From time to time you feel the need to sit down with one of your team to have one of 'those' conversations. You know the type. The tough love conversation that may be a little uncomfortable but is absolutely the right thing to do! It's one of those leadership activities that many sales leaders find difficult despite knowing that it is the only way to move someone from stuck to unstuck. Normally it's because us humans don't want to upset people, to appear unkind or make people feel uncomfortable.

It's so easy to set yourself financial or KPI goals for the year ahead. These are necessary so that you have something to aim for but generally don't enable significant changes in mindset and behaviour. If they did...every sales person on the planet would be inspired and motivated to achieve their targets.

As we move towards the close of 2019, it's a good time to reflect on your leadership and the impact that you've had on your team. This is a time to celebrate successes, own your unhelpful thoughts/behaviours and plan how you want to be going forward.

Over the many years of working with Sales Teams, I've noticed the following ratio at almost every company... Roughly 10% of the team are top performers and are amazing regardless of the quality of leadership they receive because they rarely need it. Roughly 10% of the team are under performers. No matter what you do to help them it never quite works out for them. Then there's roughly 80% of the team who are there or there abouts.

When I work with Sales Leaders, I always share that it's important to treat your sales team the same way you treat your clients. One size doesn't fit all...if you have 20 sales people in your team you will need 20 different approaches to nurture and develop them...and their sales success.

This week I went back to the gym after a break of over 2 weeks. You've probably guessed that after my weight training session on Monday my muscles were a bit sore. I was back in the gym for another weight training session on Wednesday and whilst I was still sore my session actually improved the muscle ache. This got me thinking...when you don't use muscles, they become less capable of lifting heavy weights. This is true not only for physical muscles but for mental muscles too.

The language you use with others and to yourself has a massive impact on your results. If you keep saying things are challenging...guess what, it will be challenging! You're instructing your mind to expect challenging...so that's the experience it delivers.

When I work with Sales Leaders the conversation ultimately turns to what they don't get around to doing with their sales team. Most of the activities are really important and the Sales Leader knows that. Is it not enough time? Is it procrastination? Or is it simply avoidance? Mostly it's avoidance because the activity generates negative feelings...and with negative mindset comes avoidance.

Thinking like an elephant is more common than you realise. Last week I shared my thoughts on your automatic patterns as a Sales Leader. Today I want to share how these patterns are created...and how that relates to thinking like an elephant.

Your psychological patterns as a Sales Leader are automatic. They spring into action whenever a specific trigger occurs. They will vary dependant on the specific situation you are in...for example, your automatic patterns when with your top performers could be very different when with your under-performers.