Joe the Sales Manager Rule #1

By Steven A. Rosen
I have decided to write a series of Blogs on a sales manager named Joe. Joe is a district sales manager who could work in any industry and for any company. There are many of Joe’s in all companies. Joe is just a shade away from being a great manager. But until he truly understands the fundamentals of changing behavior, he will be an average Joe at best.

Joe is one of the members of a group learning session that I give to sales managers who have taken my course.

As part of the coaching process, I ask for feedback from managers. I question how well they apply the concepts that they had learned and if they see the benefits of the training.

Based on their feedback, I was feeling really good. I gave myself a high five and a couple of pats on the back. Way to go, dude, you are really making an impact with these guys!

We were working through real-life examples when… Joe gave a recount of one of his successful coaching sessions.

It went something like this: “In my last field visit with one of my reps, I gave her feedback on her closing skills. I then began to give her a couple of things she should work on and noted it on her field visit report”.

Ok so far so good. There is verbal and written feedback…

The group thought that Joe did all the right things, he observed, asked questions, and gave written and verbal feedback to close off the day with his rep. As I reflected on Joe’s example, I thought to myself… what is the likelihood that the next time Joe works with this rep that she would have taken this coaching session to heart and diligently worked on her closing skills?

Based on my son’s grade, four understanding of probability…he would say to me, “highly unlikely dad.”

The reason why I say that, is that Joe needs to make a fundamental mindset shift in his coaching to become a great coach. That mindset shift relates to the fundamental rule below:

Rule #1: Unless there are self-awareness and recognition that there is a need to change… the likelihood of change is remote.

Dear Joe,

I think you did an excellent job on your last field visit. However, your rep did not have the guts to tell you that she didn’t buy into what you were saying. You would have been much more impactful if you asked her to determine what area she needed to work on and let her tell you what she intends to do between now and your next field visit.

Don’t expect to see any improvement in her closing skills on your next field visit.

Your coach,

Stay tuned for more on the adventures of Joe.