How to Move Up in Your Organization: 4 Tips from Legendary Leaders

If you’re interested in moving up to a higher position in your organization, prove you can think strategically — beyond quota — toward the good of the company as a whole. Use these tips to get started.

Bill Walsh leadership Find effective strategies. Vision is great, but if you cannot find a way to connect to it from the current reality, it’s useless. One leader who has been able to bring the imaginary to the realm of reality is football legend Bill Walsh. The legendary coach led his teams to amazing NFC division championships and NFC titles and earned a spot in the NFL Football Hall of Fame. One of his many strengths was as an offensive coach, constantly reading the field and creating strategies that would maximize his players’ skills and exploit the weaknesses of their opponents.

Tip 1: Strategy is something that’s refined every day, one battle at a time. Just as Walsh had to look at each season’s team and each week’s opponent anew, salespeople need to evaluate each customer and each competitor on an individual basis and create a plan to address each unique situation. What worked yesterday or last month may not work tomorrow.

Ronald Reagan leadership Be a great communicator. The key to communicating is connecting with the audience. Former President Ronald Reagan was so well known for his ability to reach the American people that he earned the nickname, “The Great Communicator.” He didn’t use fancy language or rhetoric to win people over; in fact, it was the very simplicity of his style, coupled with his humor, which made him so popular. A senior leader’s job is to communicate corporate goals to employees and motivate them to achieve those goals.

Tip 2: When you have something to say, say it in the simplest way possible. Save the fancy verbal footwork and piles of data for the engineering team, and stick to word pictures and vivid descriptions. Finally, remember Reagan’s advice: “Facts are stupid things.”

Meg Whitman leadership Listen. Sharing information is one skill; collecting information is another, equally valuable skill. And the queen of listening very well may be Meg Whitman, who is known for her humility and passion for listening to both her customers and employees.

“When you’re trained in an MBA program or in most businesses, you use the words, ‘Drive, push, go after,’ and it’s not that way here. Here, you have to use the community of users to chart the course of the company. You can’t direct them to do much of anything,” Whitman told CBS MarketWatch.

Tip 3: As a “trusted advisor,” it’s natural to want to share your expertise with your customers. But too much talking and not enough listening is a sure formula for alienating your clients. Take a tip from Whitman and commit to listening to what your customers are saying. Ask them what’s important, what they worry about, and what would make their life easier – even if it’s outside your typical scope. What better way to become a trusted partner than by solving problems your customer never even knew existed.

Jack Welch leadership Be inspirational. If there is one skill that can make up for a multitude of sins in other areas, it just might be the ability to inspire. People want to be a part of something great, something larger than themselves. Just ask business legend, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch. Known for his passion, commitment, and sense of fun, Welch led by example and took pride in his ability to develop his people. He regularly rewarded the highest performers (and cut the bottom feeders), thereby encouraging workers to make it to the top. “Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act,” Welch has said.

Tip 4: Unless you inspire others to act, you are a team of one. The more you can inspire your team members to be the best they can be, the further your reach as a leader. Says Welch, “If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it, you almost don’t have to manage them.”

Any of these legendary leaders would be sure to tell you that it doesn’t matter where your box falls on the organizational chart: Leaders can be found anywhere in the organization.

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Can Average Sales Performers Ever Be Rock Stars?

By Duncan Lennox

ID-100214811_bplanetWhenever I have conversations with senior executives or CEOs about driving sales performance, there’s a tendency to focus on the “rock stars,” that relatively small group of high performers. Frequently, they are described as “natural salespeople,” good at building empathy and establishing relationships and having a nose for qualifying prospects and getting deals done. Almost without exception, these gifted salespeople cannot tell you how they do it – they just do.

In many disciplines, significantly above-average performers are not simply a little better than average ones but much better. This leads to the false belief that, if we can just hire more of those folks, our numbers will skyrocket.

But there are two problems with this belief: the big problem is the assumption that you could articulate what makes an “A” player and know how to identify those characteristics in candidates you screen or interview. The really big problem is hiring rock stars at scale. Most of them (who don’t work for you already) are making lots of money somewhere else and probably not eager to apply for your open positions.

With barely 2 percent of most sales teams reaching the upper echelons of quota achievement, throwing more rock stars into the mix has the potential to extend quota attainment by roughly 15 percent at best – certainly not enough to deliver on markedly higher revenue targets. So the question remains: wouldn’t we get much more bang for our buck by using sales-enablement programs to help the people we already have be more effective – in other words, coaching and cultivating those average performers to be more like the sales stars?

