As a Sales Manager You Are Always on Stage

Because you are the boss your salespeople watch and interpret your every move.

Jeb Blount
January 10, 2011

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Just like that, one after the other, Bob’s salespeople interpreted Bob’s actions based on their own particular circumstance. This in turn impacted that day’s sales performance and the teams respect and loyalty for Bob.

You Do Not Have The Luxury of Acting Naturally

At this point you may be thinking to yourself, “I’m human like everyone else and I can’t be a robot.” Why shouldn’t I be able to act naturally around my salespeople?”

As a Sales Manager, if your salespeople are successful then you will be successful. Therefore, anything you do that negatively impacts their success it hurts you. Being yourself – is self-destructive because it impedes the ability to lead, coach, develop and motivate your team. You simply do not have the luxury of being yourself.

Think about it this way. You go to Broadway to see the latest musical. You pay $100 a piece for your tickets. With anticipation you take your seats in the theater. The curtain goes up and one of the cast members walks out on to the stage and says, “Hi everyone. Tonight we are going to cut things a little short. We’ve already done the show twice today and frankly we are just a little tired. I realize that we aren’t going to be as good as what you expected but boy you should have seen us in the first show today, we were amazing.”

What would you do? Probably boo the actor and ask for your money back. Why? These are professional actors and you like, everyone else in the theater, expect to see the same great performance that other audiences enjoyed. There is no difference in sales leadership. You are a professional and your salespeople expect and deserve a manager whose behavior is consistent. As a sales manager who has been riding with reps you can’t say to the last sales person you work with that week, “I sorry Alice but this is the fourth ride along I’ve been on this week. I’m a little tired and behind on some of my work so I’m going to spend most of the day talking on my cell phone and doing paper work and if it is ok with you I want to get dropped off back at the office early. I’m a really good sales coach though and earlier this week I had a great ride along with Joe. Ask Joe about the tips and advice I gave him.”