How to Be a Leader

A boss says, “Go!”

A leader says, “Let’s Go!”

This quote sums up my management philosophy: A leader isn’t afraid of jumping into the trenches and showing their team exactly how to succeed in their job.

In sales, this means leading by example.

When I became a sales manager, I was already the top producer in the office (and this is how many managers are promoted), and it was easy and natural for me to jump on the phone and take over a call.

I enjoyed it!

And over the years, I found that this was the best way to train my reps—by modeling the closing skills and behaviors I wanted them to learn and practice.

What’s interesting in my training these days is that there are a good number of sales managers who resist this idea. They tell me that now they’re in management, they don’t “get on the phones” anymore.

Or, they tell me that it’s the job of the sales rep to make the calls—not them.

That’s a serious error.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting you do their work for them (they’d become dependent on you if you did), but rather, it’s important to show them how it’s done.

If you take over a call they are struggling with or start a call they think will be difficult (and you record it), then you will be able to provide them with an example of the right way to handle that situation.

And they’ll learn how to do it right going forward.

In addition, by not shying away from picking up the phone, you will be viewed as a leader—rather than a boss.

And that means people will respect you and want to follow you.

And this is what a leader does.

There are many other reasons for getting on the phone as well:

  • You’ll keep your skills sharp.
  • You’ll get the wonderful feeling that comes from closing a sale.
  • You’ll earn the respect from your reps.
  • You’ll help the company, and your team, make their numbers.

And many more.

So, ask yourself: How often do you pick up the phone and show your team how to do it?

If the answer is, “I can’t remember,” or “That’s not my job,” I urge you to think again.

Get on the phones, make a sale, and start leading your team to greatness.

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