Here are two sales management examples that result in two totally different outcomes.
A local Sales Manager goes a little bit crazy and ‘flies off the handle’ at her staff over some mistake that was made, and storms out of the room.
A deathly silence followed…. then a salesperson muttered: “Well I guess our ‘Old Psycho’ didn’t get any sex last night!”.
Funny, yes, but whilst the staff used humour as their coping mechanism, it was to handle a more sinister problem – the lack of self awareness in their Sales Manager.
A vital attribute of any leader is self-awareness. It seems obvious, but what does it really mean?
It means a leader is fully aware of how their behaviour affects the people around them, especially their staff. A good leader behaves positively, and Sales Managers in particular must be known for this quality.
After all, the sales team is supposed to be the most positive group in any organisation.
Knowing that, what affect do you think ‘Psycho Manager’ had on her sales team?
Would her salespeople feel positive and motivated, or would they have the life sucked out of them? What level of trust do the team now have in her ability?
By contrast, consider from your career, examples of positive sales managers who are self-aware. How did that manager demonstrate effective sales leadership?
There was a manager I knew whom I’ll call Peter.
Every morning when he arrived at the office he went from desk to desk chatting with every one of his staff. He would go far beyond the usual greeting, taking time to connect, chat about their world both at work and outside of work, and even make decisions whilst they had his attention.
By the time he got to his desk, forty five minutes easily passed every morning.
On one particular morning after arriving late, Peter went through the same ritual of connecting with his team. However, after he went inside his office his secretary leaned over to me and whispered “I thought you should know his wife miscarried last night. That’s why he’s late”. I went into his office, closed the door, and told him to go home – that his place was with his family, and that we can take care of things here for him. Even though he managed to smile, I could see the pain in his eyes as he explained to me that his wife had all of the family around her, and that they kicked him out because they knew he’s best when burying his head in his work.
Peter taught me a powerful lesson in leadership. This sales manager was self-aware. Realising his behaviour affects his staff, he remained positive in spite of going through a heart wrenching personal crisis. Are we fully aware of the emotional space we are in at any time so that we can manage ourselves as Peter did? If we are, then it may be said we have well developed E.Q. or emotional quotient. In other words, we have emotional intelligence. Increasingly, applicants for key management positions are evaluated as much for their E.Q. as their I.Q. How would you rate in an E.Q. evaluation? Would you look like Psycho Manager, or like Peter?
What’s more, if we asked your staff to name a positive person, would they choose you?
Take your sales management and leadership self-awareness to a higher level!
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