Resistant Sales People How to Effectively Manage Resistant Sales Reps
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The Cause of Ultra Resistant Sales People: Parochial Self-interest This type of resistant sales person values acceptance and often must be the center of attention. When someone else is advising or suggesting a different course of action the spotlight is not focused on them. Change for them triggers a fear of failure or a fear of rejection. This person worries that the change may uncover their lack of skill or knowledge and cause them to be rejected as incompetent. They may be worried they will lose their job especially if there have been other indicators (past poor performance) that this is a possibility.
They may also feel slighted that they were not chosen to be the leader or if they are not directly brought into the mix early if they value power. They are consumed by their needs and can not whole heartedly see the change as a positive step for the company or organization. Solution: Communication, Incremental change, Support and Feedback Little or no communication sets off the fear of the unknown and can make people feel out of control. If they are left with many questions and no answers, this can lead to panic and anxiety which can lead to revolt and insider back talking.
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Step 1: Stop telling and begin asking. When sales people are asked to identify what changes might be necessary to achieve an objective, often you will find that they might come up with the same or similar course of action you would have commanded initially. Now it’s their idea.
Step 2: Incremental Change: Do not begin by lifting 500 lbs. Begin the process by incrementally increase day to day activities and use each base hit as a motivator to increase to higher levels.
Step 3: Support: Do not expect your people to maintain a course of action that it outside of their comfort zone. After all we all commit to change each New Years Eve and we know what happens there.
Step 4: Get feedback on progress and obstacles. It is best to do this individually first so negative mindsets do not band together. Then ask people to discuss their success and obstacles with an agreement that each obstacle discussed must be followed by suggestions to overcome the obstacles.
Conclusion: We are all aware of the problems encountered when working with, or managing individuals. When implementing change each person you come into contact with will have their own perspective of change and their own individual opinion and approach towards change. Any change needs to be well thought out, have the support of senior people/managers and the support of the majority of those affected and deliver something more effective than what was previously in place. All too often changes are made using a ‘top down’ approach and those required to change are seldom consulted on the reasons for change. However, there are some common principles that can be used to implement change, both small and large, and there effectiveness can be improved by having empathy with, and listening to, those affected.