Ask any parent and they will tell you everyone needs attention. Some more than others, but everyone needs some. Salespeople tend to need a lot. It’s part of what makes the good ones great—that desire to be noticed and succeed. Knowing who needs what and how much is why they call the job Sales Management!
Every action by one of your salespeople creates one of three responses on your part whether you know it or not:
- You can respond positively: Praising, bragging or otherwise acknowledging your satisfaction with their actions.
- You can respond negatively: Criticizing or condemning what they did..
- You can remain indifferent: You show no emotion either positively or negatively. Their actions either go unnoticed or they fail to elicit any response.
A salesperson’s preference is in that exact order, too. If you can’t respond positively, they’d rather you respond negatively than to totally ignore them.
Salespeople are extraverts for a reason. They need the attention—good or bad to know how they are doing. The true superstars are constantly keeping score in their head even if you’re not charting their progress yourself. Many times the only place that feedback is going to come from is Sales Management.
They know how they are doing and they want you to know it, too. Oh, some may claim they don’t need the pats-on-the-back and accolades, but they do. Their psyche is fragile and can be broken by merely overlooking something they did.
Think of each of your salespeople right now—go ahead, it’s okay nobody’s looking. Mentally, go through a list of each of them and focus on what you think they are doing. Now, this is what you think—not necessarily what they are actually doing.
Do They Want You To Recognize Them?
Here’s the question: would they like for you to notice their actions or not? Your top performers will always want to be noticed and those who are at the bottom of your sales charts are generally the ones who like to shrink into the woodwork and blend in.
The good ones never blend in. They stand out.
Sometimes, your job is as simple as noticing what they’ve done. Just to know you are paying attention to their efforts is rewarding in a small way and works to keep them motivated.
In a previous post, we discussed how in 10 Tips For New Sales Managers and if you haven’t read that one, now’s a good time.
Never let them think what they’re doing doesn’t matter or goes unnoticed. Whether it’s good or bad, positive or negative they need the attention.
It’s like a spouse or significant other who gives you the silent treatment. Geez! C’mon, yell at me already!
Salespeople ALWAYS Need Feedback
Providing accurate, honest feedback is a cornerstone of a good sales manager. Nobody wants someone to just blow sunshine at them just like nobody wants to be constantly criticized.
Your ability to not only observe the salesperson’s behaviors, actions and habits but to effectively communicate your thoughts and feedback is critical to your success in management.