How to Deal With Your Problem Salespeople
Last week’s blog on the Five Problem Salespeople generated a lot of comments on www.piworld.com, as well as e-mails to me, which is always flattering. It’s always nice to know that someone other than my sister is reading. As I identified just five problem salespeople, I promised (Matt Parker) that this week I would offer up some ideas as to how to mitigate the damage and right the ship. So here it goes:
1. The Distractor. This is all about boundaries. The reason that this person is so all over the place could be one of many, but as her/his boss, it is your job to clearly articulate your expectations, and call her/him out when she/he is going off the rails. It is perfectly acceptable to say, "I hear what you are saying but that really isn’t the topic we are covering here, Bill. Let’s stay focused on our agenda, which is developing case studies to help us with our anecdotal selling—not talking about where the best golf spots are." Gaining and maintaining control and a zero tolerance policy for the distractions is key.
2. The Nostalgic. You would do well to help this person accept and celebrate that it is 2015, and that there is a lot to be happy about. Ask her/him to tell you about something great that happened in the last seven days. Reinforce all the ways that technology is helping us all to advance the sales process. Emphasize the value of engagement in any form. Show her/him examples of how someone has initiated a meaningful client interaction over Twitter and then took that social media touch all the way to landing the new client.
3. The "IFIONLYHAD." The line to take here is, "We can talk about acquiring new equipment and technology if a strong case can be made for it, but let’s focus on what we have to offer TODAY." This person needs to understand that no decision to spend money can be made lightly, or quickly for that matter, and that if she/he wants to keep earning the almighty coin, she/he needs to sell what she/he has. Today. Encourage concrete examples with backup of anything a client may be asking for that you do not currently offer, and take that evidence very seriously.
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.