I get a variety of answers but the right one is: The person who had the last sale normally makes the next sale, excluding the deals that were already in progress.
Salespeople get on rolls, good and bad. If a salesperson had 30 sales for the month, more than likely he had 20 of those sales in a 15-day period.
If this is a fact with your salespeople, then ask yourself why this is true. Is it the moon, the tide or some lucky clothing they are wearing? I don’t think it was any of those reasons, and I am sure you do not either.
The obvious reason is that the salesperson is pumped up by his own good fortune. He is feeling good, really good. While he is feeling this way, there is a good chance that some of the other salespeople who are on a bad roll are walking around talking to each other about how much things suck.
A manager must seize both moments. She needs to remind her top salesperson that the good vibe energy he is putting out has a lot to do with the success he is having. Remind him that when the tide turns that the surest way to bounce back the fastest is to keep up the good attitude and efforts regardless of results. Anyone can smile and feel good when things are going their way. It’s a pro who can do that when things aren’t.
The best way I found to keep salespeople from going into a long slump is to talk to them about their efforts. Possibly there is a lack of Gotta-Wanna that needs attention. Most of the time if you fix that problem, you will shorten many slumps.
If it is their lack of Gotta-Wanna that is affecting their attitude and sales, it will normally show up in their efforts and body language. Their balloon has lost it zing and is now hovering just above bottom.
Note: Being able to pump fresh air into salespeople is a major key to maintaining a successful sales department. All I ask from the salespeople is to be honest. If you can get them to talk about the fact that their efforts have been lacking, there is a good chance you will see the change in them very soon. It is one thing to be told something; it is another thing to discover it on your own. The next step is to come together with a solution to get the ball rolling.
Once they have discovered their faults, challenge them to go out and prove that the solution you came up with works. Tell them you know they can do it. Then watch what happens, and get ready to give a deserved pat on the back in the near future.
If their efforts have been at or above standard but their results have not been, then they need that deserved pat on the back. They need to know you appreciate them for their efforts and remind them that you think of them as a pro, that they are the kind of person who takes their swings even against a tough pitcher. Let them know the truth, that you are proud of them and that you are confident that the ball will soon bounce their way.
This is the ninth part in a series of blogs about hiring new salespeople. To read the previous blogs in this series, click here.
Steve Lemco is the youngest brother of the late Ed Lemco and has been doing sales training and hiring for motorcycle dealers since 1983. He is the author of three sales books, the new “Training and Hiring New Salespeople,” “Motorcycle Sales Made Easy” and “You Gotta-Wanna.” Steve has trained in every state in the U.S., as well as England, France, Australia and New Zealand. Steve incorporates motivational boards and games along with his training and hiring because he believes the best way to get the job done is to make it fun.