Sales managers, the next time you’re wearing your sales coaching hat, make a point to frequently recognize sales reps for their special talents and contributions to the sales effort. Why?
• Sales reps, just like other employees, don’t always know what they’re good at. When someone excels at something, they take it for granted, assuming everyone knows how to do it.
• When a rep already performs a particular task well, and it gets pointed out to them, they increase that behavior.
The next time you meet or speak with each member of your sales staff, say something like:
How’s our LinkedIn expert this morning? How many contacts do you have now? You’ve really inspired the group to update and improve their profiles.
Do you know that you turn in the most accurate, timely sales forecast in the group? I was reviewing it today and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it. Accurate forecasts help me do a better job.
Some people struggle with accepting compliments. The accolade sort of hangs in the air and they don’t know what to say. To avoid embarrassing them, ask them a follow-up question like:
How did you become so proficient at LinkedIn?
Have you always turned in such precise and timely forecasts? Did you have a mentor?
By recognizing and complimenting a particular talent, you’ve also paved the way for asking them to share their expertise at a staff meeting. Sometimes bored of directives from their manager, reps often respond positively to help and coaching from a peer.
As a sales rep, I was finishing up a phone call with a customer. My manager, listening to the conversation, said, “No one wraps up a call like you do. You review the conversation, discuss the next step, and confirm the date for the next call. How do you do that?”
I didn’t know I was doing anything. I was a sales rep. That was my job. Having it pointed out to me in a positive way was motivating and gave me an appreciation of my individual contribution to the sales organization.
Do for your reps what my manager did for me.