Top athletes and performing artists prepare to be their best when their best is needed. When things get difficult and become the most challenging they are at their best. Their can be no difference with top salespeople.  The ability to perform well when their best is needed makes them clutch performers, great competitors and top salespeople. This ability goes beyond skills, it starts in the spirit, attitude and mind of top performers. It’s their motivation and mental toughness that separates them from the pack.

Average salespeople become frantic, crumble, are paralyzed to act and make excuses when things get difficult.  Top salespeople don’t make excuses, they find solutions. Their ability to perform at their peak, to be at their best when their best is needed, requires practice and preparation. These top performers are supported, motivated and inspired by leaders who are coaches and mentors. These leaders understand their job is to help salespeople prepare to perform. This is the job of the sales manager, a sales leader.

Sales leaders know their job is to reduced the perceived pressure that produces anxiety and fear and damages salespeople’s perfomance. Top sales managers instill the attitudes, thoughts and intentions that help salespeople overcome obstacles, eliminate pressure and produce peak performance. This is sales coaching, motivation an inspiration at its best. For those who think motivation and inspiration fades or goes away, Zig Ziglar has the best response, “So does bathing, but you wouldn’t stop bathing because the effects of the last one wore off.” Sales motivation and leadership is needed daily.

Study, learning and preparation would be other examples of things you must keep doing or the effects wear off.  Coach John Wooden taught that, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”. Stop learning and your sales will suffer.  So if you want to be vibrant and productive as the years go by, keep learning and growing. If you are to be a top sales manager, then a big part of your job is to keep your salespeople studying, learning and prepared, because this keeps them energized and motivate.

Vince Lombardi...Yes the one the Super Bowl trophy is named after.

Vince Lombardi, the great NFL coach of the Champion Green Bay Packers said, “The toughest thing I do is getting them ready to play each week”. He wasn’t talking about the game plan, strategy or x’s and o’s. He was talking about teaching and motivating professionals to perform to their peak. This is no different with salespeople. Sales managers must prepare salespeople to perform each day. In fact, sales is the toughest, most personal performing art in the world. Each day salespeople face people and situations that can deflate, demoralize and discourage them. One of the missing links in most companies is a sales leader who can pick their salespeople up and prepare them to perform.

Coaching, motivation and inspiration is more important to peak performance than the repetition of practice and sales skills which are needed but of less value without quality sales leadership.  Motivation comes from within but can be stirred, taught and  by a brought out by a sales manager who is a leader, coach and mentor.

The greatest coaches can’t put a program or game plan in place and then leave the person or team they are coaching and expect them to perform to their peak.  Their influence is felt in their presence, their daily leadership plays a key role in the results the person or team produces. This is true with sales managers as well. They have to be the positive force that keeps their salespeople focused and prepared to be their best each day.

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