they had nothing to lose by giving him this opportunity. Dave said not only did he plan to prove them wrong, he planned to turn us bottom performers into the #1 sales team. I believe the upper management knew exactly what they were doing by giving Dave all of us bottom performers. The psychology they played on Dave by making it tough on him, worked.
Dave identified the strengths and weaknesses among us bottom performers. I think success has a whole lot to do with smart work, stickwithitness and some luck. Timing couldn't have been better for me. Up to this point I had been passed around enough and failed enough to learn a lot of what not to do. Our first day of working together, Dave took full control of the team. He happened to speak several different languages as well had a lot of worldly experience due to his travels and living abroad. By noon Dave had beat the other managers and sales pro to the punch, he had consummated 3 sales and hand delivered them all to me. He outworked me, out hustled me, outsold me; he showed me what it means to get creative and take control of a bottom performing sales team. He hand fed the entire sales team to get us jump started, he was paid on our success and believe me when I tell you, he didn't wait around for us bottom performers to feed him, he showed us what it means to feed ourselves by working for the betterment of the team.
Selling is very much about ones ability to relate with other people. Prejudice and passing judgement are two deadly sins to stay away from in business and life, period. Dave could talk story with most anyone who sat in front of him. Dave would make me his right hand man, he made me his turn guy. It was a matter of team structure, Dave had to make things happen with the players he had. He didn't have the luxury to hire a new team, the agreement upon him being hired was that he had to make this bottom performing sales team succeed. I'm sure you can tell by the direction of my story, it wasn't long before Dave took us Bad News Bears from being bottom performers to becoming the #1 sales team. Dave took a bottom performing front line sales pro like me under his wing; which in the end catapulted my career into management in the automotive industry, the rest is history!~
What kind of coach are you? Are you a bad news coach or a bad news bears coach? This is a quality question that every leader gets to look in the mirror and ask themselves. I ask myself this question all the time, it's part of my daily check up from the neck up. It usually comes down to how sensitive I am to other peoples needs, aura and energy. Hone your communication skills to the point that others can understand you with very little or no reliance on others having to make sense to you. An effective communicator has the ability to read between the lines. You see, as a leader it's your job to make simple sense to others, not for others to make sense to you. Selling should not be so limited that technique is rigid, the natural flow of serving and selling others comes easier when it's more about them and less about you. SERVE2SELL
The underdog is the favorite because they’re hungry and they’ve already seen the best of who they have to beat. Champions are the most exposed, they’ve already shown the stuff they’re made of; their core philosophy, technique and heart. No matter if you’re the underdog or the Champion being in the fight is what matters most!~
The Bad News Bears were a bunch of foul mouthed, outcast kids who were overlooked, underestimated and mismanaged by failed leadership. It wasn't until they met a coach who could really make the positive difference that they finally succeeded. If your life and career depended on grooming bottom performers into top performing, genuine serving sales pro's, would you sign up to coach the Bad News Bears? I'm here to tell you that talent is not out there, it takes a hound dog of a nose to sniff talent out. Positive minded leadership starts and ends with BELIEF IN YOURSELF AND OTHERS. It's not where you start or nearly as important as to how you finish. It's how many you help along the way!~
Take ownership of failure; give credit for success. Bound to neither, open to both = GROWTH
Always Go The Extra Mile. If You Can't Run It... WALK IT!~