Create a great sales team and profit can be a tricky idea. It’s not just a matter of bringing a few people together and hoping that you’ll get great results.
In speaking before over 100 groups of CEO’s each year, I hear of conflicts between sales associates quite often. In an ever-changing economy, and with so much retail competition online, there is a greater emphasis to get sales in other ways and that creates stress. Stress creates inter-team conflicts.
Create a great sales team and profit begins with the realization that it is a team. However, that team is made up of individual people who each have their own personal goals. We all have our personal agendas and, in order to be successful in a sales team, there needs to be balance. If you’re running a sales team, the first step is to focus on creating productive relationships with each member of the team.
There is an old saying, “I’ll get everything I want out of life when I help enough other people get what they want.” But, how do we do that?
Create a great sales team and profit is an idea that can be a challenge. Sometimes trouble within a sales team can be blamed on certain business decisions that have been made by management. At other times, it can be the products that are being sold. However, I believe the problem begins with education.
Dale Carnegie, in the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, relates that “In ordinary schooling, there is not a single course in getting along with people.” And, where are we spending most of our time in our careers? We’re trying to get along with other people!
It’s not a product that gives us problems. If a product doesn’t work, we can either fix it, change it, or scrap it all together. However, it’s the people issues that cause most of the problems in business today. And so, most people would greatly accelerate their success if they improved their people skills.
Create a great sales team and profit by reading. To help you improve your people skills, and thus increase the odds of a sales team becoming very successful, reading is critical.
Listening to an audio-book means someone else is talking to you. When you read a book, that’s YOU talking to YOU. Reading builds character and puts the right words in your mind.
However, reading several personal development books, once each, doesn’t work. That information is going in one ear and out the other. I found that it’s much more productive to read one book several times. In the area of people skills, I believe that the Carnegie book is the best personal development, people skills book ever written!
The book describes many difficult people situations and gives ideas of how to work through them. Here are some of the basic points from this book:
Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
Look at situations from the other person’s point of view.
Never tell the other person that he or she is wrong.
When we’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
Use the phrases “Tell me more” and “I need your help”.
I felt that this book was so valuable that I read it over and over, once a month, every month, for 5 years. I read it 60 times. Now it is a part of me.
If you’re running a sales team, I suggest you get copies of the Carnegie book for everyone and ask them to keep it on their desk. That way they’ll be reminded of this important book every day.
Create a great sales team and profit by being aware of how important attention is to people. Dale Carnegie said that the greatest honor we pay anyone is RAPT attention – complete, total attention. That helps resolve many conflicts. How little of that is there these days? With so much electronics, who is paying attention to anyone?
Carnegie further stated that everyone needs to feel important. Notice he didn’t say that we “want” to feel important. He said that we “need” to feel important. RAPT attention makes people feel important.
Thus, when there are conflicts within a sales team, and people state an opinion that may be different than ours, rather than criticizing, listen attentively to that person and say “tell me more.” Take notes, and not electronically. That way they can’t tell if we’re taking notes. Use a notepad to take notes. That will make the other person realize that you’re really listening.
Create a great sales team and profit by taking a look at a special course. Another valuable resource, when looking to improve people skills, is The Dale Carnegie Course.
It’s an 8-week course, costing about $2,000, and worth its weight in gold. From their website, here is the description of the course:
“You’ll learn to strengthen interpersonal relationships, manage stress and handle fast-changing workplace conditions. You’ll be better equipped to perform as a persuasive communicator, problem-solver, and focused leader. And you’ll develop a take-charge attitude initiated with confidence and enthusiasm.”
I took the course while I was in college and I believe it was instrumental in my eventually becoming a successful professional speaker.
Create a great sales team and profit by having great meetings! A great team-building exercise is to have weekly meetings with everyone on the sales team, with a specific agenda.
Discuss what didn’t work last week and then go over what did work. Dale Carnegie suggested the following: “Look for the good and embellish it. And, as much as possible, disregard the bad.”
Whatever we focus on expands!
Make a big deal out of any achievements by any members of the sales team. Make people feel important with compliments for any achievement. Ask everyone for suggestions as to how the entire team can improve.
Read a page or two in the Carnegie book and then discuss the ideas with everyone. Suggest to everyone that they read just one or two pages in the book every day. Let’s keep those valuable ideas in the forefront of everyone’s mind on a regular basis.
Create a great sales team and profit is an idea that can be achieved by going back to old ideas. With so much of our communications done electronically these days, let’s promote within the sales team an old idea that can definitely help with more sales. Texts and emails are cold forms of communications. This is a warm idea that goes a long way to connect with people in a very special way!
It’s the hand-written note. We don’t have to write two or three paragraphs. I’m talking about one or two lines on a hand-written note being more touching than two paragraphs in an e-mail.
Don’t use note cards with your company logo. If you use those, people may think that you send those to a lot of people. When you start with a note-card that’s blank on the inside, the recipient may think that you picked it up just for them. Have no return address on the back of the envelope. That way they’ll have to open it up immediately since they won’t know who sent the card.
If you’re sending the card to an executive, write the word “Personal” on the lower left-hand corner of the envelope. Do not meter these cards. Use stamps. But, not just any stamps. Use commemorative stamps. They look different.
Encourage the sales team to send hand-written note cards often and for any logical reason. These can be in response to an order or when we simply have a nice conversation with a customer by phone. A card can also be just to tell a customer that you appreciate their business.
There you have it. A few simple ideas that can help you create a great sales team!
“I’m creating a great sales team by reading and re-reading the Carnegie book!”
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Copyright 2017 by Boaz Rauchwerger