(Note: This was previously posted by me in another blog that is no longer active)
When "we" need to change we're in the act together. We means "us"..."you and I"..."together". When you need one of your sales reps to make a change I've found that it helps to use the word "we". Remember, I'm a Cover Band so this is not original to me. I probably got this from marriage counseling or a guest speaker at a conference. So why use "we"? Actually there are several good reasons.
First, if only they (your Rep) needs to make a change, as in "You need to improve your...." then there is something broken on only one side of the Sales Leader/Sales Rep equation for success. Your people need to know you're committed to their success, they won't follow you otherwise. So put yourself on their side, let them know how their success is key to your success. I learned from Michael Hyatt to set a goal for myself of each of my reps making their year end bonus. Their success enables my success.
Now of course there are changes which are entirely on them, truly a "you need to change", but I think most conversations which will discuss a change that begin with the word "you" are going to be quickly followed by the words "are fired". Because whatever it was the "you" did is unrecoverable. However, if it is a performance or growth related issue and you're beginning to work with your rep on a change, then a Sales Leader has to put themselves in the resolution equation.
Change requests when made with empathy have a greater impact and a higher probability of success. Using "we" lets your Rep know that you the Sales Leader are going to work alongside them. Naturally your side of the work could ultimately be firing them if they don't make the change, but in most cases the "we" for a Sales Leader is the plan for improvement. The LEADERSHIP part of our title. Most struggling reps don't want to be in that position and are trying as best they can to improve, if not and they've given up, your conversation is going to start with the word "you". A rep who has quit on the job is poison to the rest of the team and needs to be gone immediately.
So when you're working with your Reps try thinking and speaking in terms of "we" - such as...."We need to work on improving your..." or "We need to change how ..." If it's a "We" then I'm in the investment - so it has to be important to me as well. Words without actions are useless when leading type A Sales Reps. So whatever your "we", make sure it's important to "ME". Your reps will smell through BS and the latest motivational line before you get it out of your mouth, if they don't....fire them because they can't read their clients intentions. If your people cannot tell when you're being sincere they need to find another career.
Good Luck and remember....Nothing happens until something gets sold!!
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