Sales leaders often tell us that they want salespeople to be proactive—and they’re tired of having to deal with all the issues that salespeople keep dumping on their desks because they think from a position of dependency and negativity. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to change this dynamic.
The first question we ask leaders to help them train sales force members to be self-sufficient is this: What would you do to solve this if I wasn’t here?
Oftentimes, we don’t even realize when we are Create Dependency as sales leaders. We may see our job as a chief problem solver! When a salesperson comes to us with a problem, we jump into “rescue” mode – and we get the salesperson safely out of the problem they put themselves in. This is not the way to build a self-sufficient team.
Next time, instead of just answering the salesperson’s question or solving their problem, reverse the question! Ask them about their course of action if you are sick that day. This will lead to some silence in the conversation. Let her stay until she responds.
Sometimes what you hear after that silence has passed is evidence that the salesperson still needs your help and direction. But sometimes — perhaps more often than you can imagine — that pause will be followed by an idea from the salesperson that fits the situation. Either way, you’re helping the salesperson get used to thinking for themselves, rather than just coming to you and asking you to solve the problem!
Check out the on-demand webinar, Expanding sales success, to learn more about building a self-sufficient sales team.