Results had been good. Revenue was coming in. However, the past month had started to dip significantly. Interestingly, the sales manager defaulted to questioning if the reps on the team were up to the job.
That’s kinda weird…
When you only have to look back a few weeks to see hard evidence of the very same people generating income for the business, it’s a bit strange to think they suddenly had lost the ability to do their job.
There’s a saying I was once told when I was starting out over 15 years ago. My sales director told me “Richard, form is temporary and class is permanent”.
Simply put, if you can do the job, then you can do the job. End of story. But sometimes you’re simply slightly off piste.
Back to this strategy meeting yesterday, I invited the sales manager to identify how the team was actually feeling. He said that they had dropped their heads and belief had become an issue.
I asked where he thought their belief came from…
“Just knowing that their product is good”.
“Okay, maybe from the confidence that closing a deal brings?”
Sure, that helps. But how about their first deal? How did they have belief then?
The penny dropped…
“It’s me, isn’t it?”
You see, while we like to think that a team has it “within themselves” to perform, they always need an impetus to do so. When that internal impetus isn’t forthcoming, it requires something external.
Shouting “go make it happen” at them usually isn’t a solution. Occasionally, some personality types thrive when they have that kind of “go, go, go” attitude thrown at them. But usually, it requires something a little more elegant.
Literally asking “how’re you doing?” And letting the rep get how they are feeling off their chest; their issues, problems and challenges can be often enough to make them feel supported and in turn motivated to pick things up.
But take it a step further, invest in the conversation, then take real and actionable steps to help them and you’ll find they soon swing back on side. The class was always there; form now returns.
It’s as simple as letting them know you’re in their corner. It starts with you.