Sales managers – this time, it’s personal

Sales managers – this time, it’s personal

We could be forgiven for thinking that everything about selling revolves around numbers, developing new opportunities, making sales and achieving results. Because that is what is usually written and spoken about at board room tables, sales meetings, and in manner of articles.

The pursuit of finding and securing opportunities is relentless.

It is little wonder then that many salespeople find themselves feeling off-colour or even distressed every now again, especially when times or markets are tougher than usual. It is hard enough to maintain your own momentum let alone having a sales manager or boss breathing down your neck chasing the numbers.

With productivity shoved down our throats every second of the day, or so it seems, it would make for a nice change that someone would enquire about you. You as a person. You as a human being. And not just you as a salesperson. But this is not common.

We seem to forget that salespeople are humans too. They may be wired differently from many other people, given they are usually out on the road meeting all sorts of people dealing with many variables or placed in call centres churning through countless calls. Yet salespeople go through a wide range of emotions including self-doubt, worry and concern often related to how they will meet their targets, job security and just the sheer pressure of hitting targets. Let alone family and other personal matters.

Sometimes salespeople just want a call from their sales manager asking if they are okay. How things are going. Is everything alright? Something different from the ‘where are you with your targets or numbers?’ conversation.

Sales coaching is critical but we can be overzealous thinking we have to talk about the job all the time and not the person.

A number of sales managers I am coaching at the moment are finding that making it personal has really opened up the relationships they have with their salespeople. Their field visits are much more open, enjoyable, and richer for the experience. And the salespeople are responding in kind.

Therefore let’s aim for a balance of work and personal and let’s not forget salespeople are humans too.

Remember, everybody lives by selling something.


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