Your sales team sure is a talkative bunch; especially when you’re not around. The role of a sales manager is one of the most difficult ones in the organization. You must hold an alliance with your sales team and upper management even when they are at odds with each other. The bottom line is that the needs of upper management take priority over everything else. That’s the way it has to be done for a company to run effectively. Now you’re in a tight spot because the sales team is unhappy with an unpopular decision from upper management that you have to deliver.
Now you have to do damage control. You’re getting word that so-and-so is saying such-and-such and the rumors abound. Let’s face it, you and everyone else has better things to do than to play the gossip game, but we are humans and the truth is that you have to deal with it. The only way to deal with any issues like these is to have the right conversation with the right person in the right way. Here are 5 tips to help you calm the waters in troubled times.
- Signals and noise – Sometimes the feedback you are hearing is just noise; a passing moment in time. Someone needed to vent and the moment has passed. You can’t chase every little issue that comes your way. Are you seeing a trend that must be addressed, such as the team being upset about the new compensation plan, or is it just a fleeting moment. Choose your battles wisely.
- Check your communication – Sometimes we can let a couple weeks slide by without regular meetings and things can fall apart at the seams. How often and effectively are you communicating with the group both as a team and as individuals? This is your opportunity to control the message.
- It’s nothing personal – It is easy to get emotionally invested in a situation, but chances are it is really not about you. Even if people are gossiping about you. It is really about them.
- Confront the issue privately – As I said earlier, it’s all about having the right conversation with the right person in the right way. Discuss the issue privately and be willing to listen. Chances are is this was all that was needed to calm the situation.
- Respect – Be respectful and especially if others are not. Most people will change their demeanor when they believe they are being treated with respect. If you always take the high road, others will eventually follow.