If your organization is like most, the general approach to boosting sales performance might include such words as “training” or “learning.” Yet these are processes, not results, and more often than we care to admit, they fail to move the needle. The real goal must be to change behavior.

The path to doing this successfully begins with the acknowledgement that sales reps are people, and people, of course, are complex. People possess ingrained behavior, and changing that behavior – equipping sales reps to win – doesn’t happen via PowerPoint presentation in your local hotel’s meeting room.

To reduce the likelihood of employing “sales airheads” (aptly described in an earlier Selling Power blog) and replicate the productivity of top performers, sales executives must first understand the biological mechanisms of how memories and patterns are formed in the brain and then design a sales-effectiveness program that actively supports that process. While this may sound very academic, a team of researchers at Harvard has clinically proven that this approach boosts performance and builds the level of competency required to connect with customers and close deals. The key is two-fold:

  1. understanding, with data-driven insight, where individuals are today (what they know and don’t know and their strengths and weaknesses) and
  2. having a method that embraces three key elements to scale: simplicity, convenience, and motivation.

Oracle’s experience bears this out. Changing average sales reps into rock-star reps is simply a matter of changing their behavior. Oracle’s Business Brain Program introduces thousands of reps to successively more advanced thinking topics, so they don’t simply regurgitate product information but sell in context.

A company called BrainStudio put this program together for Oracle using Qstream, a mobile, game-driven sales enablement platform from my company. The platform pushes out personalized question streams made up of simple yet thoughtful scenario-based challenges, which take up only a few minutes a day using any mobile device. The program combines social-recognition elements, such as leaderboards, to leverage reps’ inherent competitive nature while keeping them highly engaged in what otherwise might be viewed as just another training requirement.

Through repetition over small periods of time, reps retain key messages and selling skills. What’s more, results are delivered to sales executives – not to flog the reps but to identify highly targeted coaching opportunities to ensure that every rep on the team is well prepared to sell with insight into the customer’s world.

Increasing sales revenue is a common goal, but some organizations end up looking in the wrong places. Instead of gimmicks, recruiters, and obsessive automation, it’s time we look within and honor our own people as the best path to achieving success.  How many rock stars could you develop this year?

Kevin Warren
Duncan Lennox is CEO and Cofounder of Qstream. Email him at info@qstream.com
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Why Great Leaders Seem Crazy

All great leaders share a vision for success. Sometimes, that vision can be so new, radical, or unique that others call them crazy.

Steve Jobs famously made Apple’s slogan “Think Different,” in the late 1990s. As the television commercial said, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Ask for a leadership success story from the dot-com craze, and Amazon is sure to come to mind. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of the ultimate in one-stop online shopping, is almost synonymous with the Internet. But the dream did not start out that big. In 1994, Bezos gave up his job as a VP of a New York investment firm, packed up a used car, and moved to Seattle with his new wife and a vision – to start an online business selling books.

Of course, the idea was wacky. Of course, everyone told him he was nuts. Of course, he faced many obstacles along the way – and of course, he overcame them all. What carried him through the tough times was his clarity of purpose, his vision of what Amazon.com could be. “I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that,” he’s quoted as saying. “But I knew the one thing I might regret was not trying.”

If you want to be a great leader, know what you are trying to accomplish with vivid clarity. The more real you can make your vision, the easier it is to share it with others and convince them to come along.

This is especially true if you are asking your clients to take a leap of faith toward an unknown solution that you know will pay off for them. Paint a detailed, accurate vision, and they won’t be able to resist.

What are some of your greatest leadership lessons? Share your thoughts in the comments section. 

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How the Best Execs Get to the Top: Q&A with Joe Nocera

Joe Nocera New York TimesThey make friends. They hire smart. They take the hits. For New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera, who has written about the Buffetts, Eisners, and Trumps of the business world for more than 25 years, a few leadership qualities stand out. In this interview, he talks with Selling Power about the road to the top – and how the best execs stay there.

Selling Power (SP): What’s the different between a good CEO and a bad CEO?

Nocera: The thing a good CEO has, more than a bad CEO has, is emotional intelligence. I know that sounds soft and squishy, but all these guys know how to deal with balance sheets and income statements. They can make the trains arrive on time. But emotional intelligence is important for a number of reasons. Number one, in a modern age, you can’t just tell people to go do something and expect them to do it. So the force of your personality – the way you try to get things done – is as important as what you are trying to get done.

