When Sales Leadership Ends
My wife is the most patient person I have ever known.
It’s something of an inside joke, but there are no unspoken thoughts with our kids. They are quick to share their every concern, problem, and complaint and everything is directed toward Allison.
I’m not going to tell you her patience is limitless. There are times when a hand goes up and the word, “Enough," crosses her lips.
After a quick break and a battery recharge of some sort, she is back at it. And not a moment too soon as another child is complaining or texting or calling, looking for her sympathy, empathy, or leadership.
Leadership. We don’t think of parenting in those terms very often, but there are definitely parallels with sales and sales leadership.
On a coaching call this morning, we got talking about the emotional needs of a sales team and how the pandemic has brought the topic of mental health to the forefront overall.
Salespeople are no strangers to bringing concerns, problems, and complaints to management’s ears. Here, too, there is a steady flow, little rest, and no end in sight.
My client and I talked about how leading a sales team is a mix of tolerance and accountability. At times, there is sympathy. At other times, not so much.
I had a few minutes in between calls and checked out activity on LinkedIn. There, I read the news that Gen. Colin Powell had passed away. Part of the mountain of praise and tribute was a quote that was 100% relevant to the conversation I had just finished on my coaching call:
“The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”
- Gen. Colin Powell
To those of you reading this blog who are on the receiving end of a sales team’s unspoken thoughts, you have my sympathy and my respect. But, by virtue of the fact that they come to you, salespeople recognize and honor you for your leadership skills. Continue to do the best you can.
To those of you whose door is open yet there is no one waiting in line, reread the general’s words, determine which reason is correct, and then fix it.
Recently, Bill asked his Sales Vault Insiders for input on what they wanted him to present on next. One answer, “Emotional sales health,” caught his attention. Look for this topic soon and join us at SalesVaultInsider.com or call Bill at 781-934-7036 for more information.
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.