1. Always provide a common goal. This is the first rule of building a team. There always must be a common goal. A lapse of even a week or so can be detrimental to the results you might envision. A football team's offensive efforts would be wasted if there were no goal to pursue. The same is true with your sales force. Keep the goal, or the carrot-on-a-stick, if you will, dangling before the team.
2. Always require high standards. Have them clearly stated in the company manual. If your salespeople refuse to adhere to the standards, then you must do something about it, either through written warning, reprimand or dismissal. If a salesperson doesn't meet your standards and you don't take corrective action, then you, in effect, have lowered your standards in the eyes of the remaining team members.
3. Never criticize your salespeople in public. That’s tantamount to a slap in the face. It’s demeaning, degrading, and definitely demoralizing. The person you criticize in the presence of others definitely will lose respect for you and will genuinely and justifiably like you less.
4. Always praise your salespeople in public. Praise is power. Sound your praises, when appropriate, at sales meetings and other assemblies.
5. Encourage your team members to communicate, and listen to them. This is simply good human relations. If your team members believe their voices are valuable and their opinions are honored, they will stay with you longer and work harder while they're there.
6. Build on the positives. Always stress the positive as peers of the team; don't dwell on the negatives. As a trainer and coach to thousands of agents and managers throughout North America, I was occasionally asked by agents to spend some time teaching managers to refrain from putting them down. There is a time for criticism, but it should be kept to a minimum. Build on the positive aspects of the team, and many of the negative points should disappear. If your team members continually warrant severe criticism, despite your sincere efforts to reinforce them positively, then perhaps you should stop criticizing and find yourself another team.
7. You are a leader, not a cheerleader. Cheerleaders don't play; they just cheer. Managers are like coaches; they're part of the game because they direct. Be a good coach and direct your team in a positive fashion. Encourage them to be enthusiastic and more positive, and explain to them how this will produce results. Encourage them to use any sales tools that the company provides, again for results, not because you or the company owner ordered them to use them.
8. Always make clear your expectations and ultimatums. In any relationship, be it salesperson-manager, husband-wife, friend-friend, the number one flaw, the reason that the relationship comes to pieces (if not to blows} is because neither party ever detailed their expectations and ultimatums. If a couple, before marrying, would sit down and discuss each other's do's and don'ts and elicit mutual promises not to violate each other's agreed upon code, the divorce rate would be drastically reduced.
9. Direct your salespeople's activity and inspect their results. Salespeople are likely to do what you inspect, rather than what you expect. Don't offer direction if you won't offer inspection, and the same applies in reverse: Don't inspect if you don't direct. You have no right to criticize anyone after an inspection if you didn’t offer direction in the first place.
10. You have a team, not a staff. Refer to your sales force as a team, rather than a staff. A staff implies a group of people acting as assistants to a person of a higher position. A team implies a group of people associated together in the pursuit of a common cause. It seems like such a little thing at best, but it’s the little things that will undo you in the end.
Did you that Floyd Wickman Coaching not only works with agents, but we are the go-to company for managers and team leaders who need support, skills and encouragement for leading agents to success. Want to learn more? Schedule a FREE consultation at:
No hard selling, no fluff. Just the facts.
It's time to leave mediocrity behind, and go for greatness!