Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Electronic Security Expo, #ESX2022, in Fort Worth, TX. My topic was Coaching Talent for Success. As I got up to speak, it occurred to me that, had my presentation not been a part of the Sales Management education track, many security dealers might have assumed I was talking about coaching technicians. After all, they are often considered ‘the talent’ in an alarm company.
Recognize Your Own Sales Bias
Consider how you feel about salespeople. Not your employees, but those you see daily when you’re buying a car, electronics, or appliances. Do you assume that you’ll be dealing with someone who ‘wants to sell you something’ or someone who wants to help you get the best product for your lifestyle?
The feedback I’ve received indicates that most of us automatically believe we’ll be meeting with someone who wants to sell us something, anything. What happens when we’re pleasantly surprised by a great rep who listens and works with us to the best result? We’re surprised and thrilled and consider that person an excellent sales rep, but not the norm.
Don’t Bring Your Bias to Work
Now think about the salespeople in your company. Might you unconsciously be biased about their skills, assuming they sell stuff all the time because it’s easy? Then you’re surprised and happy when they bring in a contract for a well-thought-out system with all the necessary parts at a gross profit margin you like. Be honest with yourself; you don’t have to tell anyone. We’ve been conditioned by life to think the worst of a salesperson before we think of the good. Given this possible prejudice, let’s make a conscious effort to think about our salespeople as ‘talent.’
I often hear it said derogatorily that salespeople are prima donnas who need to be coddled all the time. This might be said, fully straight-faced, by a manager who does the same with the technicians, believing they are worth it. All employees who regularly do their job well are worth it and should be treated equally, with management’s support and respect. The best leaders are always coaching talent in every company role.
Coaching Talent in Every Company Role Builds Teamwork
When that happens, the company becomes a team, and employees work together, in concert, toward the same goals. Everyone appreciates an improved company culture, making the workplace a more pleasant place to be and certainly bettering the customers’ experience and the business’s bottom line.
See also Audrey Pierson – Coaching Services.