They aren't broken, they don't need fixing: your sales people need energy and confidence

By William Seidman Managers sometimes decide that their sales team has underperformed and needs “fixing.” There are programs to assess the various competencies of sales people along with the inevitable Rxs – training programs and other remedial courses – to “fix” sales people. But the truth is that remedial programs usually don’t work, are almost always ineffective for sales and completely ineffective for sales organizations trying to sell into a new market. Why are they ineffective? People don’t like being told they’re broken, and they don’t like being fixed. Neuroscientific studies have shown that being fixed causes a fight or flight response. The science simply says this is a poor way to improve performance. Anyone who tells a sales person that he or she needs “fixing” will fail — because the message undermines the most important attribute of a successful sales person: confidence. Sales people face rejection every day so they must have the inner strength and confidence to keep going even as they’re being rejected. A negative message from their own organization just doesn’t work. This problem grows when going into a new market. The likelihood that sales people will be rejected increases. Winning in new markets is not so much about fixing past attitudes and behaviors as having wholly new, positive attitudes, confidence and images. An organization just can’t fix itself into a new market. Instead, we work with teams to create a positive, energetic and useful image based on doing things right the first time.]]>

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