The other day I blogged about the great sales book Mr. Shmooze. Chapter 8 is all about sales managers. As I mentioned, the book is written as a story. In this chapter Mr. Shmooze goes to speak to a room full of Sales Managers and offers the following 5 tips for success:

  • Laughter opens the mind:   ‘Good moods … enhance the ability to think flexibly and with more complexity, thus making it easier to find solutions to problems …. Ronald Reagan was famous for great story telling. He started nearly every meeting with his staff, with new acquaintances .. with a story to loosen people up. Start your sales meetings the same way. Teach your people to do it with customers.” I agree, the best sales people and managers I know have a great sense of humour.
  • Hire the optimist:   ‘.. sales people face rejection every day .. If you are not an optimist, the profession can grind you down”. The proof  (from a study) ‘new sale men – who were, by nature, optimists – sold 37 percent more insurance in the first 2 years than the pessimists. And, during the first year, the pessimists quit at twice the rate’  I was speaking about this with a colleague recently, pessimism on a team is like a cancer. It eats into the team’s spirit and brings everyone down. Sales is a tough job, if it were not, then sales would not be one of the highest paying professions. People need that optimism to make it through the day, to turn those 5 no’s into a ‘YES’!
  • The habit of winning:  ‘Don’t just cut them loose and tell them to go out there and sell. Work with your people. Build up their confidence. Optimism is contagious!’  So true. It is easy to stay behind a desk and let the internal silliness overtake you. The hard (and right) thing to do is to get out there with your people! Build them up!
  • Feelings are contagious:  ‘As leaders you hold enormous power. You set the tone for your people. You develop the emotional climate. Your feelings are contagious’ It was an odd feeling in my first leadership role to realize that I was setting the tone, that people were happy when I was happy and worried if I was not. In the end, it comes back to point 2. Optimism is contagious!
  • Make your customer/partner feel GOOD:  This is a quote that should be on every sales person and managers wall:  “If you like mission statements, here is your mission. When you walk of that prospect’s door, his or her conscious and unconscious mind must say, ‘Good guy. Glad he stopped by. Added to my day. Got me thinking. I feel a little better now than before he showed up.’ Follow that up with a little card, an appropriate follow-up. Again, Again. Gently at first. Keep knocking at the good vibe door. Soon enough, the guard dog inside will step aside and, once you’re in, you and your newfound friend can take the relationship wherever you mutually want it to go. And, by the way, you might just be able to sell something while you’re at it!”What a great book.

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