Every sales manager I talk with has ONE (or more) salespeople on their team who are the tough nut to crack.
The interesting thing, at least from my perspective, is that each manager has a different set of criteria for “tough.”
Along with the fact that what is tough for one person is easy for someone else (and vice versa).
Here are the top 3 challenging inside salespeople I hear about:
It worked before – It’ll work again
This is the salesperson on your team who WAS successful in the past, but as the market changes they aren’t not changing with it.
They are telling vs. selling, still think that product knowledge is more important than problem knowledge, and aren’t listening to anything you say.
I’m working smarter, so hard isn’t important
This is the person on the team that knows what to do and does it, when they are doing anything.
You look at their behaviors and the activity level will never get them the sales results you’re both looking for. There is NO fire under the pot, so it will never boil and create the steam they need to move.
You’re not talking about ME
That person who isn’t willing to look into the mirror you’re holding up and see themselves.
They may believe OTHER people on the team are doing (or not doing) what you’re talking about, but not see themselves as a problem.
What To Do
1st figure out if it is Can’t, Won’t, or Don’t Know How that is holding them back
typically, the tough nuts are all about “won’t” and require coaching:
> talk with them about their goals, understand how they believe they will get there, work together with them to mold the plan to fit today’s reality.
remember that sometimes “won’t” masquerades as “can’t”
> if they say there is something “organizational” out of their control that stops them from taking action – work with them to remove it.
> still nothing? Now it is time to figure out if EVEN with the challenges they cause you are they a valuable member of your team. If they are, let go of your frustration and move on. If they aren’t, let THEM go.
Perhaps you find one of those challenges to be a tough nut to crack, or maybe yours are different. Let me know in a comment!
photo by © Robert Faric | Dreamstime