Sales Force Lessons from Gates, Crowley and Obama

The outraged Harvard Professor who was arrested and Cambridge's arresting officer of record will both meet over a beer with President Obama at the White House this week. The President is reaching out to mend fences between local adversaries and as unusual as that sounds, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often. This sort of thing happens - parents bringing to quarreling kids together. Sports managers uniting players that don't get along. Letterman and Oprah. But it happens in business too. The boss meeting with the manager and employee that are having trouble.

This should happen a lot more often on the sales force. How often do customers become upset over the behavior of a salesperson, customer service rep, technician or even accounting? When controversy jeopardizes a good account, it's time for the president or CEO to reach out and mend fences between adversaries! Some top ranking executives feel as though they are above such gestures but now we have precedent. After all, when the President of the United States of America can bring cop and professor together, you can bring customers and company representatives together too. It should be a best practice and it shouldn't be limited to behavioral disasters either.

How about good opportunities with profitable accounts that can be leveraged? When a salesperson or team loses traction, hasn't positioned itself correctly, or takes a misstep along the way, isn't it appropriate for a top executive to step in?

So what should an Entrepreneur do? While there are upsides to Entrepreneurs being their own best salespeople, there are downsides too. The two biggest are:

* Despite being the president, they are viewed as a salesperson

* When things go wrong, there isn't anyone higher up to step in and reset the opportunity

I know a CEO of one large company who makes calls to existing customers and not only makes his presence known, he always asks for more business. Why not take advantage and leverage your position?

Author:.

Dave Kurlan is a best-selling author, top-rated speaker and thought leader on sales development.  He is the founder and CEO of Objective Management Group, Inc., the industry leader in sales assessments and sales force evaluations, and the CEO of David Kurlan & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in sales force development. Dave has been a top rated speaker at Inc. Magazine's Conference on Growing the Company, the Sales & Marketing Management Conference and the Gazelles...

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