Workaholism: How Do I Set Limits?

Workaholism is very real.

Do these symptoms sound familiar? You’re at home and yet compelled to fire up the laptop and check e-mail and reports and progress of projects. It’s the weekend and you’re hammering away on yet another presentation. You’re putting out fires at 4 AM and at midnight and people comment regularly on the lack of sleep amongst your nocturnal activities. A sale happens that doesn’t go to you and you’re obsessed with finding out why and ensuring such a thing never happens again!

You’re not alone.

Workaholics are often a product of early environment, often the result of an upbringing where they were taught extreme levels of self-reliance and responsibility. They are constantly in competition but not necessarily with others – with their own potential! They may be obsessed with being #1 or with handling everything thrown at them at once but either way, something is driving them. It’s fairly important to ensure they don’t drive into a brick wall never to recover.

A workaholic in their 20’s differs from those in their 30’s and beyond; in our 20’s we are establishing the rhythm and foundation of a career. A decade or more in, we have that tempo in place but our motivation is different. Staying ahead, keeping up, setting ourselves apart – the motivations may fluctuate but these are often the goals.

So how do we set limits that will prevent us from overdoing it?

1. Schedule and prioritize breaks/rest. Often, the workaholic is good at making a multitude of appointments and sticking to a plan. This is why it is critical we schedule down time also. Whether you are part of a family that requires your presence at dinner or kids’ sporting events or date nights or you’re a single in need of the occasional escape into a good book on your lunch break that frees your mind up to do its best work upon your return, you’ve got to make that time. Specifically when loved ones want to see you or interact, you’ve got to prioritize your personal life just like you’re juggling all of your work commitments. It matters! Make that time, lest you’ll be left with nothing but your work!

2. Find outlets that will rejuvenate you. What are your interests? Do you enjoy exercise, reading, writing, films, music, sports or even just some solid sack time? When scheduling for these allowances, keep in mind that if all you ever do is work, your mind will turn to mush (yes, that’s the technical term) and your effectiveness will certainly eventually diminish. Sure, you may think you can take on the world all day every day, but eventually it will wear you down. Even if it’s just for a half hour a day, you need to get away – and when you do, explore something that also stimulates other parts of your mind and gives you a brief getaway.

3. When you have proven you can do it all and will do it all, expectations of you will continue to rise. So when do you limit that? Most of us never do, unfortunately, because we fear that’s when somebody will pass us up as the go-to person, as #1. We think about how much money we are making or how many points we are scoring with the boss, but we rarely stop to think the toll it is taking on us and our lives. Do a personal assessment: are you satisfied with all areas of your life that you have control over? It’s OK to compromise with the boss on what projects you will and can handle yourself, what you can delegate or involve another team member on, and so forth. Ask them: “I’m currently juggling several projects. I’d love to take this one on, but I don’t want the quality of any of them to suffer or be performed with less than my acceptable level of excellence. What do you suggest?” Like any “dilemma”, turn it around to them and put that ball in their court. It soundly makes clear, sure, you could do it, and you’re open to it, but you want to ensure it’s done right. They have to respect that.

4. Re-visit your priorities. Are your workaholic ways truly planting the seeds necessary to transform into the garden of goodness you seek? Or are you just doing a lot of busy work that prevents you from exploring new or untapped aptitudes? Career is all about calibration to regularly examine the path we’re on. If we are swamped with work that is not adding to the result we desire, it may be time to readjust our focus. It’s awesome to have a work ethic and drive, but if it isn’t driving you on the road you want to be on it’s time to examine that.

Workaholics are admirable in many ways; they get the job done and they do it well. They can be counted on, but they can also be taken advantage of. Ensure that your priorities are in order, that your hard work is paying off or will and make sure that you are making time for yourself and your growth a priority!

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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.  If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership.  You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.  You will also be directly contributing to his third book, “A Salesman Forever.”

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail atcvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page:https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

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Never Give Your Audience the Excuses They Seek!

