The sales world is ever changing. And, the truth is that many of us are probably guilty of paying more attention to our car's maintainance than to the "shape and condition" of the relationships that we take part in every day.
Because of how jam packed our lives are, in general, who has time to "stop" what we are doing to check in with everyone about what is working and what is not?
The old saying, "If it's not broken, don't fix it" doesn't apply to sales.
Everywhere in business, no matter what business it is, there's always room for growth and improvement. And, in many workplaces, people are less inclined to let themselves be heard, so as not to appear to be "rocking the boat". With so many employees fearing for their jobs more than ever, it's not always easy to get them to speak up about what may be on their minds.
I am not talking about annual reviews. Rather, I am proposing that managers make more of an effort to keep open lines of communication between them and their sales team. There's nothing worse than when you have members of your staff or team who feel either intimidated by their superiors, or if they feel that an "open door" policy does not exist. Of course, this does not mean that you want everyone running to you with every little problem that comes along. But it does mean that you and the company that you work for care about those who work within their walls, and you can show that caring by listening to those who either have ideas to share, or criticisms that need to be known, as well.
Arrange informal lunches every so often with your sales team to allow for "brainstorming" new ideas, or bringing to light any problems that may have presented themselves along the way. Do not wait for a formal "business meeting" for people to talk. This is not always a situation that will encourage them to say the things that they want, so be sure to provide them with just such an avenue.
Open lines of communication are critical for every relationship to work, and therefore are a "must" in sales.
Never underestimate the power of the human word. Ipads, texting, emails, etc. – all of these media are fine. However, if the person sending the message does not know how to properly communicate their words to others, the message will mean nothing.
We should never be so busy that it interferes with out ability to interact with and be available to others. Just as when you are involved in getting a sale, anticipate problems before they become too big to handle. Always let your sales people know that their voice in the company matters. And lastly, it also provides you with an opportunity to offer your advice without sounding too harsh, as well. Every good conversation starts with good listening – dialogue vs. monologue. Make sure you always keep the balance, and you will find less surprises along the way.