The second reason is that the CEOs are on such a short leash, vis-à-vis Wall Street, these days. To me the subprime disaster is [like] every other thing that I have ever covered in my life, starting with real estate in Texas in the eighties during the oil bubble, and then on to the Massachusetts Miracle in Massachusetts, and then on to the Internet bubble and the housing bubble; they’re all the same. Basically, [the situation] starts slowly, and then people start to lose their heads and think that they can never go down, and then they start to do dumb things. Banks just lend too much money, standards get lower, and people find some technique and drive it into the ground. [These techniques] probably start as good things and wind up as bad things, which was the case with subprime mortgages, and on and on and on. These things just seem to take on a life of their own and collapse of their own volition. And that’s what’s happened here. It’s happened time and time again.

SP: So emotional intelligence can help a leader navigate through the turmoil?

Nocera: A CEO who is comfortable in his or her own skin, is likeable, and who knows how to be decisive without being rude or arrogant buys more wiggle room. He or she has more allies. The example I use on the negative side is Bob Nardelli [former CEO of The Home Depot]. The stock went down, but if you look at the numbers, almost every metric went up while he was the CEO. Yet when he missteps, he has no allies, he has no friends, and he is basically out of the company.

Emotional intelligence is a quiet charisma, the ability to lead without seeming to lead. These leaders have the ability to make a decision that may be unpopular and not piss everybody off. They listen. They aren’t afraid of criticism. They’re not overly defensive. They’re not afraid of hiring people smarter than they are. Those sorts of skills in dealing with the executives who report to them make the crucial difference between a good CEO and a bad CEO.

SP: And the bad CEOs – are they just the opposite?

Nocera: Yes, they are. When you think about the 1950s and 1960s, when American companies ruled the world, we had a generation of employees who had been through the Great Depression and World War II. They came back from the war, and all they wanted was a nice, secure job. They were organization people. The boss could tell them anything. They just wanted to know how high to jump. So you could be more high-handed and dictatorial.

Today, employees don’t have the same loyalty to corporations. They have a lot more options. They don’t expect the company to protect them for the rest of their lives. They don’t expect to be at the company for the rest of their lives. I remember Fortune used to do a cover story called, “The Meanest Bosses in America.” And those guys were really well-known figures in business, like Bob Crandall at American Airlines. You could be that kind of boss back then, but you can’t be that kind of boss today because you’ll just get washed out. Today, the paradigmatic great boss is somebody like Herb Kelleher, who really cares a lot about his employees and is completely beloved and is also [the head of a company that is] on record as the only airline to make a profit.

SP: Do you think there’s a difference in the way that the public or employees judge their leaders and what they expect from them?

Nocera: I think there’s a huge difference. I think employees want to be passionate about their jobs. They want their job to feel that it has some larger moral value. And that is why so many companies are getting into the environment or doing corporate social responsibility stuff. Employees want to feel like they’re different thinkers. They don’t want to feel like cogs in a machine. They want someone to listen to them – maybe not the CEO, but certainly the immediate superior. So you have to have a culture of trust, a culture that respects the employees. Employees want to know that, when things are bad, the leader is taking a hit along with everyone else and not gorging himself or herself on options and salary when everybody else is suffering – that there is some sense of shared sacrifice.

SP: What do you think the job description of a leader is going to look like down the road?

Nocera: That’s a tough one. We’re in this era now when the baby boomers are preparing to retire. We’re going to get a whole new generation of middle and upper management that is younger and maybe has a different set of values from baby boomers. It’s hard for me to say what kind of leadership will command its respect. The next generation of CEOs is going to have to be people who can adapt to those new expectations.

Joe Nocera is author of Good Guys & Bad Guys: Behind the Scenes with the Saints and Scoundrels of American Business (And Everything in Between)

 

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Your Brand Is Not Your Business Card: Empower a Winning Sales Culture

By Kevin Warren, president of strategic growth initiatives at Xerox. Meet him on March 10 at the Sales 2.0 Conference in Philadelphia, where he will share more insight about sales-leadership success and personal brands.

Jay-Z is one of my favorite performers, and he knows a thing or two about success. One line I borrow from him regularly is “I’m not a businessman…I’m a business, man!”

What does he mean? He’s saying that when you hand your business card to a sales prospect, unless it reads “CEO of Me Inc.,” it’s not your brand. You are your brand. Prospects and clients don’t buy the name of the business on the card, they buy you.