As a sales expert or leader, it is your function to implement and execute upon process while taking care of, promoting and guiding people – your customers and your employees. Much of our work consists of diagnosing what’s wrong; like baseball hitting coaches, we must inspect the mechanism and see where we fail on follow through. Like Sherlock Holmes, it’s imperative we search for all potential clues, be they lurking in our audience’s psyche or self doubt, being down on some component of the product or the job, or hiding in the inner sanctum of their personal lives.

Coaching sessions for our employees are paramount – not only to the discovery, but also to the collaboration on the plan to take us forward. It is in these sessions where we revisit the documentation from our last meeting, literally re-reading the commitments we made to one another. A renewal of vows, if you will. Likewise with our follow-up’s with our customers; over time, we grow to learn their needs and wants, the way they wish to be taken care of in the business sense and what is of the utmost importance to keep the relationship ticking.

Far too often, however, we are the very catalyst for the lack of progress. We diagnose potential concerns, yet often we blurt out the end of the caper prior to allowing our audience to self discover. Realize that your customers and employees don’t change simply because you wish it to be so. Once they see – from your prodding, of course – that they should fear the ramifications of not changing more than they fear making a change, they will make their decision. This is the most telling time of that relationship: does your customer make the decision that just because prior attempts at pursuing a product or service of this ilk failed, they’ll move forward with you because you’ve shown them how you are different, of value, and vital? Does your employee note that their current trajectory on the sales charts will lead to not getting that promotion or not retaining their role, and they decide that it’s time to get out of their comfortable ways of failing in favor of the course of action you suggested and that the two of you plot together?  Ideally, yes and yes.

Yet many coaching sessions are simply managers talking at their employees. Many sales transactions are merely sales people talking at their customers – telling them a laundry list of talking points and simply guessing at what ails them. Don’t load the gun of their excuses for them! The reason people don’t buy or change is because they don’t see the urgency! They fear change and they are locked into what I have referenced as the aforementioned “comfortable ways of failing.” When you ask a customer, “What’s the issue – is it the cost? Is it the economy?”, you’re conceivably giving them even more reasons to say no. State your business, and immediately go into asking about theirs. You’re in search of clues – and even if you solve the case early – don’t blurt it out!

“In my extensive work in your industry, I’ve been told there is a shift in what you and your competition are doing in this field – do you find that to be the case, and how have you approached it?” It’s fine and great to use your hypotheses, but don’t give them a reason to shut you down and don’t deviate from the tried and true method of gaining all your evidence from their own mouths. There is no better way to overcome objections than weaving in your audience’s own words when diagnosing, when pitching, and when closing.

“What’s the issue out there on your sales calls – why aren’t we selling more of Metric X? Are we not offering it? Do you not feel comfortable with the product?” is all over the place; we’ve demonstrated as leaders that we’re a bit lost, trying to prod and trying to get some confession that may never come. News flash: we’re not looking for desired answers here. We’re not looking to lead the witness. Our goal is self discovery on their part. “Joe/Mary Rep – your metrics indicate we aren’t closing Metric X near as often as your peers. Why are customers refusing your recommendation?” Stop there. In this instance, start from the result and trace your way back to the cause.

I believe that every customer wants to be successful and each of your employees does as well. That said, each of us gets off track at certain points for a variety of reasons: past failure in the area, the strain of managing multiple priorities, the uncertainty of the future. It’s always up to us to rekindle the flame in our audience. They will always give you a myriad of reasons for complacency; like detectives, it is incumbent upon us to wade through the murk, ask very specific questions about the result that are geared to tracing back to the cause, and ultimately decide – can I show this audience why their lack of belief should be altered in favor of the outcome I am offering?

Your audience already has their reasoning, founded or not, so giving them additional excuses or simply being conversational without purpose will go nowhere. Yet this is one of the most common mistakes of management and selling – conversation without purpose. Recall again that people and process must govern all we do; the part of the process in this case is processing why your audience is struggling with the component being analyzed and there’s no better way to do so than to ask questions designed to uncover the truth.

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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.  If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership.  You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.  You will also be directly contributing to his third book, “A Salesman Forever.”

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail atcvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page:https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

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The 5 Ways to Erase Fear of Rejection

Those moments prior to dialing, pulling that door or entering the board room are like stepping in the batter’s box or breaking the huddle.

