Measuring desire in a salesperson is a question that I have tossed and turned about many times over the years. Before making an investment in a potential sales rep, what characteristics should managers consider? I received the following email regarding attendance at next months NAB-RAB Radio Show. Put yourself in the sales managers position and decide whether or not to take Cindy to the conference.
I know for sure that our top rep Tim and I will be going to Dallas for the Radio Show, but our GM Jeff wants me to also consider taking our newest rep Cindy. He wants her to go because he feels that the conference will provide her with a much needed boost of enthusiasm for her job. She has been selling for ten months at the stations. She was previously a part-time jock. We gave her some sales training, and she did quite well initially.
Unfortunately, Cindy is still maturing. She views her sales position as a job, not a career. Her sales peaked early, but have fallen off. She doesnt involve herself in community functions or do any networking. When I ask her what she wants to do with her life, she says that she wants to go back to school for a PR degree. Earlier this month and behind budget, she asked for time off to help a friend in Milwaukee. She told me she would make goal this month. I trusted her, and guess what? She will miss her goal.
I have coached her in the field and provided much training, but she seems to take one step forward and two steps backwards. I know that my general manager wants me to make the investment and send her to the conference. I dont want to reward non-performance. If I dont send her, I feel that I am trying to motivate her with a negative. Do I send her and hope she gets charged up, or do I keep her here?
Dear Snowed Under:
Please review the Sales Reps Must Do List included below, then decide whether or not to send Cindy to the conference.
In my opinion, point number 12 seems to separate those who will be in this business five years from now, and those who will not be here. Before investing more money in Cindy, I would make sure that she wants a career in radio sales. Maybe one of the most helpful things that you can do is to encourage Cindy in her personal goal of going back to school. Truly caring for people is one of the characteristics of top leaders. I would let the sand sift to the bottom on this issue and keep her home. I am sorry to diminish the coffers of the NAB and RAB, but this is a pointless expense until Cindy decides whether sales is a career or a job. When was the last time you let someone go to pursue their passion? If it is best for them, it is best for you!
THE SALES REPS MUST DO LIST
1) Arrive at work on time.
2) Do what needs to be done whether you want to or not.
3) Read good business books and be informed of all facets of the business. Always be learning new things.
4) Help others in the sales department and be a team player.
5) Be goal-oriented and focused.
6) Be prompt and give consistent service and follow-up to customers.
7) Invest in a wardrobe and have professional etiquette.
8) Have a whatever it takes attitude.
9) Be trustworthy and credible.
10) Be enthusiastic.
11) Be tenaciousnever stop trying.
12) Have a life plan. Make this a career!
Sean Luce is the Head International Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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