When Salespeople Fail, Unleash Their Potential

“Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.” – Tom Landry

Employees rank training and development high on the list of desirable benefits. Leadership training fails because of certain repeat patterns of issues that are not diagnosed or addressed, which then inhibits results. This article will show sales managers how to take sales professionals limiting beliefs and unleash them. You will learn and understand the traits of a top sales warrior and how to diagnose the cause of those who are under-performing.

Put Sales Warriors with Under-Performing Employees

Your team needs their leadership to be aligned with them. You know the type of employee – the one who, “is here for a paycheck;” or the employee who has a negative mindset towards company policies and values. These types of employees unfortunately are contagious, and will start swirling through a company. Therefore, leadership must be accessible and willing to be engaged with employees. Modeling the behaviors, attitudes and beliefs of an organization trickles down, throughout the company. How can you help change your employee into a Warrior? Find one of their peers, or as I like to call them, Team Captains. Tom Brady is a great example of a team captain. Through the eyes of his teammates and those close to him, he is said to be a relentless competitor. He shares with other athletes his best practices in training, in life and in his career. His desire to win rubbed off on those around him. In your company, team captains are who your employees are talking to behind your back. The most influential in the company. Help the other employees change their beliefs by putting them with team captains who will tell them, “Hey, I think you are being a victim right now.” And who will hold them accountable.

Give the team a challenge to work towards, together. A common goal builds team comradery and loyalty. An example of this could be, each sales professional closing every customer. When leaders and team captains bring a warrior mentality to each day, you will start to see your other employees change into warriors. Instead of watching the clock or doing their job for a paycheck they will start to pound the pavement and pull their weight.

The Coaching Objectives

We all know those employees. The ones who are always late to a meeting or never at work on time. The Dallas Cowboys fined wide receiver Dez Bryant for failing to show up for multiple team meetings. That’s intense. FPG want to help you coach your team, but a little differently. You won’t be giving out fines for late employees. You’ll be achieving performance through giving knowledge, and removing leashes.

Performance = Knowledge – Leashes.

This formula is beneficial for you to keep in your playbook. The following steps can give you the edge you need to help you coach that employee into demonstrating the right behaviors (like arriving on time).

1. Pre-frame. Get buy-in by pre-framing the solution
For example, “Suppose I could show you a way to always be at work on time, would you be interested in that?” This puts you in the leadership position, but also lets them know that you want to help them succeed.

2. What
This is what technique or behavior to use. Ask them to set an alarm before bed or in the morning when they wake up.

3. How
This is how to do it. Make sure you collaborate on the what and how with a veteran employee. You can get away with dictating for the new guy. “How to make this work is, you will go buy an alarm clock, set it up tonight for 2 hours before you need to be at work, and then go to bed.”

4. Validate
Boost their confidence in this plan. “I believe this will work because of ___ and I believe you can do this because of ___. Show them that they have what it takes.

5. Believe
Get their feedback and check if they agree with this plan. “Do you believe this will work 100% of the time?” This question can give insight into what might be holding them back. If they tell you no, ask why.

6. Will
“Will you do this?” Get verbal commitment.

7. When
“When will you do this? Your employee needs to know you will be following up on this in real time.

8. Celebrate
Enforce positive behavior change if they followed-through on their agreement. If they didn’t, ask why. The easiest way to find out what their fear is, is asking. Is it knowledge or leashes? The best coaches give quick, intense corrections.

Adopt New Beliefs

“It’s not going to be as tough as you think it is.” – Run Towards the Roar

The Belief Assessment Survey helps clients discover their belief systems. There are two types of belief systems. One that says, “It’s on me”, and the other that says, “It’s not on me.” If a sales professional says, “I could sell more if only I had more traffic or more floor plan options,” does that come from a place of I am enough or not enough? Each question and answer comes down to those 2 basic questions. If you want to experience a change in your mindset, you must change the way you think. Unleash your beliefs by:

  • Talking to your sales professionals and to yourself, kindly. The minute you raise your voice the instant you lose your audience. 
  • Coaching your sales professional along the way. Many people deny coaching, it’s something happening to them versus for them. Hire sales professionals that expect coaching and demand coaching.

The most effective leaders make a strong impact on the company and their employees. Companies need managers who know and understand effective training and the benefits, to coach their team to being the best version of themselves. Take these concepts and apply them, and create a workplace revolution.

About Jason Forrest:
CEO & Chief Culture Officer, Forrest Performance Group (FPG)

As a sales professional, author, speaker, and coach, Jason’s job is to empower professionals and executives to unleash their human performance and master their leadership skills in sales, management, culture and service; for the purpose of increasing profit through people. The dynamic team at FPG offers the highest quality and most complete sales performance and management coaching programs in the country. We build complete training packages that provide a long-term strategy to ensure the success of your sales team, and drive revenue for your business. Connect with Jason @jforrestspeaker on Twitter and on LinkedIn. For more information on FPG, please visit http://fpg.com/.

[This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared in the NSMC Sales + Marketing Ideas magazine app. Download the app on iTunes or GooglePlay.]

Hear Jason speak at IBS 2018

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