Thursday, 6 July
Today's Topic
Manager Relations

Skill

It would be idyllic if your sales manager looked you in the eye and proclaimed, "I work for you." And then did it. There are ways to get there, and they’re easier than you think.

Does your nervous tick flare up when you get a "call me" text from your sales manager? (Completely understandable.)

Generally, sales managers want the best for their sellers. If you feel your sales manager is in the minority, there are some things you can do about that.

No matter the industry, business type, or company size, sales managers are under immense pressure and have most likely not received training to support you the way you need. (But hey, no excuses, right?)

Even though your manager can’t read your mind, you must help them by telling them what’s on your mind. As you know, how you present yourself – and mind – is key.

In many companies, today’s sales manager is yesterday’s top seller. That’s neither a good thing nor a bad thing…it’s a thing. As you realize, it explains why you’re not getting all you need from your manager. (Most sellers feel their managers don’t support them as much as they need.)

A strong sales manager can help sellers in many areas, here are a few: problem-solving, proposal development, internal obstruction removal, and skills training. What about emotional support? (Do you get enough "atta boys" / "atta girls?")

However you feel about your manager, you’ll feel better when you establish a level of understanding and trust with each other. The key to that, of course, is open and frequent communication. It is likely your manager won’t be the one who takes the first step, so you might have to pursue higher communication.

The ultimate form of higher communication happens over lunch. That’s right…go grab a BLT or Caesar salad in a restaurant with table service. That’s the best setting for the conversations you must have with her/him. Whether or not your manager possesses the tools to help, you can help her/him learn those tools. You are just as qualified as the CEO to train your sales manager. In many ways, more so.

Do

Your manager can be a good consultant when needed. And like consultants, they’ll frequently ask for your opinions and solution recommendations for your challenges.

Whadya say about getting a lunch date with your manager so you can quietly and safely talk? You can best explore real and sticky issues over tablecloth meals. (No Chipotle….too fast, too busy.)

Focus on one or two issues that require your manager’s insight. It could be about compensation, revenue goal tracking, an internal communication issue with someone on the team….or specific help on a skill you are developing.

If all goes well – who knows – you may graduate to regular Chipotle runs. Those are the best venue types for chats about compensation for reasons you may not have considered.

Unfortunately, the modern-day sales management job has become more of a firefighter role than that of a consultant. Still, going to lunch with your manager is an opportune time to access the consultant side of your sales manager.

Most sales managers are good consultants, which means you should be prepared for questions coming back at you. The best managers start with a standard, excellent default question, "…so, what do YOU think is the best solution for what you just described?"

That question leads to the best of what you can bring to the table (literally the lunch table). Two smart people exchanging ideas and potential solutions. But it requires you to be prepared with an answer to that question!

Whether your topic is about everyday issues, like resolving a personal conflict on the team, it goes without saying you’ll deliver the facts and emotion, and drama to a bare minimum. The same goes if you’re talking about something personal, like compensation. Either way, your manager will be eager to hear your solutions and the thinking behind them.

Even if you have a strong rapport with your manager, you know each meeting can have a different color. Whether it’s an in-office one-on-one or you’re out at lunch, it doesn’t matter. This is why you know you have to be prepared, be focused, do your homework, present facts, and bring a few solutions, including rationalization. You can’t help but grow your rapport with your manager when you do those things.

Tomorrow - June 25

Did your competitor have a good Q2?

Today - June 24

"I thought that buyer LOVED me."

Read More

June 22 - 23

Mindfulness/Self-care

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June 21

On this day, Jaws appeared in theaters

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"If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything." -John Wooden

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