Last week my son Zack’s car broke down on the way to work.
This was the first of a small avalanche of problems:
- He rescheduled all of his shoots for the next day and dropped his car off at the mechanic.
- He drove 30 miles to my house to borrow my car.
- The next morning, he woke up to my car having a flat tire. Continue reading
Photo via Unsplash by Kristina Flour
As sales managers, we are frequently the first point of escalation for a customer satisfaction issue, a complaint about sales, and many other “customer problems.” Without a good system for managing these, we can get caught up in the frenzy and say things we really don’t mean. Continue reading
Sunbathing on the back deck
Every morning as the sun comes up, my dog Snickers likes to sunbathe on the back deck. Since I am an early riser, I let Snickers outside and start exercising, while my wife still sleeps.
In addition to sunbathing, Snickers is our self appointed Guardian of the Back Yard. She fiercely defends it from squirrels and other small intruders. Continue reading
1 on 1 with Ziggy, my first dog.
I learned how important weekly 1-on-1s could be early in my career from one of my first mentors. He dedicated 1 hour every Friday afternoon to meet with me. During these meetings we discussed sales opportunities, challenges and areas where I needed his help.
I learned so much from him in these 1-on-1s that I still recall them fondly today, almost 20 years later.
It was in these 1-on-1s that I was also taught how to be a problem solver instead of a whiner.
I was complaining about how our Telecom Manager was delaying my installs because of his laissez faire attitude, which he expressed eloquently to me as, “Just relax Steve, the Telco will get installed eventually and the customer just has to wait until we get around to it.”
After allowing me to whine about this for 5 minutes, my manager put his hand up and said
“Stop. From this point forward you can NEVER come discuss a problem with me again unless you bring ideas for how to solve it. We are in Sales, our job is to make things happen.“
Photo by Jesse Orrico via Unsplash
If you are the Top Sales Rep, a Team Lead, a Manager, a Director, or a VP, you should always be grooming someone to replace you.
Many leaders neglect to do this. When they do, they are dooming themselves and their teams to complacency and mediocrity.
There are many good reasons for training your replacement:
- If you want to be promoted into a new role, having someone ready to step into your role to provide a seamless transition for the company is critical.
- As a leader and a mentor, you developing your All Star employee’s skills while helping him to advance his career.
- You transform from being a “doer” of the work to a leader who recruits, hires and develops others to do the work.
- All Star employees need challenges and growth opportunities. If you let them stagnate in their role, they will leave you for a better opportunity.
- You want to leave the team you cared about in the best hands possible. If, as a sales manager, you don’t feel this way about your team, I urge you to seriously consider a different line of work or else build a new team.