Advice for Printing Salespeople: Manage Your Manager
It is widely known that children do not come with instruction manuals (warranties, either). By the time you figure out what you're doing, they've grown and left the house. And when siblings come along, you quickly discover that parenting techniques that work with one do not necessarily work with all. Wouldn't it be nice if each child came with a tag that explained rules and suggestions for raising them properly?
The same conversation could be had for salespeople. Each one is different and they don't tell you how they like to be "raised."
But why is that? Why couldn't the sales rep manage his or her Manager?
Surely, the rep must have some idea of what works and what doesn't, what will help and what won’t. This is valuable information to the Manager and information which should be shared. Keep in mind, however, that this process is rather like telling your parents what you want for Christmas. Just because you ask for a pony doesn't mean you should go out back and start building the stall.
Still, giving your Manager a heads up on how often to meet and how to critique or encourage (right down to the specific words to use/not use) is a good head start. You can even go so far as to say, "Just leave me alone and let me do my job" and that's helpful information, too. Although, I would definitely not build the stall quite yet on that one!
No one is born to be a Sales Manager. As such, they need all the help they can get in particular, and all the help that the sales rep can give them.
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Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.