In order to improve your team’s sales performance, you need to examine what is and is not working well and communicate that to your employees.
In the music world, feedback can cause an epic fail during a gig. In the business world, feedback takes on an entirely different meaning. Providing useful critiques of your employee’s performance can mean the difference between your band reaching the top of the charts, or never releasing a single.
How to Provide Feedback
Providing feedback, however, is often a sensitive and emotionally difficult conversation. If you truly want your employees to reach their full rock star potential, it’s also a necessary conversation.
Here are some tips to help you approach this conversation with confidence and ensure that the outcome is positive.
The most basic rule of engagement is that you bring the love you want to receive. That means making eye contact, smiling and engaging, and asking questions (and then listening to the answers!).
Begin with a compliment
It may seem counterintuitive, especially when your employee isn’t reaching their sales goals. However, when you open the conversation by focusing on something your team member is doing right, you pave the way for a more productive meeting. When you dive into what they are doing wrong your employee will likely throw up their defensive walls and nothing you say will register.
Ask how they think they’re doing
Often times, an employee knows that they aren’t quite cutting it. In fact, they are probably much harder on themselves than you would ever be. There can be many reasons for this and asking them about their performance gives them the opportunity to express challenges that you may not otherwise know about. You might find out that they are experiencing difficulties in their personal life, that they aren’t comfortable with their role and need more training, or that they have no passion for what they’re doing but would be a better fit in a different position or department.
Inspire excitement and energy
Being a rock star at work means having passion, vigor, and enthusiasm. This means you! You can’t expect your sales team to be energized about their jobs if you have a negative attitude. This lack of enthusiasm will spill over to your team spelling disaster for your sales goals.
Marvelless Mark tells his clients that “Rockstar energy is a well of inspiration and a source of drive. It is also the ability to share that power with others; it’s highly infectious, it spreads like wildfire, and it makes amazing things happen.”
“Once you get that two-way energy thing going, everyone benefits hugely.” – James Taylor
Ask for feedback
The hard truth is that sometimes, employees weaknesses are a reflection of management. In order for your employee to step up their game, you may need to step up yours. The only way to improve is by asking your band members for feedback.
Yes, you want to be tactful. But if you aren’t honest and straightforward, your employee may not understand what they are doing wrong and what they can do to improve it. By being open and honest about their performance, you improve the chances that they will learn from the conversation and make the necessary changes.
Provide the opportunity for improvement
Instead of pointing out what your employee did wrong, reframe the feedback into what they can do better. Be specific about behaviors that need improvement rather than making sweeping statements about their characters. Behaviors can be changed. When giving feedback, always remember to end looking to the future. “The past is behind us and the future lies ahead.” – Former VP Dan Quale.
Making regular a feedback a part of your sales culture will go a long way to improving your employee’s performance and helping them create hit after hit. As the bandleader, it is up to you to feed everyone’s commitment to the vision, get everyone working every day to hone your chops, and write songs you believe in.
“You learn from a conglomeration of the incredible past – whatever experience gotten in any way whatsoever.” Bob Dylan
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