One of the hardest things that we’ll ever do as sales managers is to let go of the need to impose our idea of success on our sales staff. I know, I know…. isn’t this what’s expected of us? To show them what success looks like?
Well, yes, and no.
I want to help you to understand that you should want to get the best out of each and every salesperson. The very best they have to offer.
But to do that, you should become a dream-builder.
All humans are run by ego. Ego can be defined as “the opinion you have about yourself”. So if I believe I can achieve only a certain level of success but I can’t see myself getting beyond that, there’s a good chance that that will be my ceiling. Self- limiting beliefs are your challenge as a sales manager. They always have been. Am I right?
As a manager or dream-builder, you must understand this: you need to coach each salesperson to their peak performance and get them to their max capacity. For stellar salespeople, you need to determine what they believe they could sell per month (their self-determined limit) if all conditions were perfect and they were running at peak performance. Once you’ve collected this information about all your sales staff, you need to determine whether your current staff is sufficiently skilled and motivated to help you reach your company goals. If not, do you need to replace some staff or add additional staff?
Now I have a silly question for you. Do you think your employees want more money?
The answer is no. No one wants more money. They want the things that more money will buy them – just like no one really wants a drill. They want the hole that the drill will provide. If they had more money – actual cash in hand – do you think they’d keep the cash or convert it to whatever they need or want? So your job as a dream-builder is to determine how money will provide what each member of your team wants or needs.
What is the dream?
DETERMINING THE PASSION
The first step in this journey is to sit down with each staff member and find out what their passion is. Where do they spend their spare time? What would they do if money was not an issue? Now you have a coaching point.
I have a friend who loves dogs – like, he really loves dogs. He’ll watch your dogs if you leave town for the weekend. If you just mention that you’re heading out of town, he’ll be all over you, asking to mind your dogs for you. Now, this guy is a car salesman, but selling cars is not his passion. Trust me: he really only wants to sell enough cars per month to pay his bills – maybe 4-6 cars per month (his words). But what if you found out that he’d love to have a doggie spa where he could spend his days playing with and pampering other people’s pets?
If this was his passion, could you use this to fuel more car sales from him?
Of course you could! What if you helped him develop a 5-year plan that would put him on the path to having the doggie spa? So, if he needed 6 car sales to pay his bills, you’d show him how selling 4 more cars per month would allow him to sock away XXX dollars towards his doggie spa.
Do you see how knowing your staff’s passions could help both of you?
KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE
Now that you know what their dreams are, how do you keep those dreams alive month after month?
Let’s go back to the dog guy. If you’ve truly helped him establish a 5-year plan for the doggie spa, and you’re having monthly meetings with him to go over his numbers, this is a great time to talk about his deficits from the previous month and how he can adjust this month to get his financial goals for the doggie spa back on track. Also, remember that there are other actionable items to help him – like the research he’ll need to do to have a doggie spa. What type of facilities will he need? What licenses and permits are necessary? Will he need to take any classes or get any special certifications? These are great motivators for these monthly meetings. They are activity-based goals that need no huge amount of money to accomplish or check off of the list, yet they keep him moving forward towards his dream.
I believe you can ascertain a person’s passions, even if the job in which they are currently working is not the career that they plan on having forever. If the whole point is to arrive at the destination where their passion lies, then every day is another step toward their personal best, and you can play an integral role in coaching them to their peak performance. Their personal end-goal benefits you as an employer or manager because if you can truly help them realize their dream, they will perform at their highest level – not because of the goals you need them to meet, but because of the dream, vision or passion that they’re chasing.
Do you now see how being a dream-builder instead of a manager can get your sales team to achieve more than they ever thought possible?
I knew you’d get it … because you’re a dream builder!
Robin Wilson is the co-owner of SCP Agency.
She is a self-proclaimed social media guru and specializes in social marketing for auto dealerships. She has also been instrumental in teaching auto dealerships how to market through social media to their existing database and shows them how to make sure that they do not become victims of conquest marketing. She is a marketing coach to all and has become a leader in Facebook marketing strategies in the U.S.