Going From Top Salesperson to Sales Vice-President Destroys Life, Conclusion

Going From Top Salesperson to Sales Vice-President Destroys Life, Conclusion

Larry’s wife noticed the frustration in her husband’s demeanor. His deep-belly laughter, smile, and the ability for a good night of sleep were gone.

Larry, his company’s top salesman for nearly a decade, was now a miserable Sales Vice-President. Larry and his wife were not happy with the outcome.

His wife pointed out an advertisement for the Advanced Leadership Certificate program at the nearby Community College. After some encouragement, they decided to take a few classes to see how they could help.

Larry was sitting in his chair the first night I was the instructor. His body language was a sign of his worry. Larry sat behind me at the end of the first class and shared his story with us. He was not only struggling with the discouragement of being in a role for which he wasn’t trained, but he was also having trouble dealing with the fact that he was the vice-president who was not related to the owner.

Larry and I both agreed that he would benefit significantly from one-on-one coaching. I requested that he complete an online assessment to help me understand his career goals, weaknesses, motivational factors, and strengths. After reading the answers to his questions, there was one conclusion: Larry had found the job of his dreams.

What can make dream jobs so tricky?

Many will be puzzled at how one can find happiness in a perfect job. This is often the case. I have learned this through my own experience. Although dream jobs can be aligned to someone’s interests, they are not always aligned by their motivational factors or exposed talents.

See also  Fighting the 80/20 Rule

Let’s take, for instance, the person who is passionate about making sandwiches. They open a sandwich shop. Although things go well initially, they soon find themselves struggling with other aspects of running a sandwich shop. The joy of making sandwiches will be overshadowed by the demands of running a business, such as a payroll, taxes, procurement, maintenance, and other requirements. Instead of creating unique sandwich masterpieces, the focus will shift to frustration at having to make challenges for 48 hours per week.

Larry’s error

Larry was too passionate about sales. He was taking control of the sales calls entirely during those times when he should have been training the salespeople. Salespeople were getting frustrated as they wanted to be able to sell themselves. They saw his intervention in the sales call as a lack of confidence in their abilities. They dreaded the prospect of him joining them on a sales call. Instead of learning from the most outstanding salesperson in the company, they felt so negative that they only learned resentment.

Larry’s transformation

Larry started to focus his listening skills on how the prospect was being approached by the salesperson. He refused to give up on a sales call and instead worked with the salesperson, helping him to understand the needs of the customer and the company’s options to help them.

Larry was able to see how to transform the skills of the salesperson into the capabilities of the sales vice-president during our coaching experience.

Six months later, he was done with the coaching program and said that he felt the fire in his belly again. He now “looks forward” to going to work every morning. His peers said that he was “new Larry” — one who was enjoyable to work side-by-side.

See also  C-Level Relationship Selling - 6 Tips for Overcoming Executive Intimidation

Larry’s company saw a double-digit increase in sales the following season, nearly reaching their delivery capacity. This happened despite the economic downturn’s early stages.