Here are the top 3 reasons I hear from front line sales managers on why they are NOT having conversations about “it” with their team.
#1 – backlash effect – maybe you’re thinking: if I talk about “it” what will the repercussions be?
In a coaching conversation recently, a manager went through a “what if” journey: Asking what are you worried will happen if… and if that happens… and if that happens… and if that happens…
We put all the concerns out on the table, which was when he realized – most of them were only in his head and NOT likely to happen except in the world of worry.
#2 – annoyance factor – perhaps you are saying: WHY do I even need to talk about this?
There are pieces of the job that salespeople DON’T want to do, LIKE to do, or THINK are important; consequently they don’t do them (or do them consistently).
Ask yourself if it is a couple people on the team (and needs to be a one-on-one conversation) or truly a team wide issue.
Yes they are part of the job, that doesn’t mean you can assume they’ll magically start doing them. Make sure you have expressed the expectations and then set up a consistent way you inspect what they are actually doing.
#3 – really again feeling – or you’ve spoken about the topic 1,000,000 or more times and wonder why bother?
A colleague once told me there were direct correlations between being a manager and being a parent. He found the frustrating part of both being the repetitive nature of conversations, he shared a technique that was effective for him:
First have an expectations conversation, then put a consistent inspection process in place so the salesperson knows you’re going to “inspect what you expect” as a mentor of mine would say.
If (or when) you have your second conversation ASK what the expectation is instead of telling them – along with a what’s holding them back from doing what they KNOW needs to be done.
Third conversation is about disappointment at having to talk about it AGAIN, along with what would be helping the salesperson more (deal strategy or territory penetration efforts together perhaps?).
The Questions to ask yourself are;
> what is my “it” that I’m NOT talking to my team about?
> why not?
> what are the long term repercussions of putting the conversation off?
> how do I have the conversation in a new and effective way?
Need help with all of those questions and answers? Use a coworker, your boss, or a coach to help you through it.
Don’t wait – if you strike See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil poses it isn’t going to go away.