Rules of the Roads

Neither my wife Cathy, daughter Emily, nor I had ever been on an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), so we paid close attention to our adventure guide Sebastian, when he gave the rules of the road to us during our school vacation break in the hot sun and strong trade winds of Aruba.

He was very specific: everyone in our group would stay in a single line, and adhere to the rules of the road to which all vehicles adhere. There would be no ‘hot-dogging’, and each of us would respect the others in the group by keeping a safe distance between vehicles. Any violation would result in the immediate termination of the adventure. Sebastian was so serious when telling us that a young couple immediately left our group and went out on their own.

No Accidents

As we made our way across the sand toward the north shore of the Caribbean, Sebastian repositioned how we were riding. He decided that some individuals didn’t have the strength or confidence to make it over the treacherous route to get to the natural pool, so he changed course. He prolonged our route which resulted in a very enjoyable ride. Sebastian’s proactive management skills gave us all better results. Every one had a great adventure, there were no accidents, and the company created another success by satisfying several new customers.

Rush Hour Biking

Before last week, it had been 20 years to the month since I had ridden my bicycle in a group of people going 15 miles an hour. Back then, my friend Lynchie, who was new to riding in a peloton, was right in front of me and Tom (the experienced triathlete) when he suddenly yelled out TURTLE, while swerving sharply to avoid a large turtle. With just three inches separating my front wheel from his rear wheel, there wasn’t a lot of time for me to react.  As I fell into the asphalt, my right knee turned into a pile driver. Despite many weeks on crutches and through extended physical therapy, my knee wasn’t right for a very long time. I am now renewing my passion for biking.

As we set out on our 20 mile group bike ride last week from the Natick store of Landry’s Bicycles, (sponsor of the ride), our leader, Mark, reminded us to keep safe distances between each rider and to announce when they would be passing another. Bike riders always honor the rules of the road, as if they were driving a car. They stop at all intersections; they keep to the right; they respect all other drivers on bicycles and in cars, etc.

More than 15 of us enjoyed a trouble-free ride by following the rules of the road as the sun started to set in near perfect weather through the idyllic towns of Dover, Needham, Sherborn, and Wellesley. There were no accidents, and then several riders bought accessories and scheduled repairs at the store.

Magic Formula of Growing Sales

Having grown sales year after year after year, Sales Managers of Distinction (SMoD) are in a league of their own. They develop and manage their teams accordingly to their own rules of the road. Just like driving an ATV in Aruba or bike riding in the Boston area, the success of the team can be ensured when the rules of the road are followed by all.

Effective rules accomplish three things: Generate highest level of customer satisfaction possible, achieve defined corporate objectives, and fulfill the professional and personal needs of sales producers. Call it the proverbial win-win-win situation; it’s the magic formula of growing sales through any economic cycle.

Just like Sebastian and Mark, SMoDs clearly define the rules of the road their team members follow. Simple rules that are based on discipline and structure; this is what you will do; this is what you won’t do.

They don’t have many rules, but the rules they do have are strictly enforced.

When individual producers generate high customer satisfaction levels and achieve corporate objectives, they’re rewarded handsomely. But, when individual production falls outside the lines of expectations, overall team production suffers, and necessary adjustments are made in a timely fashion. Call it the dog wagging its tail.

These days, many companies have been shedding sales people left and right. Chalk it up to being a sign of the times, but SMoDs haven’t had to make sudden changes in this economy because their system, with its rules of the road, keeps team members getting better sales consistently.

When everyone clearly understands what’s needed to be done, and the manager provides the necessary resources in a timely fashion, nobody gets hurts, and everyone enjoys the ride.

How are your sales people adhering to your rules of the road?

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