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You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks. Or can you?

Old Dog New TricksLast week Linked-In reminded me I’ve been in business for 15 years. Here are some reflections on working with salespeople and their managers over that time.

What I’ve learned

  • The more you tell people what to do the less they do it. The trick is to lead them to their own ‘Aha’ moments
  • The sales manager has the biggest influence over how salespeople perform, not me
  • A sales team is a group of individuals who all have their own strengths, motivations and quirks

What’s changed

  • 15 years ago I was training and coaching salespeople. Now I facilitate and coach sales managers to coach their teams
  • Decisions have become collaborative so there are more people to influence and bring on board
  • Projects only happen if they fit with business strategy and have a clear reason to go ahead

What hasn’t changed

  • Focus on forecast and quarter-end pressure
  • If a deal goes belly up, 9 times out of 10 a salesperson hasn’t established the value to the customer
  • The best salespeople explore and qualify the opportunity to do business – they’re as comfortable challenging and saying No as they are saying Yes

What’s amazing

  • The most common comment from senior people is “…that was a really useful workshop Jim. I’ve learned to listen again!”
  • Last year I worked in 15 different countries
  • I’m 55 years old and it feels like I have the best job in the world

A big thanks to you all. Bring on the next 15 years.

Love Selling : Love Coaching