There is an important question that owners and sales manager’s in a successful contracting business ask themselves before engaging in training, coaching or accountability activities.
Here is that question…
“Do I have the right person?”
The difference between mediocre and champion caliber sales managers lies in their willingness to ask this question of every employee, themselves included at any time. The mediocre manager falls in love with the personality of the people they manage and assumes things will turn around eventually.
The winning manager never assumes that the person who they manage hasn’t changed to the point where they might not be a fit with the team any longer. In essence they are asking if the employee is capable of performing the skills and techniques that make up their sales system. Furthermore, if they do have those skills are they willing to take action by using them with a potential buyer?
When should sales managers start to recruit and hire new salespeople? You should always be looking for new winning players to add to their team. Only the mediocre or poor sales manager begins to look for top performers after a sales person quits or is fired. In any sales team there are perennial strugglers who never seem to get over the hump. The job of a winning sales manager is to continually take a hard look at their people and continually look for the best possible sales person to put on the team.
No Pressure, No Sales
You may think that you will lose sales people if you put too much pressure on them to meet their goals. The top managers are not afraid of excellence. In fact they expect it from every member of their team and challenge them every day. There are those that respond to this slight pressure by concentrating more and those who quit under pressure. Who do you want in front of your buyer during a tough negotiation?
The internal pressure exerted on the team is the energy that pushes people to compete. Without this pressure, the results are poor, nothing would ever change. Sales people tend to find an economic comfort zone and turn poor performance into a routine. Basically this means that no matter what goals you set for your people, they will adjust their lifestyle to match their income and continue to under-perform unless the sales manager challenges the status quo.
What Are We Looking For?
When hiring your winning team, you must look for the “markers” that are the make-up of heavy hitters. Here is a list of the “16 DNA markers” that the winning manager uses to evaluate new or existing talent on the sales force. Under each marker is a question that can be asked to reveal if the current or potential sales person is in alignment with them.
1. Has Concrete Goals
a. What income do you want to make yearly?
b. How will your lifestyle change 5 years from now if you did earn more?
2. Has a Sales System
a. What is your game plan for your first visit with a buyer?
b. What questions would you ask them?
3. Takes Responsibility For Results
a. When you lose a sale what is usually the reason?
b. How does the economy affect your ability to sell?
4. High Self Confidence
a. Why should I hire you/
b. Why do you want this job?
5. Stays Detached
a. How do you feel when your price is higher than competitors?
b. At what point do you give up on a sale?
6. Emotionally Balanced
a. How many relationships have you maintained with your friends?
b. Are your solutions weighted more towards technical engineering or people?
7. Responds To Rejection
a. How do you feel when a customer tells you no?
b. How do you respond to common “think it over” objections?
8. Money/Value Belief
a. How do you purchase things for your family
b. How do you feel about someone who spends more for something?
9. Not Sold On Objections
a. How do handle price objections?
b. Do you think that a “think it over” objection is valid?
10. Works On Referrals
a. What percentage of sales leads do expect yourself to bring in?
b. How do you ask people for referrals?
11. Sells To The Right People
a. When do you decide to make a presentation?
b. Will you present solutions if decision makers are not present?
12. Good Listener
a. What percentage of your call is talking and selling versus asking questions?
b. What percentage of the call should you spend talking?
13. Connects With Buyer
a. What is essential to learn about the buyer before making solutions?
b. How does the ability to connect with buyers impact their solutions?