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Rule #5: Eliminate miscommunication.
What was said? What was heard? Check before you respond. You know, every person has three recorders that were taping since they were born. We have a Parent, an Adult and a Child. Three roles that we still have today if you think about it. But these tape recorders were starting and stopping at different times. And it affects how you interact with your team and how your team interacts with their sales force, even today.
You know, if you’re like me, I spent half of my life saying I would never raise my kids as my parents raised me. Not because they did a bad job, but because they had rules, I didn’t want those rules. I didn’t want to be home at a certain time, I wanted to do what I wanted to, and I would say to myself, “When [I have] my kids, I will never do that to them.” Well, I’ve got five kids now, I’m doing the exact same things to my kids that my parents did to me. Why? Because I’m a product of my parents. So, I listened, I stored that information. I’m repeating phrases that my father said to me that I hadn’t said out loud for 50 years. But they fly out as if they were there yesterday. Why? Because I went back into my mental data bank and spat out what I heard. We do it too.
The Parent: There are two types of Parent tapes going on, which stopped recording at age five. You have Critical Parent and Nurturing Parent. Critical Parent, “You shouldn’t do this, you won’t do that.” We talk this way when we’re impatient. We talk this way when we judge others. “I’ve told you 100 times not to do that,” I don’t want any of that in your management style. I do want 70% of your management style for Nurturing Parent. That’s where you’re soothing, that’s the mother inside you, right? That’s where you’re giving people compliments. You’re looking for the good, and you’re making it a safe environment for them to share.
The Child: No part of your selling should be in the Child. The Child in you is curiosity, it’s the joker, it’s the person that is determining how you felt as a kid when the rules were set on you. “Hey, you will be home at 12:00,” “I don’t want to be home at 12:00,” that’s the Child in me saying that. And so, there are two types of Child, Rebellious Child, and Adaptive Child. Both are bad in management and sales. Rebellious Child rebels against rules. So when a Critical Parent, which automatically hooks Rebellious Child, says, “You will do that!” The little kid inside you pops up and says, “What, not me, I’m not doing that,” and they rationalize it. The fact is, when you do Rebellious Child, nothing good will come of it.
Here’s Adaptive Child. The Adaptive Child changes the way that they think like the wind. Not because they believe but because they want your love. When prospects ask for things that you know you shouldn’t be doing, they say yes, they want to say [yes] because I want you to like me. So no part of management or sales should be in the Child.
Adult: 30% of your management style should be in the Adult. It’s got a couple of purposes. One, updating old scripts. I have to update my Parent script. My parents told me not to talk to strangers, but I’m in sales, I’ve got to talk to every stranger. They told me not to talk about money, but I’ve got to talk about money because I’m in sales. So it’s my Parent tape that says, “David, it’s okay now to talk about money, and it’s okay to talk to strangers,” so I’ve updated that. So I don’t have all this mental garbage going on. But it’s the logical part of you. It’s the analytical part of you. And so I want you to have 30% of your management style in the Adult.
The bottom line is, you have to understand which tape is talking when you talk to your salespeople. But also watch your salespeople, what are they doing? Are they hooking you by the Rebellious Child by saying, “I’m not doing it.”? Then you come at them? Sit back, take a deep breath, saying, “Who just talked to me, was that the Parent, was that the Adult or was that the Child? And how am I going to respond?” Once you can do that, your communication will improve dramatically. Good luck.
THE SANDLER RULES FOR SALES LEADERS details a sales management process that works. It offers 49 timeless, proven principles for effective sales leadership, based on the Sandler Selling System. The book is the sequel to the Wall Street Journal bestseller THE SANDLER RULES, also authored by David Mattson.