This is a short story about Dewey the Great Producer. This is a 3-Part story with 3 different endings and 3 different lessons. Each day will be a new ending and a different lesson so stay tuned!
Part #3: The Story
Dewey was a loyal and devoted company man who was a great sales producer. He worked hard, his customers loved him, and he always exceeded his sales goals … so they made him a sales leader. When they announced his promotion at the annual sales conference no one was surprised, everyone knew Dewey would be a great leader. Why? Because he was a great producer, he always hit his numbers, and everyone loved him!
6 months into his new position after the newness of the promotion wore off Dewey started to wonder if he’d made a mistake. His salespeople didn’t sell like he did, they didn’t talk to their customers the way he did, they certainly didn’t think like he did, and no matter how many times he told them what to say and how to say it … they never did it quite right!
So being a person who always grabbed the bull by the horns when it came time to get things done, he created Dewey’s 10 Golden Rules for Selling. For the next few weeks he drilled these rules into his people’s heads. And his people started changing … for a little while. 6 weeks later he saw that everyone was reverting to their old habits. So being a person who always grabbed the bull by the horns when it came time to get things done he came up with a bigger and better list, Dewey’s Mandatory 25 Golden Rules for Selling and this time he told his people that if they didn’t want to follow the rules they should probably find another place to work because things needed to change!
Well things did change … his top producer left because she felt like she couldn’t be herself, she was being forced to sell like Dewey. None of his people wanted to take him on sales calls because he stepped all over them during the sales process in an attempt to “close the deal” and walk out with the order in hishand. His boss started asking him why the success he had as an individual producer wasn’t translating into sales success for his entire team. Even his wife started telling him that he just wasn’t much fun to be around anymore and asked him to stop being so hard on the kids. Things were changing alright … just not how he had imagined when he first took his new position as a sales leader.
Ending #3: The Best Version
Dewey was frustrated to say the least, he decided that he needed to do a little soul searching and then have a conversation with his boss. Yes, it was true he missed his customers and it was easier to get things done when you did them yourself. But he loved the idea of being a leader, it’s something he had wanted for years. He had been influenced by a number of great leaders in his life and he wanted to do the same for his people … he just didn’t know how.
So he went and spoke to his manager and laid his cards on the table not sure of what would happen or whether he would be let go of or not. Sometimes you just have to be willing to speak the truth and let the cards fall where they may. “Funny thing you’re in here Dewey, I was thinking we needed to talk, you’re obviously not succeeding and I was thinking how can I support you , how can I help?” “Well I was thinking I could use some training, a friend of mine told me about how his company paid for him to work with a coach.” “I think that’s an excellent idea, Dewey let me look into it for you” his boss said. “I’ll follow up with you on Friday at our one-on-one meeting.”
So Dewey’s company helped him find a coach and the results were extraordinary! He learned how to coach his salespeople instead of trying to control them. He learned that influencing his people was just like influencing a customer and he was great at that. Well sales went up, morale went up, and employee turnover went down. Things even got better at home and his wife and kids loved being with him … again!
Morale of the Story #3: If you have leaders in your organization who aren’t succeeding as much as they could, maybe you need to invest in their development? The cost of poor leadership could be costing you more than you know. Maybe it’s time to ask them what they need to be more successful? Maybe it’s time to get them a coach!