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Successful Sales Management Is Emotion Management
Blog / Sales Management / Dec 28, 2019 / Posted by Colleen Stanley / 4330

Successful Sales Management Is Emotion Management


You’ve hired a good salesperson but the reality is you’ve also hired a human being. And even really good human beings bring faults and blind spots that will need to be addressed. (Anyone reading this married, in a serious relationship or raising children?) If you want to know how to be a good sales manager, remember the importance of emotion management when addressing sales performance issues.

For example, a sales manager is meeting with one of her top salespeople who is running behind plan for the very first time in two years. The manager sets up the purpose and objective of the coaching meeting and shares her intent of helping the salesperson get back on track. During the coaching session, the sales manager applies the sandwich method in delivering observations and feedback: something positive, suggestions for improvement and something positive.

Turns out, this salesperson doesn’t like sandwiches and isn’t open to hearing feedback.

He starts lobbing excuses, blaming his lack of success on the company.

“If I didn’t have so many after-the-sale issues, I’d have more time to prospect.”

“Our prices are too high — we just aren’t competitive.”

“I have the worse territory in the country.”

Now, if you are like most high-achieving sales managers, excuses are like fingernails on a chalkboard. Without emotion management, excuses can trigger an equally defensive response. It’s easy to move from sales manager to trial lawyer and deliver a great closing argument, overcoming every excuse given by the salesperson. The problem is that your response further triggers your salesperson and now you are stuck in the trigger-response-regret loop.

You’re both fighting for the need to be right rather than getting it right.

Emotions, not effective coaching and influence skills, are running this well-intended coaching session. It’s the classic sales management knowing-and-doing gap.

So, what can sales leaders do when they find themselves getting emotionally triggered?

Step back, breathe and ask yourself, “What else is going on here?” By asking this simple question, you engage your prefrontal cortex, the logical brain rather than the emotionally charged, not logical reptilian brain. Asking questions helps you apply empathy and step into your salesperson’s shoes.

  • Is the salesperson defensive because he’s discouraged?
  • Is the salesperson experiencing self-doubt? Wondering if he still “has it?”
  • Is the salesperson frustrated because he’s working hard and accomplishing little?

Ask the powerful question to change your emotional state which will change your response.

The best sales leaders are able to manage their emotions so they can continue to execute the right coaching and training skills. As the late John Wooden said, “Manage your emotions or they will manage you.”

About Author

Colleen Stanley is the author of Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, and Growing Great Sales Teams. She is an international sales keynote speaker and has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Sales Bloggers in the world for the last 3 years. She is also the creator of the Ei Selling® System.

Author's Publications on Amazon

Emotional intelligence plays a vital role in every stage of the sales process. It’s easy to get defensive when prospects challenge you on price or to quickly cave and offer discounts in response to pressure. Those are examples of the fight-or-flight response--something salespeople learn to…
Buy on Amazon
Finally, a business tool that sales managers don't have to plug in, recharge, or invest in software - the dynamics of old-fashioned principles that build high-performance sales teams. Using powerful lessons learned growing up on an Iowa farm, Stanley weaves "heartland" principles with tactics and…
Buy on Amazon
Comments (3)


Michael Oluwafemi Adedayo commented...

Emotion Management is highly Key important factor in the business Management to keep the toes continue in the right Track. It helps the Sales Management and Sales People.


Michael Dufu commented...

A good Sales Manager is the one who understands the importance of emotions management and have a cordial relationship with the sales team.


fmunyigi commented...

As a sale people lets not do our job in emotion to get well with our peers.

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