Today on the Catapulting Commissions show is a guest very near to Anthony’s heart–in fact, he was his mentor. Visiting us is JP Arlie, a legendary salesperson and sales leader at Cutco, now in a senior management position at Vivint. JP and Anthony are going to sit down to break down some essential tactics and key skills salespeople and sales leaders can use to bring their operation to the next level and develop methods necessary for success.
JP and Anthony dive into the episode by breaking down how we can develop a sales representative under such extenuating circumstances. For JP, it’s all about managing a master life calendar–somewhere where you can see everything laid out in front of you and keep track of the relationships important to you. He recommends bookending breaks in interaction to maintain influence as you develop your team. By having a calendar, you ensure that you’re keeping up the trust you’ve built by showing up every time. As JP says, “What is right is what is agreed upon in advance.”
When you’re a new leader, building and retaining trust can be a massive challenge. JP reminds us that having a clear 30-60-90 day plan for your work is essential–both in promoting and being promoted. In many cases, that first 30 days should be all about relationships–learning about your team, establishing connections, and laying the foundation of trust. Additionally, having teams that are young and malleable and those who have been doing the same thing for a long time will necessitate different approaches to leadership. Give yourself time to earn the respect of your peers–remember, you got the opportunity for a reason that wasn’t always just management.
From both sides, it’s crucial to be clear on how you are best managed–if something isn’t going to work for you, it’s okay to let your boss know. Saying “This is what I need from you” is okay! That makes leadership easy. In cases where there is shyness, approaching the situation by meeting them where they are is the way to go. They won’t be shy in every environment. Find out where they want to go and help them get there. In JP’s house, the number one rule is telling the truth. They understand that they won’t get in trouble if they tell the truth the first time. That concept can be applied to sales leadership. If you punish someone for coming to you with feedback, they won’t do it again.
Leadership and friendship can be a complicated relationship, but there are certainly benefits. JP would rather cry with someone at the end than run an inefficient team and not achieve with them. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, sometimes somebody moves on. But because you gained trust, there is an amount of respect that has been built up. While they are there, it’s important to maintain an authentic connection with your team. Anthony adds that being friends is okay, but we need to work together to get things done. Lead from the heart and work with people you enjoy being around. In situations where there is underperformance, it often falls on the sales leader. Getting to the root of “why” they’re working is a key step in allowing them to perform at their highest capacity. Give them 30 minutes every week and guarantee facetime, then if someone ends up leaving, they are in control and they are making the choice for themselves.
JP and Anthony chat about his role at the Professional Leadership Program at the Harvard Business School and lets us know that it doesn’t matter what you’re selling or who you are, you operate with confidence. If your confidence is high, your performance is high.
Tune in to listen to JP’s 1-minute answer to becoming a leader in sales.