It’s a simple concept and a powerful opportunity, especially in an increasingly complex and digital world. We know our clients and prospects are bombarded with many options. Competition is fierce. But at the end of the day, people make decisions and surrender long-term loyalty based on interaction with other people. According to McKinsey’s 2012 B2B Branding Survey, personal interaction with sales reps remains the most influential factor for B2B customers across touch points, industries, and regions.

When you’re empowered to be CEO of Me Inc., there’s a tremendous impact on the overall business. Interaction with customers becomes more meaningful, the corporate brand becomes more human, and that focus on customers starts impacting the bottom line. By making a customer or prospect a believer in your personal brand, you’re giving your product and services portfolio exponentially more value.

You likely have an elevator speech for the products and services you’re selling, so why not create one for you? If you’ve taken time to evaluate what you stand for and where you should be focused, your prospects are much more likely to feel confident that you can help them do the same. People buy from those they know, trust, and like. By genuinely sharing who you are and what you know, you quickly become someone from whom they’ll buy, someone who helps connect them to what they need to successfully reach their own goals.

Even something as simple as highlighting general business advice or flagging relevant industry articles (via LinkedIn, other social media, or in person) creates an opportunity to share more of your portfolio and ultimately sell more, because you’ve appealed to what really matters to the client’s business. This kind of proactive value-adding is unique to you and your ever-evolving brand. Leveraging your personal and business experiences and industry expertise to show customers what they might not be thinking about or to ask questions they might not have considered is key to earning loyalty, advocacy, and even referrals.

Success as CEO of Me Inc. doesn’t just happen; it is the outcome of a formula that works, one that is evolving as digital and social change the game. But the foundation holds fast. We may not close deals anymore by knocking on doors or dialing for dollars, but at the end of the day – at the end of the business exchange – there is a person, and that person is going to choose your brand only if he or she chooses you.

Join me at the Sales 2.0 Conference in Philadelphia on March 10, where I’ll be speaking about sales-leadership success, your personal brand, and sales-transformation strategies.

Kevin Warren
Kevin M. Warren is president of strategic growth initiatives for Xerox Corporation and is responsible nationwide for revenue, profit, and operations for all Xerox business in large enterprises. He’s led an aggressive transformation initiative in which he melded two operations into one high-performing organization.
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A Dream to Run the Perfect Company (The L.L. Bean Story)

L.L. Bean sales leadership L.L. Bean was born in 1912, when Leon L. Bean (who was orphaned at age 12 and left school after completing the eighth grade) designed his own boot with a leather upper and rubber bottom. According to company legend, the first 90 shipments came back defective. Bean dispensed full refunds, borrowed $400, and launched a redesigned boot that became highly popular.

 

In 1917 Bean opened L.L. Bean headquarters on a tree-lined street in the town square of Freeport, Maine. Customers entered through the back alley, huffed and puffed up two flights of stairs, bypassed the salespeople (who, despite their good-natured friendliness, tended to know next to nothing about L.L. Bean products), and wandered through the stockrooms to find what they needed.

Although employees loved their good-natured, down-home, and energetic leader, Bean could also be stubborn and capricious. He wasn’t bothered by the inefficiencies of his company; he refused, for example, to ever include an index to the catalog, despite thousands of requests from customers.

By the time Bean hired his grandson, Leon Gorman, in 1960, the company was behind the times and ill-equipped to survive, much less excel, in the rapidly competitive retail market. Hired at $80 a week as a “gofer,” Gorman spent seven years working his way through the ranks.

He studied the market by reading the catalogs of competitors, visiting their stores, and reading at least three outdoor magazines a month. He began taking correspondence courses in business and finance administration. He assumed responsibility for responding to customer complaints and was the first person in the history of the company to attend retail trade shows. He carried a small notebook with him at all times. In his first year alone, he accumulated more than 400 notes on how to improve the company, from automating the customer service and inventory systems to holding semi-annual sales of discounted merchandise, to implementing employee training programs.

At age 90, Leon Bean passed away, and Gorman’s father, Carl, who had also worked at the company, died just eight months later. Elected president in 1967, Leon Gorman’s goal was to “run the perfect company.” By 1972, all products had stock numbers. In 1974, Gorman opened a 110,000 square-foot distribution center with a logical layout that encouraged efficiency. The next year, he established a new customer service department, where service was just as friendly and caring as ever, but was also disciplined and professional. Eight years after he took the helm, catalogs bulked up by 28 pages and went from 600 product offerings to 1,500. Catalog mailings went from 1.8 million to nearly 6 million.

