Does your Desk Manager’s or Manager’s body language work for the cause? Or is it counter-productive and negatively alter the confidence and self-esteem of some Salespeople?
Back in the day, when you were selling, do you remember approaching the desk with a deal?
How were you received? You immediately knew if your timing was good or not. Did the Desk Manager act as if they were excited to see you? Did the Desk Manager hang up on their Sea-Doo mechanic or did they hold up a finger (index) and physically swing in their chair to finish their important chat?
If they were on the phone, did they ask the other party to forgive them, that they had somebody important that needed quick assistance? Saying, “I’ve got to go. I’ll call you back”? Did they “shoo” the people (not working a deal) away from the desk because someone with a deal took priority over anything else?
Does the Desk Manager seize the opportunity to prove to everyone that there is nothing more important than a vehicle deal? Or does their body language say, “Dang it. Alright, come on…what do you have?”
Sure, it can be taxing to desk deal after deal, multiple deals at a time, or trying to engineer dismal stuff into viable stuff. Sometimes, Desk Managers forget what it’s like to fight those battles on the pavement. They may forget about dealing with stand-offish, distrusting, and sometimes rude customers.
(Somewhat) jokingly, we used to say newer Salespeople have to hang tough because they’re going to get beat up by everybody. Beat up by the customer, beat up at the desk and beat up at home for the long hours and uncertain income. Pardon the melodramatic rant, but try to be empathetic with their situation.
When you find the same Salespeople frequently wrestling with a lack of deal control, making little progress with the sales process, or struggling with the back-to-back “best price” customers, you have to reassess exactly what they may need.
I’m not saying to kid-glove your Salespeople, but avoid the mentality that you need to be tougher. Remember, one of your roles is to develop human beings into strong, confident sales professionals. Have they had enough quality training or do they even belong in the position? The best place to determine training needs is STILL at the desk. Now is not the time to quit on them because that would be the quick and easy thing to do.
Give some thought to the things you need to do to instill confidence in your front-line people. Starting with the very next deal that you desk:
• Make strong, helpful statements with your body language
• Smile often at the desk. It tells Salespeople this is a partnership
• Show them that you have confidence in them
• Never again shut someone down during a deal
• Don’t ever humiliate Salespeople, especially in front of others
Transfer your positive energy and watch your Salespeople transfer that same energy over to the customer. That’s what effective leaders do.
Additional employee confidence boosting material is available in the new version of the Sales Management & Leadership module of eAutotraining. I invite your call. Should you ever want to discuss other leadership strategies, I’d love to help! Feel free to contact me directly at 888.300.4629.
Richard Keeney, Co-Founder
The Mar-Kee Group
The Mar-Kee Group is the leading provider of Sales, Service & Management Training Solutions to Automotive, Boat & RV Dealerships.