You formulated a semblance of a strategy, thought (or over-thought!) and now you have to execute the play. But what if I whiff? What if the pass is intercepted? What if they say no?

So, how does one eradicate the trepidation surrounding rejection?

Overcoming “No”

1. Be Prepared.

The more ready you are to confidently present your product, service and yourself, the less likely you can be deterred from that path. Knowledge and the ability to delicately drive through the selling process are what lay the foundation for the successful sale. Preparation builds confidence because it’s one less thing to worry or think about. Arm yourself with as much as you can in the situation. Go in with your intended qualifying questions, plans for rebuttals and confidence to close.

2. Name the fear.

Recognize the fear and work to dismiss it. You have more control over it than you think. If you have a fear of rejection, acknowledge its presence and contemplate why it exists. Are you afraid of not selling because you fear repercussion? Do you feel unsure of yourself or your pitch? Similar to the “release the mechanism” scenes from the Kevin Costner baseball flick For Love of the Game, you hone in on your directive and drown out everything else. If you allow yourself to deviate from the game plan because of desperation or fear, you certainly will hear “no;” so it’s all the more reason to ensure you remain undeterred.

3. Focus on process.

The real “fear” you should have, if any, is that you leave out a crucial step or do not give customers a clear picture of why they need what you have. Replace the fear you have of being told “no” with a focus on simply sticking to steps. You cannot control what your contact will do, but you certainly can control what and how you deliver. When you leave the conversation, your goal is to have a signature or a clear-cut reason as to why the customer decided against buying with a specific plan to follow up or move on.

4. Learn from the rejection.

Customers may decide against buying for reasons completely out of your control. That said, what worked during your presentation? What did you say that you may want to omit next time? Are there ways to tweak your product offerings or strategy based on the reason for opting out? It is very possible to lose the business today only to regroup, retool and revisit with a better solution that your customer will choose to use.

5. No isn’t forever.

The customer who decides against change today may feel differently given some time or change of circumstances. Leave a solid, lasting impression: Stand apart from those simply trying to get a sale at any cost. Earn the relationship. Stay in touch. Offer to help in any way you can. Find a way to be valuable, even if it brings no immediate monetary gain. When they have a need you can fill, you’ll get the call.

Bottom line

Never even think about the “no.” Your focus should be to control what you can in the selling process. We spend too much time worrying about what never comes to fruition. You control truly learning your customer’s needs, formulating a plan to address those needs, and addressing any concerns. You won’t win them all, but if you leave each conversation knowing the specific reasons your customer did not purchase, you did your job and can learn, grow and get ready for the next “yes.”

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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.

If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G28TWF

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Humble Pie: An Essential Morsel for Team Success

When you are great at something, you often want the world to know. As human beings, we have an innate, natural craving for recognition and respect, and often we feel it necessary to ensure everyone we come into contact knows specifically what we can do, how well we do it and that we’d gladly do more for more money. From being interviewed for a job or new project to giving a description of your role and contributions to any inquiring party, projecting a team mentality and forgoing over-indulgent self promotion is best.

Prior to acquiring polish and business acumen in our careers, we often express our love of self in the wrong fashion. We should absolutely be big advocates for ourselves! It is vital that we know our strengths and areas of opportunity, our goals and what we are doing to attain them, and ways we can showcase and sharpen our skills.  However, no one likes a braggart; some tweaks to your delivery can make your message so much more impactful.

1. Drop the “I’s”: Think about your dialogue when asked about your job environment or when you send out communications – specifically those where you will be making mention of process you are involved in or projects you have contributed on.  Re-read written verbiage and minimize usage of the word “I,” and do the same when speaking, always looking for ways to illustrate instead how you have worked with a team to achieve results. Hiring managers, promoting managers, visiting managers, general audiences whose attention you desire – they are looking for someone who embraces and is inviting. They want to be enticed with warm and fuzzy feelings of camaraderie.  They want to see that you play nicely in the sandbox with everyone you share space with. They don’t want to hear how great thou art.  Show through your willingness to help others, don’t tell. Your message will get across, trust me.

