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Management Influence


Written for The Burnside News

Our job as sales managers is to guide our people to success. It's not always easy and it takes thought, time and resources, but those resources don't have to be expensive and with some time invested and some creativity it can be a fun and enlightening experience for both the manager and the salespeople.

Recently I read a little book from an art gallery called Damn Good Advice by George Lois. It has little to do with sales, but it can easily be adapted to fit selling situations.

So how can you use this to influence the sales team? I suggest it become a point of reminder and that can be accomplished by bringing a quote or story to a sales meeting where the team gets some information and a discussion ensues about what it means and how it affects their daily business.

The advice is coming from a third party source that has some credibility, but you still get the credit for introducing it. If you choose things that reinforce the lessons you want them to know and they reinforce it through their own self-discovery, it's a full win.

Here are a few items from the Damn Good Advice book:

• "There is no middle ground." This simply drives home the message that being in the middle of the pack doesn't propel you to greater success. Do your team members have personal goals? How does the job and you give them the opportunity to be at the top of their industry? What do they need to do to move in that direction?

• "To be a master communicator, words and images must catch people's eyes, penetrate their minds, warm their hearts and cause them to act!" Salespeople must be professional communicators. Getting them to understand and have stronger abilities to create relationships through better communication is a path to more sales. As well, the quote also reinforces my belief that to get a decision a salesperson must have the ability to craft and ask compelling questions that have the prospects come to the self-discovery that they must act to gain the rewards they want or suffer the consequences of the status quo. Better communications will take you there.

• "Great work must be presented to the person that has the power to accept your creations." Have you ever been concerned that your salespeople aren't getting to the decision-maker and they're comfortable talking to people they know and who like them, but who can't make the decision to buy? This quote from the book resonated with me on that level. The author wasn't talking about selling, but would the story the author weaves with that quote inspire that reluctant salesperson to realize they aren't the only person to have this discomfort and perhaps with your help develop more confidence?

Inspiration and lessons learned can come from many sources. Use them!

©2012 Sandler Training Inc. ( is an international sales and management training/consulting firm. For a free copy of Why Salespeople Fail And What To Do About It, call Sandler Training at (902) 468-0787 or e-mail

Eric Fry

Sandler trainer