Are Your Salespeople Jerks or Just Different From You?

jerksLast week I conducted a 3-day Sales Leadership Intensive for a very small group.  Working with a small group has advantages because everyone receives more individual attention, we can go at their pace, and spend as much time as we need to on their issues.  Working with a small group also has disadvantages because their diverse learning styles tend to stand-out and can be a distraction.

For example, in last week’s group, I had:

  1. Mr. Anticipation – “Oh yeah, this is exactly what I need.  This is gonna be great!”
  2. Mr. Impatience – “Oh no, I couldn’t possibly spend that much time on coaching.”
  3. Mr. Wait for It – “That’s a good point .  I always try to do that!”
  4. Mr. Thoughtful – “Could you please clarify that for me?”

The point here is that these are not good or bad reactions; they are just different.  And when you are working with your salespeople, they will not all learn things in the same way.  You need to quickly understand how they are different and be flexible enough so that they will still receive value from your coaching and managing.

For example, Mr. Wait for It got value from the points that reinforced what he already does.  That allows him to do those things more frequently, with more detail, nuance, and conviction, leading to better results.

Knowing that Mr. Impatience will tend to move from point A to point Z without covering the baby steps in between, we can make sure he understands why it’s so important to go more slowly or devote more time.

People are different.  Your salespeople are different.  Their prospects are different.  The more we understand their differences and learn to work with those differences, the more effective we can become.