I think about Sincere Sales, the messaging behind my blog, and the goals I hope to achieve. I hope my voice can be valuable, engaging, and reach people and help them achieve their personal goals. I hope my blog can be a chance to mentor other sales professionals or sales professionals who have transitioned into leadership and are feeling insecure about managing people vs. managing accounts. When I think of the word mentorship, I hope there is some assistance from this blog that could be considered mentorship.
My first exposure to mentorship in business is my dad. It isn’t easy to describe how fortunate I have been in my life to have someone who invested in me at such a young age to include me in so much of the world’s business. I also can’t stress enough the gratitude I have for my father for wanting to share his world of business with me. My father was ahead of his time and the creation story behind sincere sales and management. The idea is that we have put people first in everything we do and that emotional connectivity, whether it is your customer or the people you are lucky enough to serve as a manager, the people are the priority.
I was fortunate that my dad would take me on lunches and dinners when salespeople would call on the business. He always taught me that I was there to listen. Sure he would let me tell an antidote from my football game or the project I was working on at the plant. However, I was tasked to listen, and I had my marching orders. I was there to pick up as much information as possible and read the salesperson. When we got in the car, the first thing my dad would ask was what was the scoop? As a salesperson or a manager, you must listen to take away the scoop. Whether it is market intel, frustration, or a solution, the first obligation in interaction is listening. Every day I ask myself what the scoop I learned today was. Another lesson my dad taught me was about not making excuses but becoming a problem solver. Customers and constitutions want to hear how you will resolve any issue, not complaining, not about how you got in the situation. I was at dinner once with my dad early on in my career with my new boss, and I started tap dancing around an issue. My dad stopped the dinner, grabbed my hand and a pen, and wrote “No Excuses” on my hand. It is a phrase I often say to myself and is something I will never forget.
I remember another aspect of the business trips with my dad. We would pull up to a business. A spot reserved for the owner or VP of sales would be in the front, and a new Mercedes or Jaguar would be parked in the spot. I remember my dad telling me that as the boss, you should never have a spot up front; you should park as far away as possible. It is something that has stuck with me today. Even today, someone asked me why I parked so far away. My simple response was that there were more deserving people to park up front. The lesson about the parking spot was just the broader lesson my dad was teaching me. The spaces, the fancy office, and the brand-new car are all excessive regarding how you manage a team. Everyone already knows you’re the boss and know that you make more money and have privileges that they don’t; there is no need to flaunt or reward yourself with superficial items.
In closing, I know that not everyone was fortunate as I was to grow up with not only a father who was in the position to give me such valuable lessons but as someone who cared enough to have those insights. That is why as we learn lessons; we should share them with others; they shouldn’t be reserved for a son or a daughter. We have valuable information. We should share and invest time and energy with those around us. Whether a client or an employee, sharing what you learn is the best gift you can offer.
If you like the lessons I am talking about, please follow the blog on Twitter, and connect with me on LinkedIn. This week do me a favor and park far away from the office front door to show the team that they deserve to park close.