Here we are at Secret #6: Allow for Discussion and Input.
A sales presentation without input from the customer isn’t much of a sales call. Same goes for a sales meeting. You need to allow people an opportunity to discuss.
Salespeople want to feel like they have input, and when they’re given the opportunity to share their views, it allows them to have ownership in the process. There’s not a salesperson out there who will not be more effective when they feel they have a sense of ownership in what they’re being asked to do.
Allowing time for discussion doesn’t mean it needs to turn into a gripe session, but it does mean you need to allow people to share their views. Key is in allowing people to share their views, including negative opinions, but to do so in a constructive manner that includes a solution.
It’s your job as the leader to be able to guide the discussion. This does not mean you allow the inmates to take over the prison, but what it does mean is you ensure there is time in the meeting for input from people.
In the end you’re the leader, and a leader will ultimately make the decision and communicate it in a manner the organization both understands and can execute. This is why you’re in the position you’re in – to lead the team in the decision-making process.
It’s how you lead discussions that will determine how well your team accepts you. No, this does not mean you give in to what they want.
What it means is you respect the input of each person just as you expect each person to respect each other, and in the end, you make the decision. The decision you make may not change one bit even after input from the team, but even if that’s the case, let them know why and reassure them you heard them and respect their thinking.
The key to making this work is you.
I view it this way: managers manage tasks, leaders lead people. If you only want to be a manager, then don’t allow input.
On the other hand, if you want to be a leader, then allow it. Your team will thank you for it, and in the end by allowing them to be able to share their views, you will give them more confidence in the final decision.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.