Leadership: Your Team Is a Reflection Of You

Team

For all leaders, everywhere

I recently had an impromptu conversation with one of my favorite leaders. She was talking, with frustration, about a couple of people on her leadership team who had not produced their most important deliverables for this time, this year.

As I listened intently, I asked myself – what is in the way of this happening? Where are the obstacles – tangible or intangible? I asked her if I could ask a couple of questions, which she agreed to – after a deep sigh. I asked if the actions/results that were expected were clear and understood – she said yes. I asked if there was an agreed upon deadline and milestones to achievement – she asked what I meant by that. I said, “Like a project manager, are there incremental deadlines/results that when achieved in a timeline, will likely produce the desired result by the agreed-upon deadline?” She said yes and no. I asked for more.

She said that there were but those milestones had not been met. I asked if she had on HER calendar a delivery date and time from that person. She said no. I asked why not? She said she didn’t think that had to happen, that she shouldn’t have to micromanage her leaders. I said I understand…and they have yet to produce the results….so this process to not micromanage your leaders is ineffective…would you agree? She said yes.

This is a very typical leadership conversation. Leaders who expect their reports to be able to deliver as agreed, and yet they are not delivering. AND they don’t want to have them believe that they don’t trust them, so they don’t put tighter timelines/actions in place and follow up immediately if that timeline has been missed – when evidence has shown that they need those the most.

Keep your team close until they demonstrate their ability to deliver with reliability and to a time frame. YOUR inability as a leader to hold them to their word and actions and timeframe says more about you than it does about them. Help them to win and to build the skills and structures to do that consistently before you let them loose.

Now, go help them to sell something.

Jody

Jody Smiling Photo copy

High Impact Actions

For sales leaders, everywhere

Many retailers use statistics to measure performance and results, and there are some constants that all retailers measure: Traffic, close ratio, average sale.  All are measurable, all matter, and all have specific actions to increase them.

There are retailers who add another statistic – sales per guest/dollars per opportunity/performance index. Whatever you call it, they all measure the same thing: Total revenue divided by total traffic. It is a combination of close ratio and average sale. It indicates how much every opportunity is worth to each salesperson based on what they do with it, and how well the store is doing. Since it’s a number that measures more than one thing, I have often worked with retailers to lean one way and develop a strategy toward either improving close ratio OR average sale.

Recently, I was working on a seminar for Furniture Row and thinking about this statistic close ration einstein again, and asked myself “Are there actions that improve both close ratio and average sale that would definitely increase performance index?” And yes, there are three: Sketch the room, make appointments to close, use financing for purchases.

As sales leaders, you want to direct your teams to the actions that will get the highest impact AND, since you can’t watch and focus on everything, you and your team members need to reliably and consistently execute the actions that get the biggest return. These do that. Take a look at your team and YOUR actions to direct these three actions and dial up the visibility and accountability.

And if you need help with this, call me. 877-663-9663.

Now, go help your team to sell something.

oxo,

Jody

Jody Smiling Photo copy

What do we really think about “Just Browsers”?

For showroom sales professionals, everywhere

 In a recent coaching call I was startled by the simple articulation of how one of the salespeople/designers viewed people who say that they are “Just browsing” and those people she’s been unable to connect with: “I think they are killing time and wasting mine.” Wow. I asked her to explain more about this…and it was more about her perspective, which unknown to her, was furthering her inability to connect with browseincoming customers.

Consider this: what do you think it takes for someone to get dressed, get in their car, and come to your showroom….instead of staying on the sofa, warm and maybe a pet or two on their lap, on their computer shopping for furniture? Do you really think that anyone would physically shop for furniture unless they absolutely had to?

How we SEE the customer isn’t about them…it’s about US. Our perspective of the customer says more about us than it does about them since WE made it up! If you want better connections with people, change YOUR mind about them and be engaging, inquisitive, helpful, friendly. When customers cross the threshold, their job ends and your job begins.

And if you are STILL struggling with your perspective or actions, call me. We can work this out.

 

Now, go sell something,

oxo,

Jody

Jody Smiling Photo copy