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Tom Vann

Tom Vann President/Owner

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Sales Managers - Is it Really Your Fault?

Sales Managers get the brunt of the blame when a "Sales Pressure Crisis" breaks out at the dealership.  Should they?

When you place yourself on top of the personnel "food chain" as a Sales Manager, there's no doubt you accept the burden of responsibility for all things that go wrong in sales.  Your worst-case-scenario is the "Sales Pressure Crisis".

The "Sales Pressure Crisis" begins the moment when emotional stress strikes the hearts and minds of the Sales Team Members, causing the "Doomsday" mentality to take over and "Get it fixed NOW" tactics to overtake shrewd and levelheaded strategies.

Salespeople blame management.  Salespeople take their stresss home.  Salespeople dive into un-healthy disctractions.  Salespeople start looking for work elsewhere.

Did the Sales Manager "cause" this crisis?  Maybe so.

When a "sales crisis" hits (and it will), it means that sales "#" targets aren't reached and/or gross profitability targets aren't reached.  ...And these can feel like indications of future results.

It's stress-filled, for sure!

Many Sales Managers then trigger the "Sales Pressure Crisis" by calling for a "Crisis Meeting" (This sounds nuts, but many Sales Managers have these 2-3 times each week!).

These meetings are often loaded with bursts of "You gotta make your calls!", and "You gotta call your people and get 'em in here NOW", and "Do whatever you gotta do to get people committed", along with veiled or direct threats of job loss.

All this while pointing out how great "Billy the Wonderkid" is at closing down deals!  "Be like Billy!".

Sales Managers design "Crisis Meetings" based on the belief that striking fear into salespeople is what's needed to get results.  In fact, it won't.

Psychological Fact:  Feelings of fear cause the human body to narrow its focus on the fear itself, which prevents the mind from seeking-out or learning alternative solutions.  Feelings of possibility, however, allow the human body to broaden and build its learning power to more easily overcome challenges.

"Crisis Meetings" prompt the "Sales Pressure Crisis"...period.

What's the alternative?

Build a "Culture of Coaching" as opposed to a "Culture of Management"Great Sales Coaches guide their Sales Team "Players" towards their fullest potential by moving far beyond the shackles of aging management theories and ideologies (and management by numbers), and tackle the essence of advanced leadership strategies.

These leadership strategies include Sales Managers commiting to build emotional relationships with their sales team members through structure, support, and the foundations of the strengths and talents of each team member.

A "Coach" empowers their "players" to be responsible for both their successes and failures by providing each "player" with the tools, structure, and support to co-create the platform necessary to do so.

Does it sound hard?  It's much different than management and "yes", it takes work.  BUT, the end result is that you allow your people to "Fly" as opposed to trying to force them to be comfortable inside your "Box of Expectations".

No longer should you "Manage" the mediocrity of your sales staff, but rather create a SAFE, CONSTRUCTIVE, ENCOURAGING, and ACCOUNTABLE Employment Culture whereas your people can challenge themselves in order to enrich the quality of their own lives and careers ...which also results in YOU enriching your OWN!

If not, Mr. or Ms. Sales Manager, you will forever be blamed for the "Sales Pressure Crisis" due to your cycle of mis-guided "Crisis Managment" activities. 


Mike Elliott
Excellent article.
Tom Vann
Thanks for the comments, gents! Each are sincerely appreciated!
Christopher Murray
I read this article right after we had "panic" meeting! Good stuff but now I need to have another meeting!!!
Tom Vann
That's Funny! Even though it's kind-of NOT funny, eh? :-)

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