Good-Bye Bobby Knight And All The Sales Managers Like You!Written by Steve Waterhouse
The recent dismissal of Bobby Knight as head coach of Indiana University should mark as big a change for sales management as it did for coaching. For years it was popular for sales managers to abuse their staffs with tirades and threats. I remember one manager I worked for who prided himself in publicly humiliating at least one person in every weekly meeting. While this approach may have achieved results, it was still wrong. Beating a person might get them to behave, but it doesn't make it right.
I almost thought these Neanderthals had become extinct until I was sitting in Red Carpet Room at O'Hare Airport last week. Behind me was loudest, most obnoxious representative of this breed. He was cursing a blue streak at full volume, so I had no choice but to listen in. It seems that a particular sales rep must have missed his quota last month and, in words of my loud friend, it was because he was just plain lazy. And furthermore, if he didn't get on stick he'd fire his sorry %?#. With that he slammed down phone and I realized that he had been talking to this poor reps voice mail! The coward didn't even have courtesy to be rude in person.
What follows, I swear, is true. Moments later, our Neanderthal took a call on his cell phone and tone of his voice changed remarkably. He was calm and collected and even nice. As I listened in, he was telling a friend about a meeting with his boss who had apparently recommended that he get immediate counseling for anger management. (Imagine that!) He said boss let him know that it could affect his career. He told his friend that boss just didn't understand 'these guys' and if he did he'd be screaming, too. Then he confided in his friend that he had already started counseling and that he was going to try 'real hard' to make it work.
I noted that he never said his boss yelled at him or threatened him, although I believe his boss had cause. He actually spoke very nicely about man who had just made it clear that his job was on line if he didn't change immediately. And he referred to fact that he was taking action based on advice he had received. It was clear to me that Mr. Loud and his boss had very different styles.
I wonder who gets best results: screamer or his calm boss? I wonder which one builds a loyal team that will give their all to make goal in tough months? I wonder which one has employees who recommend friends to join their company? I think old style of management was a result of poor skills. Managers who lacked knowledge to handle people properly resorted to techniques they learned in high school football. I don't know about you, but my high school football coach retired with a winning record and a small paycheck.
Prospecting in a Soft MarketWritten by Steve Waterhouse
Yesterday, I worked with a group of wonderful sales people who sell for one of leading companies in their industry. You would all recognize brand. They were complaining (only a little) that market was soft and that it was affecting their business. I asked them two questions. First, how big is total market for your product? Answer: over $200 billion. Second, for you to be a superstar, how much business would you have to do? Answer $150 million or 0.075% of market. If their market were to shrink by 25%, which would mean world-wide disaster, a superstar would need 0.1% of market. In other words, even in worst of situations, there would be 1000 times as much business available as anyone would need to be a superstar. They got point and they agreed that tough times just mean sifting through more leads to find nuggets.
Prospecting is a necessary part of sales and something that many sales people do poorly. Done correctly, it becomes as much a part of your routine and as important as a great presentation or a winning close. Here are 14 tips you can use to improve effectiveness of your sales team's prospecting efforts:
Define type of prospect that is likely to want your offer Separate your list of prospects by size or opportunity. A=big, B=medium, C=small Set individual and group goals for new contacts per day Work A list first. Whales are always better than minnows Minimize distractions and maximize call time Use telephone for as much of selling process as possible Have several good value statements written in front of you Brainstorm common objections (there aren't many new ones) Develop effective counters to objections Work in pairs and coach each other Record your calls and review them (at least your side of call) Leave value-based messages on voice mail Call early, late, lunch hour, anytime. Keep it up forever! Good prospecting requires skills, persistence, coaching and management support. Done consistently, it can be path to dramatic business growth or insurance against slower times.