Introduction:

To be an effective sales manager, you have to know who you are. While this can be based on self-confidence alone it should also include knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and everything in between. Because without having a good understanding of who you are, how are you supposed to help someone else? Today on The Funnel we discuss the importance of knowing who you are to be an effective sales manager. As always if you have any questions feel free to schedule a free 30-minute consultation and I’ll do my best to help in any way I can.

 

What we’re going to cover:

  • Who are you?
  • The good the bad and the ugly
  • Why is this important?
  • Relieve the burden

 

 

 

Who are you?

 

Self-assured and confident

“Often managers put this vibe out there on who they are as self-assured and confident. And they project that vibe when they speak to their salespeople or team. Or sometimes they are that person that is put together, the person that shows up on time, Starbucks in hand looking good and refreshed, ready for the day. Is that who you are? Who are you?”

 

Self-doubt?

“But, even if you’re confident, the truth is that we all have some anxiety and self-doubt that lives inside of us, were not immune to that.”

 

Grade school moments

“Sometimes it takes us back to our grade school moments, the moments in time when things happen to us that stay with us for the rest of our lives, whether that be bullying or being made fun of, whatever it is, those moments create some anxiety within us.”

 

Do you hide your vulnerabilities?

“Do you hide those vulnerabilities about yourself, those things you don’t want people to know? Maybe that exposure might make you feel uncomfortable.”

 

What does it mean when you say who are you?

“You have to be comfortable in your own skin, you have to be comfortable with yourself. To be a good manager you do have to have some confidence, you have to be together, but you can’t put out that façade.”
 

Example:

“I had a guy I worked with years ago at my company and he talked about the “bucket” being full, i.e. your energy level. Think about the things you like to do the most, you have a tremendous amount of energy doing those things because you love it. Now think about the thing you hate the most, it seems to drag on forever and when it’s finally over you’re exhausted. Why? Because it’s taking every bit of energy you have inside of you to present the façade that you’re focused and paying attention.”

 

“Are you doing that as a manager? Have you created a persona that’s not you? That’s hard to do day in and day out! To be a good manager you have to get past that.”

 

The good the bad and the ugly

 

Accept yourself

“Accept yourself for who you are not only as a sales manager but as a general person. Are you the same person when you walk in the front door of your house as you are when you walk in the front door of your business?”

 

Face your faults

“So, accept yourself and that means facing your own faults.”
 

Example:

“I have severe dyslexia, meaning, it’s a problem for me and I have to work through that. It’s difficult for me to write because of dyslexia and I faced tremendous hurdles in our education system because of it, because it wasn’t built for people like me.

Now, this has affected me in many ways but I face that fault, I don’t hide it from people anymore. In fact, I think having dyslexia has given me some creative powers that help me solve problems because I’ve been forced to look at the world differently than everyone else, I’ve been forced to manage my issues and my problems differently. That’s what accepting your faults is all about.”

 

Own the power

“When I’m managing people I let them know this is an issue that I have, I let them know the things that could affect me, affect the work, and that it’s not a big deal, I own the power.”

Empowerment. You don’t want to give that vulnerability up. “If somebody finds out I have dyslexia it’s a problem”, no I don’t want to be in that world of concealment, hiding those issues that potentially affect how I do my job because it creates a sense of vulnerability.”

“The point here is, empower yourself by being vulnerable and letting people know that those are issues”

 

 Why is this important?

“Because a good leader has flaws, they accept themselves for who they are.”
 

You have more to offer

“It means you have more to offer because you’re honest and open about yourself. Because all of that wisdom that you’re providing your salespeople comes from experience”
 

Example:

“I have a good knack for reading situations. I can go into a situation and tell people what’s going to happen before it happens. Now, I don’t know how, but I think a lot of it has to do with my dyslexia, I strategically think differently than other folks as a direct result of that problem. In other words, it puts me in a position where I have more to offer.”

 

Empathy

“My wisdom comes from my experiences, some of them good, some of them bad, some of them ugly. I can provide additional value from those experiences and I can empathize with their problems when there is something going on with them.”

 

Be You

“By being you, you become a better leader. When you put on a persona that you’re somebody else and you try to pretend that nothing ever bothers you, you’re not being real and you’re not able to provide the kind of leadership that’s necessary.”

“Once you open that honesty up you can offer way more to people. I’m not going to ask you to tell everything that’s wrong with you, but the things that affect their job, how you act, and how you interact, they deserve to know that. Being you requires a lot less energy than being somebody else.”

 

Relieve the burden

“Stop being someone else, empower yourself, drop the inauthenticity. If you can put yourself in a position where you’re more authentic and you drop the façade, you’re going to be a more effective manager.

 

Look behind the emotion.

“Being more authentic doesn’t mean start crying in the middle of a meeting but as a manager, you need to look at what’s causing that emotion. There could be people who pound their fist on a table versus people who cry, they’re really in an emotional state over something similar but they’re expressing it differently.

 

Understand yourself 

“I can empathize with reps based on the things I’ve been through, how I manage those situations, and how we can get through that. In a sales situation with the prospect, it helps you read the room, helps you understand each and every person’s pain point. You walk in that prospects shoes, the position they play in this sales opportunity, the problems that they’re having not only externally but internally, and it changes everything.

“So, it’s not just dealing in a leadership role with your reps, it’s also understanding prospects and teaching your reps how to understand themselves so they can understand the prospect.”
 

Keep Filling The Funnel

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover.  You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at jshea@alignment-group.com.  And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.

 

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