Here at GUIDE Culture, we’re big readers and typically, as a team, we have a few books that are always circling around.
Macy and Kat just finished reading the No B.S. Small Business Book by Casey Graham, which has been so inspiring for how to lead a team, build a business and create a culture that people want to be a part of.
If you’re a long time follower or podcast listener, you’ve likely heard us say that, “Leadership is Sales and Sales is Leadership.”
We believe they both go hand in hand.
Leading people is getting them excited to take action in a direction, which is EXACTLY what sales is. Below, we’re breaking down 5 Sales Strategies for Leading a Team – it’s worth noting that each of these can be applied yes, in your business and leadership, but also in your home and ultimately your life.
1️⃣ BE ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE TABLE
If you reflect on most of the big conversations that you’ve had in your life, you might recall that there’s a lot of “across the table,” “here’s what I think,” “here’s my view” type of situation.
You might be picturing an office where you’re sitting on opposite sides of a desk with a person in “power.”
The energy in the room might feel heavy or tense versus calm and relaxed.
If there’s a way for you to physically get on the same side of the table as someone, DO IT.
With a lot of meetings happening virtually, we know this isn’t possible, so here’s 3 ways to incorporate this:
1. When communicating with a team member or employee, always use, what we call, a “cushion.”
Cushion statements can be:
- “I get it.”
- “I understand.”
- “That’s a great question.”
- “You bring up a great point!”
This lets the person know that you are on their side and you hear them.
2. Find a point you can agree on.
When a team member comes to you with a complaint, concern or question, let them know you’re on their side by using a cushion like mentioned above and find a point to agree on.
Note: you don’t want to agree WITH them, you simply want to find a common point that you can agree on.
Example: “I get it, I also want to make sure we hit our goals.” OR “I understand, I also want to make sure I’m spending my time wisely.”
The cushion and point of agreement combined helps people feel seen, heard and supported.
3. As in almost everything you do, your tone is so important.
Simply the way that you say something can convey that you are on their side of the table and are there to help them win.
The goal with each of these is for your team member to feel supported in every conversation.
2️⃣ KNOW AND CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE ON YOUR TEAM AS A PERSON, NOT AS AN EMPLOYEE
When you care about someone as an employee or as a team member, you’re typically caring about them in a sense of their metrics and performance on the job – you care about what they can bring to the company, their growth within the company, the tasks they’re doing on a daily basis, etc.
While all of that is of course important and you want solid team members, what’s interesting is that for the performance to be where it needs to be, the team member as a whole person needs to be right first.
We strongly believe that there’s no such thing as a business life and a personal life – everyone is ONE, WHOLE PERSON with ONE LIFE.
As Casey Graham says in his book, “everything affects everything” meaning that everything is connected. This is also commonly described as, “life leaks” meaning that something good from one part of your life leaks into another part and vise versa.
Getting to know your team members as human beings – what matters to them, their family life, what brings them joy – is almost always more needle moving and gets them bought into you and fired up about doing their job well because they can see that you actually care.
In his book, Casey says to ask yourself: “who would you go to bat for? The person who doesn’t care about you or the person who does?”
People who feel heard, seen and cared about want to do better work.
3️⃣ HAVE REGULARLY SCHEDULED MEETINGS OR TOUCH POINTS TO CREATE A CONTAINER FOR YOU TO CARE
Have you ever experienced that “gulp” feeling when someone sends an unexpected text or email saying, “can we talk today?”
It creates a feeling that no one enjoys and as a leader this is something you want to avoid.
Regularly scheduled meetings or touch points prevents that “gulp” feeling because they already know it’s going to happen and have the chance to prepare for it.
This gives you an ongoing chance to intentionally check in on your team members while also being able to say whatever you need to say.
Here’s how we incorporate this at GUIDE Culture ⬇️
Every other month, we have 1:1 meetings with each team member. (Kat + Macy, the co-CEO’s, alternate these meetings)
Each person comes with one thing you’d like the other person to start doing, stop doing and keep doing.
These 1:1 meetings have been designed in a way that feels safe and each person knows that they can’t say anything wrong.
These meetings help you truly see where someone is at, resolve any issues that need resolved and know that you both are moving in the right direction.
Put these on the calendar as a non-negotiable and just try it!
(P.S. we adopted this style from the book Traction – check it out here)
4️⃣ HAVE A YOU-CENTERED MESSAGE
When giving “instructions” or assigning a task to a team member, deliver it with a you-centered message.
What a lot of people are used to hearing is, “I need this done because [xyz result].” It’s a lot of “I need…” or “I want…”
When things are asked in this way, it’s a hard for a team member to get excited about the work and sometimes they may not realize the value in doing it – especially if it’s a task that seems tedious or not important.
To get your team members excited about things that do need to get done, empower them with a you-centered message.
Explain to them why you want THEM to do it – one of the easiest ways to do this is by complimenting them – and explain how the result impacts their life, too – this can be done through casting vision to help them see the greater importance.
5️⃣ TELL YOUR TEAM WHY SOMETHING MATTERS
If you think back to being a kid when you were told to do something, you may have asked ‘why’ and been told something along the lines of, “because I’m your parent” or “because I’m the adult.”
It annoyed you then and it probably annoys you now. It doesn’t feel good to hear that because it’s not a “real” reason.
That same not-so-good energy can be carried into your leadership if you’re not careful.
As a leader, one of the greatest things you can do is make sure that your team clearly knows the vision and mission. This isn’t something you do once. It’s not as simple as plastering your “mission statement” on the wall.
It’s something that you do over and over and over again in your day to day conversations with them.
Help them understand why the business has certain goals. Help them understand why the business wants to serve x amount of people. Help them understand the overall mission on a daily basis and we can almost promise that they will work harder because of it.
This goes for even the little things, not just the big projects and tasks. You can assume that people know why something matters, but you can’t go wrong with over communicating it.
Sales skills are the root of each of these things – the principles and foundations of sales are the thing that moves people into action of any sort.
Each of these things can be applied in your leadership, business, home and overall your life.