The Top Three Mistakes Managers Make

As we move toward 2014, many companies are deciding how to compete in a non-refinance marketplace. I’ve noticed several common refrains managers use to improve employee performance, that in my view, simply don’t work. Dan Kennedy’s book, “No B.S. Sales Success in the New Economy,” discusses these issues in greater detail. According to Kennedy, three fatal mistakes managers make when dealing with originators are:

1. The answer to lack of production is simple: Make more calls.

This solution to an originator’s failure to make volume goals doesn’t address the real problem which is behavioral-based. Asking an employee to do more of what is already ineffective just means that an originator will be repeating sales behaviors that will not increase performance.

Correcting sales behavior requires the originator and the manager to put in place an effective sales system that translates into getting more appointments and closing more deals. By definition, the improvement involves managers applying training and coaching techniques specifically targeted for that originator — nothing else will change poor selling results.

2. Everybody’s your prospect.

No they are not. Specialization is what the market wants and demands. Trying to peddle the same approach to every consumer doesn’t work in a marketplace where consumers want to be treated as unique individuals. Selling to everyone the same way is bound to generate poor results.

Top producers understand the premise that not everyone is their prospect and execute a sales system that attracts those customers that fit them and what they can execute well. The idea that everyone matches to an originator’s services ignores that the access to information has erased a general solution approach. Specialization is a trend that is not new and is not going away.

3. There is nothing new in selling.

This may be the most damaging strategy used by sales managers because it repeats old ideas that don’t work with the younger generations of prospects. Instead, a sales manager should establish a culture of learning how to handle today’s demanding customers. The manager who thinks that selling never changes from when they learned it is foolhardy.

There is no question that selling has fundamentally changed and is not going back to what it was in the past. Today it is a buyer’s world that requires sellers to differentiate themselves. Differentiation is not by product but by how the originator delivers their value proposition to the marketplace. This new world of origination requires a fresh approach throughout the selling process from prospecting to closing.

Customers — smarter and more informed than ever — are quick to reject selling techniques that are dated and slow to deliver what they want.

Are your sales managers living in the past and managing with ineffective techniques? What are you doing to change their strategies for 2014?