She’s highly assertive, exceedingly convincing, always taking charge of situations (even when it’s not her job), and a natural closer. She just can’t help building a case for what she believes in and she relishes the opportunity to change people’s minds so they finally see things her way.
There’s no doubt about it – she loves to sell! And she’s really good at it.
Don’t you wish you could take just a little bit of that persuasiveness and “get it done” attitude and sprinkle it on all of the other sellers on your team? If only it were that easy! The talent of Command that is behind this innate sales ability is one of innate qualities that separate the “best” from “the rest” in sales, and although you can coach someone who has it, you can’t give it to someone who doesn’t.
Command is pretty magical to watch – especially when combined with people skills. The seller blessed with this strength mixture has a good sense for how others are feeling and easily picks up on their buying signals. Her strong sense of urgency keeps the process steadily moving forward, which allows her to continually help people make difficult decisions, and overcome any objections that might get in the way. She builds trust and makes things happen.
So, how do you manage this take-charge leader who has a mind of her own?
Here are a few ideas that may help:
Respect her opinion and hear her out – even when you don’t agree.
Match her Command with your own. Don’t beat around the bush — if you have something to say, say it. And be prepared to answer pointed questions and provide the additional information she will want.
Don’t misread her need for answers as disrespect. Understand that she is self-directed and will want to know why decisions have been made. Come prepared with information – or better yet – include her in some of the planning. Getting her buy-in will always help!
Ask for her help in selling your ideas and plans inside the office.
Give her tough accounts that could use someone to take the reins and turn things around. Challenge her to tackle previous customers that you have lost and see if she can earn their business back.
Provide her with additional training in negotiation to maximize her talent and hone her craft.
Let her lead. Consider giving her opportunities to showcase her talents, run a segment of the sales meeting, or demonstrate successful selling to new hires.
Command doesn’t exist in a silo of course.
Take two people with intense Command – one who is a “people person” and one who is abrasive and you will get two very different outcomes. You will always need to consider the whole person when building a coaching plan – keeping in mind all of their strengths and their weaknesses.
Once you have a good understanding of the full picture, consider making a list of three things you should always do and three things you should never do when managing that seller.
Most importantly, remember that their talents won’t change
– so your coaching has to.
This is the third in an 8-part talent development series!
Learn about that seller who loves to work, moves at high speed, and crams more in her day than anyone else
Learn about the seller who is buttoned up, loves perfection, but can spend too much time organizing and preparing
Beth Sunshine is VP/Talent Services for the Center for Sales Strategy