The challenge now is that you work virtually with most of your salespeople where body language is difficult to read making it harder to understand the full picture of what is going on with them. Therefore, keeping your people motivated is more challenging than ever before. Put yourself in their shoes – remember they’re alone in their house without the camaraderie, encouragement, and feedback of their colleagues.
You need to realize that motivating your people is not just about money and bonuses. That’s the outcome of great performance, which comes from the right attitude, largely a result of motivation and behavior. Everyone should be motivated to improve since their efforts result in achieving their sales goals.
Connecting with your salespeople helps you go deeper, finding out more about them, and not just their goals in business, but their personal goals, their family and what they desire for their future.
When you build trust, it gives you the opportunity to help them improve their sales skills, because they’ll listen to you. A great step in trust-building is to ask them what skill or facet of their selling they would like to improve. Then together work on a plan to make that happen because your best people want to improve so that they can be successful.
I love to play golf. Can I get better? Absolutely! If I have a friend that is an outstanding golfer and he gives me advice on improving my short game, I am all ears. And when I play with a more skilled golfer, I also pay attention, and often, I get more competitive. It ups my game because I want to get better. It’s the same with salespeople.
More than ever, coaching your team from a distance means staying in touch more often and more effectively. To do that it helps to understand their personality style so you can better provide them the support that they need. It’s also a known fact that it’s easier to build on a strength than to overcome a weakness as cited by Marcus Buckingham. Check out his book with Don Clifton on Strengths (Now Discover Your Strengths https://amzn.to/2LhQRV1) For the greatest success, focus on your people’s strengths.
Let’s examine the best way to approach each style.
The Blue Personality Style’s strength is relationship-building. Therefore, to maximize their potential, stay in touch often with face-to-face calls and ask how you can best support them. Blue’s will internalize and always want to do their best. Another strength is their high standard of integrity and open communication. They want your personal touch, so ask about their personal life.
The Gold Personality Style is very pragmatic and structured. They thrive when they have consistency. Set up a regular agenda, set expectations around goals and activity and walk through the agenda to cover topics that are important to them. Golds are methodical and look for ways to save time and improve productivity. Be direct with them since that is what they expect.
The Green Personality Style is a problem solver, curious and always has many questions. They thrive on reading and learning. Be succinct in your communication and ask questions that would challenge their approach to their business. Greens are futuristic and think about what can be. Help them to create a better future. Face to face calls aren’t as important to the Green personality as they are to the Blue.
The Orange Personality Style is fast moving and energetic. They enjoy the face-to-face but keep the meeting short and keep it moving. Challenge the Orange to take their performance to the next level. Oranges are highly competitive and always put winning as a priority. Start with small talk and then get into specific actions that will improve their performance.
Each style will improve when you approach them from their perspective. And as the head of sales, you should use this information to lead more effective sales coaching sessions.
Good luck with your relationship selling!
©2021 Stu Schlackman