2. Not everything is a competition. Do you find yourself feeling the necessity of one-upping others? Do you have to win at literally all costs? If the cost is alienating someone whose support you need, making someone on your team look bad or others having a genuine feeling of inferiority around you, you’re doing more harm than good. Remember: find ways to connect with others, add value to your relationships with them and always offer to support or provide service wherever you go. Gaps may exist between you and others, but you can bridge as many as possible with genuine addition of value. Focus on process and teamwork, and other pieces will fall into place. Rather than be intimidated by your skills and reluctant to endorse or encourage you, peers and others in your circle of influence will be more open and honest to you and will legitimately look for ways to engage you and sing your praises.

3. Look for ways to involve others. Sure, you may be the one carrying more weight than others on this project. However, what about the next project when you could learn a substantial amount from others on your team and may need more of their support? When you are talking about your current projects, even if you are the star, find ways to point out the contributions of others, draw them into the discussions and ensure everyone gets input and credit. While you absolutely want to make sure your heavy lifting is woven into that description, do not draw so much attention to yourself that you make others uncomfortable or sound slightly insignificant.

Other people, whomever they are, look for a variety of attributes in you: work ethic, teamwork, success under stress, ability to meet deadlines, multiple metrics and dependability. While your sparkling results in one or more of these areas certainly can speak volumes, what speaks more is your literal mastery of all and your willingness to learn and contribute even more.

It’s one thing to do great things or have great results. It’s entirely another to add enough value to the environments of so many others that you make a significant impact. Focus on how you can best contribute to the team, aid in the success of others and be the consummate team player, and you’ll get your just desserts.

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Carson V. Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership.  You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.  You will also be directly contributing to his third book, “A Salesman Forever.”

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail atcvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page:https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.

If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

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Perfectionism in Business: Blessing or Curse?

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”  – Vince Lombardi.

Do we fret so much about making mistakes that we hamper our own job performance? And, if you are an employer, do you allow your employees to make non-fatal mistakes as part of their growth?

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At the summit of organizations, at the top of each level of leadership and at the front of every sales pack, you’ll find a handful of these folks. Nothing is ever good enough. They are Type A, go-go-go, and even when they’re off, they are working, plotting their next move and strategizing on how to conquer the world. They are perfectionists.

Their work is seemingly immaculate and work ethic unparalleled. But the reality is that there is no such thing as perfection: we all know this, and our knowledge of said fact has a variety of impacts on us depending on our personality.

For the most confident among us, we believe beyond our goals. Because nothing is ever good enough, even the accolades and praise and awards and bonuses leave us feeling unfulfilled. We believe we will reach a plateau where each of the aforementioned results equate to happiness but that day never comes.

Others of us approach work not needing or desiring to stand out for the fact that those who do have expectations that always soar one step ahead of them. Some of us merely want to blend in, stay ahead of the bills and it’s acceptable to get the occasional pat on the back.

There are other subtle levels of will, skill and thrills, however, at each stage there are decisions we are forced to make about risk and the levels thereof we are willing to take. Some of us have the devil may care approach; we throw ourselves mercilessly forward, haphazardly taking the flying cannonball leap into the deep end of the pool with little – if any – regard to repercussion. Others are so cautious and meticulous that they fear any misstep or misunderstanding that could wind up being construed as an out of compliance mishap – and this mindset prevents them from ever reaching their potential.

Like so many things, balance is the key. True perfection is completely impossible, yet if you set stretch goals and treat budgets like they are literally a minimum expectation, if you go out expecting the best and your potential and you coach to that in others rather than just getting by, and if you conduct yourself and others managing to process instead of results, you’re likelihood of reaching the “perfection” increases exponentially. Even when you fall a little short, you’re still better than expected, than usual, and than goal.

Preoccupation with the prospect of making mistakes makes us second guess ourselves – it makes us second guess process! When we deviate from process, the results suffer and our decision-making process can become even more foolish and misguided in the murk. We become our own worst enemy.

