There’s an old joke about the guy who gets stranded in a flash flood and is sitting on the top of his house with the water swirling around. A small rowboat comes by loaded with people and they ask him if he would like to get in. He says, “No, I’m waiting for divine intervention.” A while later, a speedboat pulls up and tells him to get on board but the man insists that his faith in the all mighty will rescue him. As the water creeps up to the peak of the roof, a helicopter hovers above and sends down a rope ladder for him to climb up. He declines the offer saying God will take care of him.
The man drowns and goes to heaven where he says to God why didn’t you help me? God says, “I don’t know what more I could have done, I sent a rowboat, and speed boat and a helicopter.”
Unfortunately, as managers, we sometimes do the same as the man on the roof. We lament that we need better sales people, we may wonder what we have to do to get people to meet expectations, or why prospects just don’t get that you have the best product or service. I encourage you to think about what you can do other than wonder.
Regardless of the size of your company or the budget you have, you can provide support for your sales people to help them develop proven skills, positive attitudes and productive behaviors. Even the most seasoned salesperson should have a belief in lifelong learning. The market is in constant change and consistent learning is required to keep up with that evolution.
A consistent twenty minute meeting with group discussions, exercises or role plays will set a baseline of expectation and skill development that will begin the process of elevating the professional level of your people. Also, let’s not forget the importance of WIM’s (Weekly Individual Meetings) when the manager can have one on one time with each salesperson to help them grow. If you’re unable or uncomfortable doing this, find a professional who can. The results you are hoping and praying for might just happen.
- Jody Williamson