by David Wuensch.

Salespeople can seem quite stubborn, can’t they?  You need more sales.  You need your salespeople to do their jobs so your company can grow. Do you ever get frustrated because it does not seem they are following your lead?

There can be multiple issues here, but as your company’s “sales manager,” one of the issues is that you are in the belief business.

You need to be able to influence your salespeople’s thinking. To do this, you need to know what your salespeople believe. If you don’t know what they believe, you won’t be able to determine if you can influence their beliefs or know how to go about influencing them.

What do you need to do?

It starts with taking time to learn and understand what they believe.

  • What do they think of themselves and their abilities?
  • Are they comfortable with the concept of trust?
  • Do they want to learn?
  • What gives them a feeling of success?
  • What do they want for themselves and think they deserve?
  • Where are they going and how can you help?
  • What are their goals in income?

You want to be able to influence their behavior to align with your goals for them.  This may require them to modify their behavior or learn something new.  In order to learn something new, they will need to admit:

  • they did not know,
  • they were wrong, or
  • decided they need new information.

Put yourself in their shoes. How easy would it be for you to do that?  What are some ways you can go about achieving this?

It starts with an initial one-on-one conversation with your salesperson to listen to them and hear what they have to say to help you know what they believe. This is a start.  Continued conversations to get to know them will also be helpful.

It is important for salespeople to complete goal-setting exercises and individual sales plans for many reasons.  A discussion with your salesperson when they complete their goal setting exercise and individual sales plan can allow you to dig deeper and better understand what they believe.  Understanding their goals will be nice to know, but understanding why they picked those goals will be more powerful. Seek the story behind the story of their goals.

When you get to know what they believe, you will better determine how you might influence them or if it is even possible.

It is not likely to influence someone to do something different if it does not line up with what they believe. You will need to deal with belief system issues in order to influence their behavior as you desire.

This is another example of, “Seek to understand before trying to be understood.”