The product lines also evolved to meet the changing face of customers. By 1980, half of all customers were women, but the company’s clothing line for women was simply resized from men’s designs and offered in pastels. They began implementing strategic designs and in the ’90s came out with a women’s-only catalog. They also focused on the growing areas of home and kids. They stepped up their e-commerce and committed to making the L.L. Bean Website fast, simple, and informative.

After more than 33 years of leadership as President and CEO of L.L. Bean,  Leon Gorman left his role as Chairman in May of last year. Under Gorman’s leadership the company grew from a $2.5 million retailer selling through the mail with a single store in Freeport to an over $1 billion multi-channel marketer with over 5,000 employees and an iconic brand known throughout the world.

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Jump-Starting a Stalled Sales-Recruitment Program

By Sabrina Balmick

Every sales-recruiting effort needs revving up now and again. For companies facing recruiting challenges, this means rethinking not only who they hire but how they hire. After all, you can attract the best candidates, but if your hiring process isn’t efficient, you’ll lose more candidates than you ultimately hire.

While building an entirely new sales-recruiting process from start to finish is no easy task (and requires continuous adjustment), there are a few processes you can address in order to make the most of your candidate pool.

  1. Job Specifications: You can’t build a great sales team without understanding the strengths and skills that work best for your organization. A recruitment effort stalls partly because managers and their recruiting partners rely on stale job descriptions and rigid hiring requirements.Forget the bullet points and focus instead on your current team. What are its strengths and weaknesses, and where can you capitalize on opportunities? Venture into the field to observe your sales team’s day-to-day activities. This not only allows you to gauge your team’s skill sets in real time, but it also provides insight into any potential retention pitfalls, including why employees are staying with or leaving the company. With this information, you can better plan your hiring strategy to ensure that 1.) you aren’t churning and burning hires, and 2.) you’re providing them with the tools and training they need to sell and drive revenue.
  2. Sourcing and Recruitment Marketing: The best way to find salespeople isn’t by posting on job boards. Good salespeople are always looking for the next career opportunity, but they may not be actively applying for jobs. Still, they usually have their ear to the ground and are often open to chatting about a new job. To reach these folks, rally your professional and personal networks to spread the word about new opportunities, rather than simply post and hope someone applies. If you’re working with a recruitment partner, make the most of that connection to reach those candidates you otherwise wouldn’t have uncovered.
  3. Employer Branding: Employer branding reflects how others see your organization throughout the hiring process and employee lifecycle and ultimately affects your ability to attract candidates. With a strong brand proposal, you’ll be in a better position to hire and retain strong candidates.To build the strongest brand, start by asking tough questions about the hiring process. What’s your company’s reputation as an employer? Are employees providing a consistent stream of referrals? Are you an employer of choice or a last resort? How do candidates and competitors perceive your company? If your company’s reputation is less than stellar, is it fixable?Another key part of your employer brand is the hiring-manager interview, which is one of the best occasions to showcase your company’s strengths and unique selling points. Remember that interviews are not only an audition for the candidate but for the company also, so remember to sell the opportunity. Why would this candidate want to work for you? What does your company bring to the table that a competitor can’t? How can you help take your new hire to the next level?
  4. Resume Reviews: Keep an open mind while reviewing resumes. When revenue is on the line and you need a magic-bullet salesperson, it’s easy to become hampered by a checklist of attributes your next superstar must have. While there are some skills that may not be negotiable, you may miss out on hiring some otherwise great candidates simply because they didn’t meet all of your requirements.Consider what skills are necessary to do the job, and decide whether you’re willing to train on them. The answer might allow you to open up your candidate pool and hire faster – and the faster you hire, the sooner your new salesperson can begin selling.In addition, if you’re on the fence about a candidate, conduct a quick phone screening to see if he or she fits the bill and might be worth interviewing in person. The candidate may possess experience or skills that aren’t listed on the resume but may be valuable to your organization.

The hiring process shouldn’t be a static function that never changes. Like the sales process, recruitment must adapt to external and internal pressures in order to work efficiently. By making incremental adjustments, your sales-recruitment process could run more smoothly, and you’ll be able to recruit better talent.

