Do You Lead By Example?

Posted on: January 31, 2011

I’m hearing more and more these days how management positions are no longer just strictly management roles.  Managers now play a bigger role in sales than ever before and are expected to carry a book of business and manage a sales team at the same time.  It makes sense – you need to be a leader and lead by example.

In my management career, I have always enjoyed being out in the field.  How else do you know what objections your sales team is facing if you’re not out there doing the same thing?  I think this is a critical role for managers to play, especially in our new economy.  So much has changed and “back when I was in sales” is no longer an effective way of managing.

Salespeople want to know their manager’s understand what they are going through and if you’re not going through the same situations or coming across the same challenges, you can’t possibly know what type of direction they need.  I’ve always taken the approach of talking to my sales team in order get their ideas on how to handle new challenging situations.  If you’re just sitting back spewing out advice or directives, you distance yourself from the same team you’re trying to keep motivated.

Have regular meetings and tell them about situations you’ve recently experienced and let them come up with ideas and solutions to some of those challenging situations.  No matter what position you are in or how long you’ve been in it, you can always learn something new from others.  Taking this approach will also allow you to see how effective certain members of your team can be and the type of things they can come up with that you may not have even considered. 

In many cases, it can actually take you back to the basics and regroup to be more effective.  Imagine if you went on a joint sales call with one of your salespeople and you used one of their ideas.  Motivating works both ways in this respect and helps build a team that will truly work with you if they feel you listened to their ideas.

So go out there and lead by example by showing them you are part of their team!  Happy Sales to you!


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