In the Spotlight – 9 Decisions that Define Your Leadership
The lifeblood of all businesses stems from our sales. But what do you do when your business is in a state of hibernation or the product or service you offer is at risk of becoming a ‘nice to have’ verses a ‘need to have’ one? In times of crisis we look to top experts to lead and offer us some sage advice.
I’ve reached out to my ‘go to’ sales expert, Mark Hunter, known as The Sales Hunter to seek his insights on what you can do today as business leaders (yes, that includes SMEs and entrepreneurs too) to support your sales teams and to keep momentum within your organization or small business.
Today’s In the Spotlight, Mark shares 9 decisions that will define your leadership.
Mark’s spotlight comments:
If you are over the age of 30, you have lived through 9/11, the financial crisis, Ebola, SARS, MERS, the “great recession” and many other events that, at the time, all seemed earth shattering and life-changing. But something amazing happened with each one, they ended— nobody expected it. We learned a tremendous amount from each event that helped us to go forward. The event we find ourselves in now is no different, this too shall pass. Yes, there will be some difficult decisions to make. With each decision point we must put the long-term implications into perspective.
We have a major opportunity right now if we are willing to be the voice of calm, confidence and reason. When we make this choice, it will be amazing how we are able to connect. Whether your goal is to attract and retain customers or engage and soothe employees, a mindset shift must inform your leadership decisions.
The one charge we have all been called to do is remain calm and confident. We will get through this trial.
When the captain of a boat is in unchartered waters and facing a major storm, he relies on what he does know. The storm may be new and unexpected but the skills to navigate the storm are not unfamiliar.
You are the captain who has the experience to guide your ship either safely to harbor or out to open calm waters.
9 Tangible Mindset Decisions that Impact Your Leadership:
1. Institute check-ins. Evaluate everyone’s temperature 2x weekly. I’m not talking physical; I’m talking their mental temperature. Things are changing rapidly and the person who is optimistic one day can easily become negative and be sporting a survivalist mentality the next. Engage personally with each person, these need to be one on one conversations with each person.
2. Don’t tune out, lean in. Monitor customers closely. Rumors can spread rapidly, and it can be easy for a salesperson to get caught up in something they heard. First news is never the most accurate news— this is where you as a sales leader need to be on top of things by watching closely the industries and geographies you operate in.
3. Keep the focus on the long-term. Be careful of short-term decision making for both you as a sales leader and with requests made by customers. The quick policy changes you’re about to make can come back to haunt you should things not turn out the way you expect them to.
4. Play the long game with your planning. This means yes, we all hope things turn around in 30- 45 days, but they may not. Be prepared to have your team in this mode for 90 days or worst case even longer.
5. Do not forget employee reviews and raises. Trust me, your employees have not! You may have to adjust and do these only as a last resort. Time and space may not allow you to do the type of review you want but do let them know where you’re at with the process.
6. Develop and maintain relationships. Your employees may all be working from home, but that does not mean the break room is closed. Send them lunch, or a food item once a week. If you normally recognize birthdays in the office, make sure you still do so virtually. Your people must continue to feel the personal touch. If they don’t feel the personal touch things could get very awkward when you open the office back up.
7. Express interest and show concern. Ask each employee how everyone else in their home is doing. Let them know how your family is doing. This pandemic is personal, and we need to be open with our people.
8. Make time for personal connection. Rally the team in a group video call minimally once a day. Make it a time for each person to share the big beautiful event of the day. It might be a neat sales call, or a new sale. Celebrate daily! Do not let your team feel isolated.
9. Focus on motivation, clarity, and recognition. Studies consistently show this daily memo makes a huge impact on people in helping people feel motivated and engaged. Yes, it can be over communicating but you would much rather be blamed of over communicating than under communicating. Each morning, email your team a note with four things:
- A funny meme.
- An uplifting quote.
- The list of things you’re working on and expectations for the day.
- Recognize an employee for something awesome they did the day before.
Stay calm. Look for the ways to significantly grow your leadership skills as a manager. If we remain optimistic and look for the growth potential, we will come through this changed for the better. Reach out anytime; we are all in this together.
About Mark Hunter
Mark Hunter, known as, “The Sales Hunter,” is globally recognized for his expertise in sales leadership. He specializes in business development and guiding organizations to find and retain high-quality prospects without discounting their fee. His ability to inspire sales teams to create self-motivating and integrity driven cultures, makes Mark Hunter a highly sought-after keynote speaker, consultant and coach. Mark has taken his vision for sales leadership to more than 25 countries and 5 continents where he leads and consults with companies ranging from small startups to global giants.
He is the author of the newly released book, A Mind for Sales: Daily Habits and Practical Strategies for Sales Success. When Mark is not traversing the globe, he makes his home in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife Ann Marie, whose support he treasures. He spends his spare time visiting his grandchildren and is never too busy for daily calls with his children across the country.
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