“Hope is not a strategy” is a rant from almost every sales manager. Rick Page even wrote a book about it. Yes, hope is a strategy.
The idea that hope is not a strategy is killing your sales results and probably your sales people.
Sales people face rejection every single day. The best of your people might close 50% of the time. However they had to winnow through countless no’s to get there. Rejection is the daily food of salespeople. Something more than pure grit has to power them through this onslaught of negativity. That power is hope.
Sales is a Tough Job
From the outside it might look like selling is a 24/7 party but the truth is very different. Sales people are blamed for every problem. Sales people have to solve every problem. There are countless examples:
- The billing is wrong – go fix it
- Haven’t got paid – go collect the money
- Service messed up – go calm them down
- Missed expectations – I know what we said the product would do, now go make the customer happy with what it actually does
Sales people are often caught between who employs them and where results come from, their customers. It is a tough job making everyone happy, especially those with competing interests. As the person with the most social skills and the relationship, salespeople are often managing far more than getting new business. It is a tough job.
Take away hope and the tunnel sure looks dark.
Hope is the Manager’s Job 1
Every day you have to sell your team members on selling. That is the most important thing you do. Without your team’s belief and motivation to sell nothing gets accomplished. All the tasks, from deep diving reports to the CRM reviews to funnel scrubs become meaningless is your team is dispirited and hopeless. The greatest strategy in the world for the best product ever created can’t overcome a sales force that doesn’t believe it is worthwhile to fight the good fight.
You have to instill hope in them.
Hope that it is possible to win
Hope that it is possible to make quote
Hope that the next day won’t be as rough as today
You keep the fires burning. Don’t let hope die out. Sometimes that’s all we salespeople have to get through.