This one book did more to shape my thinking, attitude and mindset for my sales manager success than any other book I’ve read in my life!

Why is it my favorite book? 

My first sales manager promotion was April 2, 1978 with American Greeting Cards, a Fortune 1000 company.

I remember being ecstatic to have the promotion, while at the same time wanted to go home and pull the covers over my head and never come out again because I realized I didn’t know if I really had the skills to be a sales manager.

The book opens with a story about a person who flies a lot for business and pleasure was asked to be a pilot. And how the normal response is “Heck, no. Are you crazy?”  

Yet, sales representatives world-wide are good at selling and are then asked to lead a sales team and they jump up and say ‘Absolutely.”

The sales rep has no more experience doing this than the lay person has to fly an airplane.

I said, “THAT’S ME!”

Ferdinand’s four 4 key facts really resonated with me…

  • Management is a system of interventions, things you do to get things done through others.
  • You need your employees more than they need you.
  • You get paid for what your employees do, not what you do.
  • You succeed only when your people succeed.

That was my first major ah-ha  as a new sales manager. I wasn’t going to be successful selling for my reps or asking them to do it my way or sell like I did.

This book focuses on how to be successful as a coach, how to have the right conversations and a five-step intervention technique.

My success would now be based on how I lead my sales reps to be the best.

The best part of the intervention technique is… you ask yourself this question (which may not be politically correct to use today… so don’t hold this against me… it does makes a clear point)

… If there was a gun to this person’s head… could they do it?

Asking myself that question has made the biggest difference on how to lead the coaching conversation.

What’s your favorite sales manager book?


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