It’s Tuesday afternoon… and if you’re in one of our Breakthrough Programmes you may have been on the teleconference with John today..
If not.. this is your first communication with Blue Rocket today..
Either way.. today is a cause for celebration.. another interest rate cut..but the market still drops… I just checked the headlines on www.igoogle.com and decided my brain shouldn’t be clouded with a combination of market results and Chris and Rhianna..blah… blah..
In the past week working with clients in all types of industries, as usual, I gain tremendous insights into myself, people, business and success.. and I wanted to share these lessons with you..
THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES
One of my clients just yesterday showed me a magazine article highlighting how in the very same industry, one supplier is closing down stores, while another is opening 17 more stores..
How another supplier is closing a factory, while a direct competitor is starting a whole new division in the very same product line as the one closing down..
The Recession is often in the minds of the people making the decision.. and is cleaning out those performers who have poor internal systems, strategies and cultures.
JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman and several other retailers will gain market share in this economy, while others will fall away.
Make a conscious decision that you are in the group gaining market share..
SALES MANAGEMENT CRITICAL NOW
The pressure really is on Sales Managers now..
As prospects try to sit on their chequebooks in fear of the future, sales professionals have to provide more compelling, risk free offers to get the business.
People are still using mobile phones, still driving cars, still eating, still taking holidays, still going to the gym, etc, etc, some sections of some industries are even expanding budgets (eg see http://www.appliancemagazine.com/blog/ as an example…
“Farrugia said that, despite the economic climate:
- 21% of manufacturers report their equipment budgets have increased
- 25% have seen no change
- 18% report only a slight decrease.
The number of manufacturers reporting that intend to buy equipment at the trade show is also up slightly over previous years. The survey indicated that interest in the purchase of cutting tools, measurement and inspection technology, and machining centers is significantly higher in 2009.
The point is, Sales Managers need to point their teams in the direction of ‘where the money is..’, then set clear activity plans and targets to ‘extract that money from that market segment’.
Sales teams need both clear direction and motivational support in these tough times…just letting people go out and aimlessly prospect without clear, realistic plans is a sure fire way to burn the team out, lose good people, and fall short on sales budgets..
We will write more about Sales Management in the next few issues… If you’d like more info or coaching on it now hit reply and write ‘Sales Management’ in the subject line.
THE FIRST 90 DAYS
One of my clients has just recruited 3 new people to the team..
The price has gone up, the quality had gone up, and so has the pressure to make sure these new members deliver an ROI as quickly as possible.
That means getting really clear about what is expected, really fast.
1. Team rules and expectations
2. Activity targets
4. Prospecting plans
5. Positioning plans
6. Shadowing/ mentoring/ coaching…all need to be fast tracked.. and executed to perfection…
Even more pressure on the Sales Manager as coach, leader, inductor and mentor..
The first 90 days (or even 7 days) will either set the new sales professionals up for success or failure..make sure you get it right.
If you want some help or coaching on this hit reply and say CONTACT ME in the Subject line.
LEADERSHIP IS ACCOUNTABILITY
Finally, with one of my clients, the team had not reached potential..
In a nutshell… average to poor Sales Management..
The assumption – that the team could manage themselves..
These people are good people… but they are employees.. with families, on wages..
Like most people, they do their best… but they are not going to kill themselves to get results if:
1. the results they are expected to get are not clear
2. there is little or no leadership or support to help them get there
3. there is no fun, challenge, excitement, play, joy, pressure… to do extra-ordinary things..
4. There is no accountability for results that are not achieved….
Ask questions like:
1. What are you doing?
2. What are you not doing?
3. What can I do to help you?
4. What have you done different in the last 30 days to improve your numbers?
And if behaviour is continually unacceptable, you must let the person go… for your benefit and theirs..
‘3 strikes and you’re out’ is a powerful but important leadership principle…and it takes courage to implement it..
As one of my mentors said to me once…’You are not the Salvation Army… You are in business to hit targets and budgets.. or you’re ripping off your family..’
THE HIGH JUMP BAR
People will only jump as high as the high jump bar is set…. They won’t jump 2 metres if the bar is set at 6 inches…
and they can’t jump two metres if they are not coached in the technique that allows them to jump 2 metres..
We were watching the Recruiting scene from the movie “Boiler Room” the other day.. and the question
“What is possible? and What is expected?” were asked..
Make sure as a leader you let people know ‘what is possible… and what is expected…’
ENOUGH OF ME
Enough of me… time to go…got to take James to tennis training..
My final message to you (and myself) ‘No need to panic… only a need to attack, lead and celebrate your progress..’
See you soon..
PS: If you’re in or near Canberra check out this link – its Suzette Bailey, seminar organisor in the ACT interviewing me about the upcoming “Recession Busting” Seminar we are doing in Canberra in May.