They Are Not You (A Note to the Sales Leader)

You were a great salesperson. You were truly special. Selling came easy to you.

You were born with the ability to create rapport. You like people and they like you. People have always trusted you, and you’ve always taken on more responsibility than was expected of you. You built a reputation on it.

Business also came easy to you. It just made sense. You didn’t have any trouble catching on to how business gets done, the choices that businesses make, and how to get things done within the companies you worked for.

Quota? There really wasn’t much to it. You did your job. You opened relationships. You chased down the right deals. You won. It was easy.

You had the drive and the ambition that people took note of. And it served you well.

They’re Not You

Now you’re a sales manager (or a sales leader). And you’re unhappy that your sales team isn’t doing as well as you need it to. Why can’t they just do what you did and be as successful as you were?

Your problem is that you view the world through the lens of your own experience. If it was easy for you, it should be easy for everyone, right? If they just do what you did, they’ll have an easy ride and they’ll be stars–just like you.

But they’re not like you. They don’t have your natural ability to create rapport. They don’t have your drive or your ambition either. They don’t know what you know, and they didn’t have the same experiences you had. In fact, they’re not much like you at all.

You’ll have to do better than that. It’s not as easy as wishing they were Mini-Me’s.

If You Would Have Performance

If you want them to perform, stop believing they should be you. It won’t help you one bit. And it won’t help them one bit either.

Instead, invest in providing the sales force with the tools, the training, and the technology they need to succeed. Make the investment in development, training, and coaching.

Sure, a few salespeople will turn out to be what you were. But if your success depends on you finding enough people that are exactly what you were, you will quickly discover that success eludes you.


How does believing that other people share your abilities and experiences hurt you?

What was natural for you that is more rare in other people?

How do you help other people find their best performance without believing that your way is the one right way?

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Filed under: Sales, Sales Training

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