Apply Interpersonal Intelligence To The Sales Approach

Posted September 30, 2016 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Sales, Communication

In his controversial book, Frames of Mind – The Theory Of Multiple Intelligences, Howard Gardner introduces the theory of seven different intelligences: linguistic, musical, logical, spatial, kinesthetic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal.  Gardner defines interpersonal intelligence as: the ability to read the intentions and desires of other individuals and act upon this knowledge (Frames of Mind p. 239).

It is interesting to understand how leaders and their sales staff apply interpersonal intelligence to the selling process.  Behavioral tools and structures should be used to allow sales associates to better understand themselves, read their customers, and adapt to their customers.  Applying behavioral science to the sales process creates a greater connection between the buyer and seller and leads to more sales.

Leaders should sharpen the interpersonal intelligence of their sales staff and empower them for greater success.

Use One-On-One Time To Strengthen Relationships

Posted September 23, 2016 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, one-on-ones, Performance Acceleration

It’s a fact that humans are more likely to extend themselves for another human if there is a relationship between them.  Strong relationships inspire people to go out of their way for others.

An effective relationship between a leader and their direct report contributes to everyone’s success.  The best way to work on this relationship is during regular one-on-one meetings.

Leaders should sincerely ask about their direct report’s family by name, inquire about their hobbies and interests, and even know about their pets.  Leaders who care about their direct report’s lives outside of work will get them to move mountains for them at work.

Leaders who get to know their direct reports and empower them experience more success.

Prepare For Interviews

Posted September 15, 2016 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Selection

All good processes begin with some pre-planning and this is particularly true in the selection process.  Get crystal clear about what is needed in advance to prepare for interviews.

The most important preparation is identifying the critical activities for that job and how they should be done — giving careful consideration to the traits that will increase the likelihood of an individual’s success in that job.  The key is to identify the key traits for each job.

Without careful planning, hiring managers may fall into the “I’ll know it when I see it” trap looking for traits they generally admire in people even if they may be detrimental or counterintuitive for the job.  For example, selecting a candidate who is outgoing and comfortable chatting up any topic in the interview may make sense for a sales position, but may be indicative of lacking the focus, attention to detail, and thorough consideration for a quality assurance position.

Hiring managers should prepare for interviews by determining in advance the accountabilities and traits critical to the job for which they are interviewing.  As interviewers, the likelihood of hiring managers selecting the best candidate for the position increases significantly as does the buy-in and support of the new employee once selected.

Empowered hiring managers are prepared for their interviews and make successful hires.

Start In The First Person When Delivering Course Corrections

Posted September 9, 2016 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Communication, Leadership, Performance Acceleration

Many leaders feel uncomfortable when giving course corrections. The last thing they want to do is demotivate a direct report, or hurt their feelings when something “is just not that big a deal” but should still be addressed.  The fact is if leaders didn’t care about the direct report’s success or believe they made valuable contributions to the organization, leaders wouldn’t bother giving feedback – they’d just fire the poor performer.

When giving feedback, starting in the first person prevents the direct report from being thrown on the defensive right from the first phrase.  If the leader begins in the second person, it can sound harsh and put the direct report in a defensive posture.

Second person: When you cut off your peers in staff meetings…

First person:  I’m concerned, or I’m disappointed, or I’m afraid despite or call your intentions, when you cut off your peers in staff meetings to interject your thoughts…

Read those out loud — notice how differently it sounds and the change in emphasis on the word “you.”

After starting in the first person, the direct report should get the distinct impression their leader has confidence they have the ability to correct their course, be successful, and fix a situation on their own which creates an empowered, non-defensive response.

Empowered leaders believe their direct reports can be contributors to the organization and providing course corrections by starting the feedback in the first person will make them more successful.

Direct Reports Should Focus On The Goal Not Just The Tasks

Posted August 26, 2016 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

What is more important?

  • Making 20 sales calls or closing $500,000 in new sales?
  • Conducting weekly cycle inventories or .5% inventory shrink?
  • Publishing regular newsletters or 97% customer retention?
  • Creating weekly collections reports or receivables less than 30 days?
  • Attending safety classes or zero days lost to workplace injury?

All too often leaders and direct reports are so focused on the activities they lose sight of the ultimate objective.  Leaders should make sure their direct reports understand their objective, have the resources available to achieve that objective, and then get out of the way.

Does it really matter that the sales associate made only 7 sales calls but still achieved the $500,000 sales objective?  Leaders have a tendency to micro-manage the day-to-day activities because they are the easiest to affect.  Instead, clearly define the expectation – objective, time frame, resources, and restraints – and hold their direct reports accountable for the results without getting immersed in the details.

Leaders who focus on goals and empower their direct reports with the resources to achieve them experience more success.

Delegate For Development

Posted August 19, 2016 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

When leaders are asked how things are going, many will answer with something about how busy they are – just not enough hours in the day, can’t get anything done, running around like crazy, etc., etc.

Perhaps the simplest way for a leader to motivate, empower, and free up time is for them to ask their direct report: “What three things could I be delegating to you?”

After agreeing what can be delegated, the leader should lay out a development plan to prepare for that delegation. The development objectives should roll right into the quarterly expectations and performance measures.

This may not feel comfortable for the leader who believes “no one can do this better than I” but the leaders must remember that to get to where they are today, someone sometime gave them a break and trusted their abilities.

Leaders who empower direct reports with increased delegation have more success.

Selection Processes Reduce Chances Of Poor Hires

Posted August 15, 2016 by The Metiss Group
Categories: Leadership, Selection

Select (verb) – To choose in preference to another or others; pick out (Random House Dictionary).

Process (noun) – A series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result (Random House Dictionary).

A selection process should consist of a series of actions to bring about an ideal choice of candidates.  Many leaders rely on intuition, gut instinct, or some haphazard interview approach when choosing among candidates.  The best hiring managers use a defined, repeatable process for selecting talent.

The selection process should include three phases:

  1. Job and ideal candidate definition;
  2. Candidate screening;
  3. Candidate evaluation.

Define the job and ideal candidate in the definition phase clarifying what is expected of the job and what the ideal candidate will look like.  The screening phase should include consistent behavior-based questioning and assessments that tie back to the job and candidate definitions.  The evaluation phase should analyze gaps and discrepancies between observed candidate behavior and job and candidate requirements.

Hiring managers should define the steps in the selection process, stick to them, and empower those in the selection process for success.