Acquiring the skill to effectively communicate with your internal team is a juggernaut for sale success. Every sales woman, including the one-woman consultant, works with a diverse group of individuals to accomplish desired client outcomes. How you interact with this village will help or hinder your sales efforts.
In sales, we are so focused on our client relationships and communication that we may lose sight of our internal network. Our internal relationships are as valuable as the external. Building those bridges is time well spent. While it should be obvious, treating everyone with courtesy, dignity, and respect fosters the foundation of strong relational capital.
To forge a positive culture with your internal team members, utilize the following tips:
1. Request with Reason
A very wise man, Keith Larson, shared this with me mid-way through my career. It was brilliant, and I only wished I had adopted this tactic earlier in my profession. When you require, need, or desire something, provide a brief reason as to why you want it. This transforms your request from an arbitrary command to a legitimate necessity. It fosters a feeling of inclusion and value within your team. They are part of the solution to achieve the client goals.
2. Questions & Suggestions
Engage your team by participating in the situation at hand. Ask for their thoughts on the best way to approach, possible shortcuts, and potential associated risks. You can start with, “I have a question for you, how…” or “What would you think is the best way to…” “How” and “what” questions are best, as they focus on the task at hand rather than the individual. This makes them less likely to have a fight or flight response. The key is to encourage your team members to be active parts of the dialogue and decision.
3. Do What You Say
I thought about titling this “Don’t Cry Wolf.” Always doing what you say you will do is a key leadership trait. It sets you apart. There have been times that I have gotten up out of bed because I had said I would send or do something, was interrupted, and missed it. It’s that important to me to do what I said I would do. If you follow this as a rule, on the rare occasion when something causes you to misstep, your team will always cut you slack. Leading by example demonstrates to your team the value you place on their own attention and commitments.
4. Negotiation Dance
Think freeform rock and roll rather than a more structured line dance. Negotiating internally is vital to your team’s attitudes and perspectives. A team that feels valued and respected will respond rather than react to the daily turmoil, challenges, and last-minute changes. There’s always a way to work across the dance floor. Negotiating the best path with your team gets everyone there together.
Each of these tips will help you establish credibility, authenticity, and trust with your internal team. These are the essential building blocks for a powerful, supportive, and cooperative team, creating an environment that will foster your sales objectives and improved client outcomes.