A Rose by Any Other Name

When you talk about the current state of your business with your staff, what terms do you use?  Do you say “Business is off?”  “Business is suffering” or even more bluntly, “Business sucks”?

None of these ambiguous statements does anything to begin to change the situation.   Much like with 12 step programs, recovery begins with admitting you have a problem.

Try putting it this way to your team: “Our sales are off, how do you think we might make up the difference?”  “Our sales are suffering, what can we do to reach more customers?”  “Sales suck.  Let’s find ways to change that.”

We often use vague terms in an effort to soften the blow however what we do is also provide “cover” for anyone not giving 110%If your sales are off, talk to your team about what each and every one of them – not just the sales people – can do to correct the problem.

Here are some ideas of ways to increase the focus on sales.    First, stop having “Staff Meetings” and start having “Sales Meetings”. Give them facts, how far off are sales from last year?  How are sales year-to-date?  How big is the gap you need to make up?

Next, talk about ways to address the gap. Call on peak performers to share “Best Practices”  – ask them to tell the others what they do and how they do it.  Talk about every aspect of the sales process from greeting to qualifying to presentation to close and follow up.

Look at under performing categories and ask your team for ideas on ways to emphasize these areas.   Send emails at the end of each week to update the team on sales totals to help keep them on track.

People do what we inspect – not necessarily what we expect.  Your targeted emphasis on sales will increase the team’s focus on making sales putting your bottom line on the way to recovery.


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