Back in 2009 I wrote the Spooktacular Edition of A Chip off the Block and asked, “Are you wearing a sales costume or being yourself?”
Today I have to ask, Are you wearing a sales manager costume or being yourself?
Oh, I’m not saying that being in an inside sales management or leadership position isn’t a role you play (because of course it is).
What I’m asking is, while playing that role – are you being yourself?
Here are three costumes I see some inside sales managers wear:
Never complimenting anyone on doing a good job; always looking for more… more… more.
Believing that perfection is the only thing to celebrate.
The bad cop’s team scatters when the boss comes down the aisle, trying to stay out of the way of the wrath they know is on the way.
Sgt Schultz (from Hogan’s Heros)
This “I see nothing, I know nothing” manager is going out of their way to NOT be involved. It doesn’t matter if it’s discipline or celebration, improvement or decline – they aren’t there.
Management, coaching, and teaching are all top much effort. If they continue to be invisible, they can pretend all is well.
Sg Schultz’s team are like the unsupervised kids on a playground; some are behaving and others aren’t, completely on their own.
You can hear a parrot from a mile away squawking “the CEO said…”, “the VP said…” always parroting what was just told to them.
Never taking the responsibility to translate the latest company edict or direction into what it means for their inside sales team. Never sharing how the latest news will catapult success or how to introduce new ideas to prospect and customers.
There is a lot of eye rolling on the Parrot’s team and people muttering “here we go again” under their breath.
They SEE your costume!
Of course, there are lots more costume choices. The one truth I can share is that salespeople may not see through the costume to who you really are – yet you need to realize they know you are wearing a costume.
That costume reduces your credibility, decreases their willingness to trust you, and increases the eye rolling that goes on.
Be yourself, use who you are to show the team you want them to be successful.
It’s a lot less effort to come to work as yourself instead of using up a lot of energy to maintain the costume.
Halloween is great once a year… not every day of the year.