Recently I was speaking in a sales meeting and was pointing out how as salespeople we seem to always know how to justify to other sales people why we weren’t able to close a deal. When one sales person asks another, “what happened with your customer” we know all the ways to make it ‘ok’ that no deal was made. Things like “they are in escrow right now, but they’ll be back”… or, “they had to run because the babysitter called”…. And even the old standby “they’re jus lookin”…… Usually the other sales person nods his head and then the discussion turns to how bad things are, customers are too smart, the economy is still bad, blah, blah blah blah… My question to the group was this; why do we let each other off so easily? What if we looked at the co-worker relationship more like a personal trainer at a fitness club, you know like a spotter at the gym? Can you EVER imagine a spotter leaning over you while you are lifting the bar on the bench press saying something like, “dude, its ok if you cant make it to ten, that’s a lot of weight and I’m not even sure I could lift it ten times so if you want to stop its cool”??? Or how about, “I see your arms are shaking a bit, you should stop man. You know you look good right now so working out more isn’t really necessary, go ahead and put it back on the rack, there’s always tomorrow…” You may say that it’s a spotter job to motivate and also be there in case something goes wrong and that as co-workers its not really our individual responsibility to look out of each other, help each other improve and push each other to greater heights. I would ask, REALLY? We all know the old saying, ‘we are only as strong as our weakest link” don’t we? We know that when the company does well it benefits each of the team members as well, so why WOULDN’T we take it as our own responsibility to encourage, motivate and push each other to try harder, stick with it longer and ask for help when needed? When a salesperson walks back to ‘the circle’ with his head hanging low why not ask what happened with the intent of offering some assistance like, “I had a customer say that once, and I said this in response and it helped them make a decision to buy, maybe you should try that next time”. Maybe offer to role play a bit or even ask the group as a whole what they would have said and make it a positive discussion that gets everyone involved and as a result everyone’s head really in the game and more prepared for the next guest that walks in. As a manager it’s the same thing, review with your salesperson where the process stalled and help your staff learn from it, learn ways to keep it from stalling the next time and become a better, more prepared salesperson in the process. The reality is that there are enough car deals to go around, there really is, so there is no reason for us to not want our co-workers to be great. Watching a fellow salesperson struggle and not reaching out a hand to help does not mean more deals for you, it really means that there will be less deals for the group as a whole. When we truly consider ourselves a team, the idea of being each others ‘spotter’ makes perfect sense. Get out there and be a great spotter for your team, and until next time; Sell Something!