Sales Leadership – How Our Fear Influences Our Outcomes

Posted by Chris Mott on Mon, Sep 27, 2010 @ 16:09 PM


Last week I had the great fortune of being a participant in an excellent training program. The experience got me thinking about a sales leader’s ability to execute the correct strategies on a consistent basis.

You may have heard the term “the four deadly fears”. They are:

  • I fear failure: I need to succeed
    • Not taking real risks
    • Choosing the easy route
  • I fear being wrong: I need to be right
    • Avoiding situations where you might not know the answers
    • Never admitting that you made a mistake or that your were wrong
  • I fear rejection: I need to be accepted
    • Settling for less instead of risking rejection
    • Not speaking up
  • I fear being emotionally uncomfortable: I need to be comfortable
    • Only focusing on things you are an expert in
    • Not being vulnerable 

The question is not whether these affect us, but how?  If you want to raise the bar, consider how your emotions affect your behavior when managing your salespeople:


  • Won’t allow salespeople to experience mini-failures
  • Will carry too much of the load ourselves
  • May allow salespeople to chase bad deals for too long

 Being Wrong

  • Not taking responsibility for your part in the challenge
  • Will tell salespeople what to do vs. ask them
  • My take credit for ideas your salespeople have


  • May not encourage our salespeople to take risks
  • Will have trouble holding people accountable
  • May not direct when necessary

 Emotionally Uncomfortable

  • Won’t engage in management behavior that is outside our comfort zone
  • Will have trouble speaking the truth to our salespeople
  • May hide behind metrics
  • Can have superficial relationships with our salespeople

Sales leaders need to spend the majority of their time on coaching (pre-call strategy and post call debriefing), accountability (daily selling behavior), mentoring (growing their staff), motivating (providing an extra dose of urgency) and recruiting.

Investing the time necessary on these core activities is critical, insuring you are as effective as possible requires greater self-awareness. 

If you are wondering my challenges are with fear of failure and being wrong.

Topics: Culture, overcoming resistance, best sales management training, Expectations

Sales Leadership 2.0

Posted by Chris Mott on Fri, Sep 10, 2010 @ 10:09 AM

Do you have the skills, desire, willingness and expertise to build an exceptional sales organization? 

  • Do your sales leaders thrive on growing and developing people?
  • Are they highly passionate about the team’s success?
  • Can they remove their egos and accept mini failures?

Great sales leaders understand their limitations, leverage their strengths, ask for help and find ways to implement other people’s ideas.

The most common concern I hear is inconsistent execution. There are many causes of this, not the least of which is, do you have the right people in the right roles? Other issues include metrics, inspection, urgency and management skills. How effective is your sales leadership as coach, mentor, motivator, recruiter and driver of accountability and what are you doing to improve your salespeople’s skills?

In almost every interview I conduct the candidate says, “I’m a consultative salesperson”. The problem is they can’t explain the “how” and most of the time they don’t demonstrate they have the skills. What is your value proposition, can your sales team articulate it, is there a selling process, do they follow it and how effective are they at differentiating themselves from the competition and creating high value relationships?

External influences impact our attitude, bravery and clarity. Salespeople react differently to this; some need close monitoring and others a kick in the back side. Sales leaders must know their people better than they know themselves. Are you a great role model for attitude, bravery and clarity? What causes you to loss focus and where do you go for help?

Topics: best sales management training, Expectations, coaching salespeople, Management Assessment

Salespeople Need an Opening Line

Posted by Chris Mott on Wed, Apr 07, 2010 @ 14:04 PM

What’s the purpose of exhibiting at a show? Do you attend so your clients will see you? Do you go because your competition is there? Whatever your reason is, the primary value of any show is to acquire leads.

In the film The Pursuit of Happiness Will Smith's stock-broker manager talks about “well qualified prospects”. Finding out if someone is well qualified includes: are they a decision maker, do they have a problem which they need to fix and are they willing to invest money to fix it.

Trade shows allow you about 5 seconds to get someone's attention. Do you have an opening line? Does it fit the audience? Does it force people to speak? Does it make them think? Have you practiced it? If not you aren’t ready for the show!

Topics: Expectations, close more sales, Great salespeople

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