Let’s go a step farther: as supervisors, if we are overbearing in our methods and demanding of results and results alone we will be the culprits in causing this shoddy behavior. We do ourselves and our teams no service if we divert them from following the right processes. Rather than harp about a number, examine their credence to the various components of the business that will yield success. Are they following the right steps? Are they diversifying the portfolio of their pipelines? Are they managing the mechanics of their role? They have earned the role they are in and we must allow them to perform it in the manner with which they see fit provided it is not a detriment to the business and they are not overtly abusing their freedom to do so. Give them time to employ their process; offer feedback and suggestions and coaching and advice, and examine their execution, but never make them so terrified to do everything a certain way – or your way – that they falter completely. You have them on your team for a reason – let them utilize their unique talents in combination with your tutelage and see where it goes.

Excellence is defined in many ways, is achieved in many more, and everything comes down to odds and probabilities and chance; when you apply as near-perfect a process as possible with a near-perfect will to win, your probability of excellence is at its greatest height.

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Carson V. Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership.  You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.  You will also be directly contributing to his third book, “A Salesman Forever.”

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail atcvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page:https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.

If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

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Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow: Fact or Fiction?

Don’t just work a job. Do what you love and the money will follow. Fact or fiction?

When we are raised in our Disney-saturated, pipe dream culture, we grow up with innocence and uninhibited faith. We are asked as early as we can speak what we want to do as a career and I’m quite certain there were a multitude of aspiring astronauts and police officers and heroes of various forms in the futuristic view of our 5-year old selves. Upon graduation or entry into the workforce, there are a myriad of lessons and realities we come across – and the learning will not cease until the day our breath does.

It has been said that we follow our dreams and everything will fall into place. Fortunately for us, we are all blessed with unique talents that make us qualified for various walks of life. Sometimes these are what we aspire to do; other times, and quite often, we find we are quite efficient at something we have no desire to be good at. We are all faced with the decisions of chasing money or chasing our passions. Sometimes they coincide, sometimes not.

So many variables factor into this equation: do we go to college? What do we select as area of study? What types of sacrifices are required for following our desired course of action? What type of commitment does it take to get the career we think we want? Do we really want a particular career, or have we been influenced to select that occupation by another source? Does our current financial predicament promote or preclude us from chasing that career path? What types of competition and obstacles will we face getting into this chosen field?

The reality is YES, you can target specific desirable goals, plant proper seeds, lay necessary foundation and work toward your dream role. Your “dream role” may change in time or you may find solace and satisfaction in what you wind up doing instead. Furthermore, you may have to spend a considerable amount of time accruing the finances and skills and network necessary to launch into your ultimate ambition. Rome was not built in a day, nor are your reputation and results. Often, we must invest a considerable amount of our time and energy into roles that allow us the eventual freedom to branch out and do what we want. For others of us, we have the freedom to choose what we want to do and do not fret about the factors involved. In the end, you most definitely can pursue and realize your proposed purpose but the truth may be that you find ways to incorporate parts of it into what you wind up doing through the natural course of your navigation through reality.

How you choose to apply your talents and skills, what you choose to learn and whom you interact and network with will have a massive impact on your experience. Many of us may find ourselves doing something we never envisioned, but by assessing the situation and matching our skills to roles we have or have within our sights it is extremely viable that we can find enjoyment in jobs that align with our greater goals.

It’s unrealistic to believe that every 5 year old who dreams of going into a certain profession will wind up in it, because they have only begun to unearth their skills and talents and aptitudes. But whether we’re 5 or 50, dream away. Your career, like your life, will take unexpected twists and turns, be endowed with wonder and may take you to a greater realization of your fulfillment needs and wants than you ever imagined.

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Carson V. Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership.  You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.  You will also be directly contributing to his third book, “A Salesman Forever.”

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail atcvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page:https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.

If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

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Consult Carson 8/28: “My sales team is bilingual and I’m not – how do I effectively coach them?”

From today’s mailbag: “My sales team is bilingual and I’m not. How do I successfully coach them on transactions and best utilize their talents?”

Carson: It’s quite a unique situation when a fair amount of your employees’ transactions can not be adequately monitored and critiqued.  Furthermore, your employees can carry on full conversations that you are not privy to (yet, if you think about it, they can do this while you’re not there as well).  Finally, your team possesses skills that make them even more valuable because they have the ability to communicate with more customers thanks to their knowledge of different tongues.  It’s a three-pronged possibility.

