At work, our Sales Managers are trying to inspire us by counting our phone calls and emailing us dumb advice that they stole from some book published during the Carter administration. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but these people are even stupider than I’d thought. After 15 years in sales, I’ve never seen anything so unmotivating as the gem that greeted us in our Inboxes this morning:
“Make calls, not excuses.
Most of what we do in sales is beyond our control. The rules are made by our customers. Our job is to work with our customers and do the best we can to make the sale. The nature of the beast is that any number of a thousand things can kill a sale (sometimes two thousand). When asked what went wrong or why we failed to get the business, we have to train ourselves to make the shortest answer possible. Excuses, no matter how valid, are not the business we are in. Our business is sales, and that means moving on to the next call without looking back. The more calls we make, the more sales we make. We know that the clock only moves in one direction. So should we. Fast forward is what we are paid for. Push that button in your head and get on with the day. The more customers you can reach each day, the more good things will fall on you. Take full credit for the wins and block the excuses out of your mind.”
Note to Sales Managers: Stop telling your reps to do what they’re already doing. They are already in Sales because they want to sell—remember, you hired them because they’re smart and self motivated. For god’s sake, if you feel you must do something, help us do our jobs! Knock down the corporate barriers and political bullshit standing in our way. Have our backs. Give us guidance when we have a tough sale or bid. Go on customer visits with us and coach us afterward. Say “yes” when we ask for a tough favor and make us look good to the higher-ups so we can all make more money. Leave us alone when things are going well—we’re fine! Don’t fix what isn’t broken. And no matter what, don’t give us advice that’s not only superficial, but out of date and demotivating. Figure out how to do what you get paid to do instead of spending your time cutting and pasting “motivational” passages from a free online coaching guide. COME ON, PEOPLE!