“It is the responsibility of a company’s senior management to ensure that the Sales Team have more arrows in their quiver than anyone else the customer will meet”.
Most businesses grossly miss this. I just read that quote in Dave Zilko’s new book Irrational Persistence, a tale about how he and Jack Aronsons took a bankrupt startup and eventually sell it to a Fortune 500 company for almost a quarter of a billion dollars. Their company Garden Fresh is anchored in Ferndale MI, very close to where we operate our apartment business. Anyone in the cottage food business looks toward those guys as the Holy Grail. Bravo to their success, they are a kick ass cool company.
The phrase made me stop to think a little deeper about Sales, or moreover our Sales People on the Leasing Floor. We spend a lot of corporate speak with our clients trying to convince ourselves that we need to be a sales driven culture. After all, Sales Cures All Problems, or at least most of them, right? But the fact of the matter is, we don’t behave like a sales driven culture, most likely because its messy. Messy stuff is where all the opportunity for breakthrough lies, but too often is shunned because, well, its messy. This came to light tonight in an email exchange with a colleague when he said; “She’s all sorts of wicked leasing strong, and the rest of the baggage needs to be removed from her. However, I can’t have her dictating conditions of employment to her manager.”
On the surface, perhaps that seems logical, and I am by no means condoning insubordination, and frankly do not know the specifics of this encounter between Super Saleswoman and her Boss, but this type of scenario between high preforming sales people and their bosses is not new. We were just talking a couple days ago about how a few sales greats that we knew never crossed over to management because they made significantly more money selling, and in some cases, much more than their boss. That is messy, because super sales person suddenly thinks the world revolves around them. But what if it did? What would that look like, and is that how a Sales Driven Culture Behaves?
What makes this a bit more complicated in the apartment world is that leasing positions are typically the lowest paid spots in the food chain. Naturally a good to great sales person becomes agitated with that, and strikes out, particularly when the Property Manager pushes their things they do not want to do down to the lowest link in the chain, sparks fly. It is insult enough to be the lowest paid, all the while the company brass is touting about a sales driven culture, yet our actions and behavior are incongruent.
So, It begs the question as to what would happen if the Property Manager reported Leasing, Perhaps we would;
- Rent More Apartments
- Get Units Market Ready Faster
- Become a Sales Driven Culture!
RDA Press, (Rich Dad Advisors) are publishing Eric’s first book,Apartments to Hot Sauce; an Entrepreneurs Journey, to be on the bookstore shelves in Oct-2016!