1. Coaching transactions: In the early going of the aforementioned environment, your primary challenges in coaching will be when your team members are speaking with customers in the language you do not know.  As they are bilingual, you will be privy to the conversations in your native tongue, which will likely be the basis of your early deductions of their sales and service process.  While your sampling of their transactions may be smaller and margin of error on your conclusions higher, you will still have some metrics to go on.  Much of sales leadership is the ability to drive metrics through coaching your team’s understanding of why they are important and how to achieve them.  The fundamentals are the same: you must discern what makes your team tick, what their goals are and your role in guiding them and helping them achieve these accolades.  As you continue to work with your team, it’s also hopeful and likely that leaders will emerge – leaders you can trust.  As a bilingual leader emerges that you can delegate to and whom you can entrust the responsibility of coaching and critiquing the transactions in other languages, you not only strengthen your team through appointing additional leaders but you can plug any gaps that exist in your coaching process because of your lack of understanding of a language they speak.

2. Trust.  It’s my philosophy that if your employee earned the right to be in the position they are in, which you decided upon hire or promotion, that it falls upon them to utilize the training and coaching they receive to perform the job the way they see fit.  It’s rare, and not even preferable, that our sales personnel will conduct themselves precisely as we do.  It requires trust on our part.  When your employees can also carry on whole conversations literally while you are in the room that you cannot understand, it could require even more trust.  That said, like parenting or being in a relationship of any kind, we control what we can: the interactions with our team, the coaching and training we disseminate and the effort we put in to eliminating obstacles to their success and helping them develop the tools and talents that will further their career.  The language barrier cannot deter your willingness and desire to work on behalf of your team.  Allow your team to grow and flourish – you have a diverse team whose abilities to transcend language barriers and help a larger group of customers will actually yield far more positives in the face of the challenges.  Your team will actually respect you even more as you show your trust of them on their transactions, and you will have measurable data to show that they either are or are not conducting their transactions as effectively as they should be.  Finally, you can still ask them to give you a rundown of the sales conversations you cannot understand – what did they glean from their fact-finding, what was the customer response and why did they decline the product or any attachments?  It won’t be a perfect science, but nothing in sales ever is.

3. Promotion of your team.  Just like the ability to drive sales better than others, the ability to speak multiple languages is a marketable skill that can open additional doors for your team members.  It’s up to us as leaders to know our team – what motivates them and where they want to go – and to diagnose their strengths and areas of opportunity.  There are often job requisitions that call exclusively for associates who are bilingual.  This gives you an added item to assess when you are working with your team on a career path: they have skills which lend to certain roles that you will want to put on their radar.  Do you have some of your team members emerging as leaders as we discussed before?  Could they benefit your team or division in a larger capacity?  Is the bilingual ability something that is prominent in your larger work group, market or division?  If so, perhaps your peers are facing similar opportunities and you can work with your peers on solutions that benefit all of you – do you have bilingual peers?  Would it benefit you to do so?  Make your leaders aware of this potential opportunity in your region and perhaps they can devise a solution that is in everyone’s best interests: the furthering and promotion of your team, the added coaching from a bilingual manager, and you can work together with that manager so you are each adding value to one another’s work.

Your situation of having an entirely or nearly entirely bilingual team is certainly unique, and just as when you have anyone who is uniquely great at their role you harness their strengths and find ways to help them, trust them, promote them and make them more effective.  This scenario can certainly be a new one for many, but once you explore and discover new ways of coaching them and you get their feedback on what they need from you to aid in their current role and in getting to their next one, it can be harmonious for all.  You need each other; they need your knowledge and support and you need their buy-in to the right way of conducting business.  In the end, you can find these things by ensuring you’re speaking the same language: that of teamwork.

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Carson V. Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership.  You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.  You will also be directly contributing to his third book, “A Salesman Forever.”

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carson-V-Heady/125078150858064?ref=hl , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail atcvheady007@yahoo.com or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page:https://carsonvheady.wordpress.com/the-home-of-birth-of-a-salesman-2010-published-by-world-audience-inc-and-the-salesman-against-the-world-2014/

Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.

If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G

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