If you’ve been in the sales game long enough, we’ve all gone through our fair share of ups, downs, struggles—and even slumps.
As a Sales Leader, how you choose to respond when a team member is struggling, not only speaks volumes about your capability as a leader—it also speaks volumes about your character as a person.
Here’s a true story you may want to take to heart. . .
A few years back, an HR Director from a large high-tech company reached in hopes I might be able to help.
One of their top AEs (historically) who had gone to Presidents Club 3 out of the previous 4 years had fallen into a slump, missed her annual #, and was heading down the wrong path with a weak pipe.
Apparently, her new manager had reached out to HR because he wanted to immediately put her on a PIP and manager her out of the business.
HR was hoping I might be able to intervene and provide some Executive Coaching to try and salvage the situation.
I told the HR Director that, while I don’t do 1:1 Exec Coaching—I’d be more than happy to chat with the FLM to see if I might be able to help him, help her (the AE).
HR gave me the new FLMs contact info.
I emailed him. No response.
I called him and left a vm. STILL no response.
At this point, I just decided to let it go and pretty much forgot about it.
Until about a year or so later when I was flipping through my notebook and came across this salesperson’s name and story.
I decided to look her up on LinkedIn and noticed she had moved on not too long thereafter and was working at a new start-up.
Curious about the back story, I decided to reach out to her and set up a call.
Turns out, at the time she was going through her slump, she was also going through a horrible divorce, had two little ones at home to worry about—all the while her mom (and best friend) was dying of cancer.
On a positive note, the story does have a silver lining.
She told me she was absolutely ecstatic about her new company—especially her new manager—and was absolutely CRUSHING IT!
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
While sales is a obviously numbers game, at the end of the day, it’s not ALL about the numbers.
These are people’s lives we’re dealing with.
As a leader, the longest journey you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart.
When you start caring about the person MORE than you do about the performance…
THAT’s when the breakthrough will happen and your team will follow you anywhere.
That’s when you will truly become a leader.