What Can a Trip to Cancun Teach You About Managing Salespeople?

One of my most popular posts, from September 2006, What Can a Trip to Italy Teach You about Managing New Salespeople.  Well we just returned from a trip to Cancun and I have some new lessons to write about today.

1. Be Prepared.  We weren’t ten feet beyond baggage claim, customs and immigration before we were asked about ground transportation. When we indicated we had prearranged service we were redirected to an agent who began to provide us with a five-minute visitor’s summary of Cancan, an ineffective cover from a time-share pitch.  Lesson – Make sure your salespeople do their homework before they call on their prospects.  They should know what they’re walking into.

2.  Have a Contingency Plan.  Yup. We had prearranged ground transportation only CancunTaxi.com, aka CancunShuttle.com didn’t seem to know about it.  “No problem.  Just wait here.”  My wife, always more resourceful than me, wasn’t about to spend day one in a parking lot.  Within seconds she had a driver for us.  Lesson – Make sure your salespeople know what to do if the call doesn’t start the way they expect it to.

3. It Can Get Cold Anywhere.  We seem to bring the cold weather wherever we go.  We can turn it winter-like in the warmest climates.  It was no exception when, on our first full day in Cancan, we awoke to the staff wearing jackets down by the beach and at the pool.  The sun was behind the clouds most of the day and the temperature, usually in the 80’s, felt more like the 60’s with the wind howling as it was.  Lesson – Make sure your prospects know what to do when the prospect starts off cold.  Not everyone is a natural born rapport builder and relationship developer and you must engage them in drills so that they can turn their miserable prospects into interested prospects.

4. It’s About the Action Not the Size.  My wife suggested a deep sea fishing trip.  The captain said we would catch Sail Fish about 26 miles off the coast of Cancan.  We had our 4 year-old son with us and thought that the action might be more important than waiting around for the big one so they took us right off the coast and in just an hour we caught 6 big barracudas.  Lesson – It’s nice to bag the elephant but you and your salespeople will be in much better spirits if there’s a bunch of smaller business coming in while they’re working on landing the elephant.

5. They Do Get Better.  Our son made big strides since Italy in September.  In just five months, he went from locking himself in the men’s room to opening the locks on the hotel room door.  He went from not eating to eating everything in site.  He went from having tempter tantrums because he wanted to be carried to walking miles with us at X-Caret (the Mayans pronounce this Shcaret).  He went from bickering to agreeing.  Lesson – Make sure you get out to observe your salespeople in action and make sure they’re making measurable progress.  Set expectations so you’ll both know how their progress is to be measured.

© Copyright 2007 Objective Management Group, Inc.