Sabrina Balmick
Sabrina Balmick serves as marketing manager for ACA Talent, a recruitment-process outsourcing firm specializing in sales recruitment. She works closely with the company’s sales and operations teams to develop content and implement marketing programs that effectively reach and recruit qualified sales talent. Email her at marketing@acatalent.com.
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Three Feedback Pitfalls to Avoid While Sales Coaching

When providing salespeople with feedback during sales coaching, it’s easy to fall into feedback pitfalls. If you are like most sales managers, you’re probably giving feedback to your team members the same way it was given to you. Yet recent research suggests that your feedback can have more influence over your team’s improvement.

Review these three feedback pitfalls to see if you’ve fallen into any of them. If you do, make note to avoid them going forward. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the impact of this effort on your team’s engagement, sales, and overall performance, and you’ll all enjoy the feedback process more than you did before.

Feedback Pitfall 1: Comparing each salesperson’s results to the team’s

It’s a natural part of the learning process to want to see measurable improvement, and if you are like most sales managers, you have a variety of measurable data at your fingertips: your salespeople’s week-to-week sales, their lead-to-client ratio, or their quote-to-sale ratio. Whatever you choose, beware of how you use them during your sales coaching. As much as you may be tempted to use the numbers to provide your salespeople with a sense of how they stack up against the rest of the team, resist it. People perform best when stats are used to compare their past individual performance to their current individual performance.

With this in mind, during your one-on-one coaching sessions with your team members, use the numbers you have to help your salespeople monitor the changes in their individual performance. Then base your feedback on the context of their individual improvements or slump. This will help them perform better.

Feedback Pitfall 2: Providing positive feedback

Who doesn’t love to receive accolades? Yet positive feedback isn’t what we want to hear all the time. Positive feedback is helpful in sales coaching…and it can be a pitfall in sales coaching. When salespeople try new sales approaches, they usually appreciate and desire positive feedback. But once team members develop a level of skill or mastery in a particular area, believe it or not, they want to hear the negative. They want to know what didn’t work, and they want to figure out how to do it better next time.

Knowing when to provide positive feedback or constructive criticism is essential when it comes to coaching your salespeople to improve their sales behaviors and ultimately their results. Make note of where your team members are in their learning, and match your feedback accordingly.

Feedback Pitfall 3: Telling your salespeople how to improve

It’s not unusual for sales managers to tell their salespeople what to do to sell more. Sometimes this will yield a change in a salesperson’s behavior, but unfortunately, telling salespeople what to do doesn’t always result in change.

One thing that consistently inspires salespeople to improve their sales behavior is when they become instigators of what to do differently. To help facilitate your salespeople’s development of this kind of initiative, ask them questions (instead of tell them what to do) as part of your feedback. This way, they become their own catalyst for change, and you become their advocate rather than the source of all answers.

By asking your team questions instead of only supplying the answers, you increase the likelihood that your team members will act on their own ideas. You’ll also remove the potential for any power struggle that might erupt if you try to get your team to do things your way. After all, what worked for you in a sales situation might not necessarily work for them because of personality differences, prospect idiosyncrasies, industry variables, technology changes, etc.

If you can’t hold back and you do tell a salesperson what to do, you can save the situation and increase the salesperson’s engagement by asking such questions as, “How might that work under those circumstances?” or “Would that have worked in that specific sales conversation?” This way, your team members can filter your idea through their sales experience and determine whether the idea would be effective or not.

As you know, one the reasons behind providing feedback is to help your salespeople develop better sales judgment so that next time they are in a similar sales situation, they will choose the more effective response. By asking your team members questions during feedback, you help improve their judgment and increase their engagement in the execution of their ideas.

Peri Shawn
Peri Shawn is the award-winning author of Sell More with Sales Coaching.
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Love and Leadership: Celebrating the Great Nelson Mandela

People around the world paused to commemorate the incredible life of Nelson Mandela, who died today at age 95. In this video clip from last year, Bill Clinton summed up what he learned from Mandela: “He made everybody else want to be bigger. You were always thinking, ‘Well if he can do all this, if he can endure all this and he could still have a smile on his face and a song in his heart, who am I to whine about whatever is going on in my life?’ He made everybody want to be bigger. I think it’s an uncommon gift that I somehow hope we’ll all find a way to keep alive forever.”

Here are some inspirational thoughts Mandela expressed during his extraordinary life.

Forgiveness
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

Adversity
“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

Education
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Leadership 
“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”

Passion 
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Hope 
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

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Executive Tweets: Richard Branson Goes Bananas

In this edition of Executive Tweets, Richard Branson goes bananas, Al Gore remembers his father’s advice for President Kennedy, and Gerhard Gschwandtner wants to help him help you.

 

 

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