Salespeople have always loved the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” where Alec Baldwin goes on a tirade about “Coffee is for Closers” and “ABC: Always Be Closing.” Teams have chanted this for years, focusing on doing what it takes to close the deal. Although many feel this is still a great concept, I think in our hyper competitive business environment, we should be creating a new ABC for leaders to demand of their managers and team leaders:
This struck me as I watched the NFL Draft. I kept hearing the analysts discuss the pros and cons of drafting a particular individual. Even for the top picks, the word/phrase they continued to use was, “This team is going to have to coach and develop this player to fit into their style of offense.”
Coach and Develop. These are two words I don’t hear often in business. Conceptually at meetings perhaps, but in the day to day workflow of managers? Not so much. We cannot expect to survive only on saying what we have to in order to close deals. Products and services are becoming more of a commodity every day. The ability to click a mouse and have a package delivered in hours makes it even more important to deliver a fantastic customer experience.
I think any business, but especially those who need customers to come to their brick and mortar locations, instead of modeling Glengarry Glen Ross, you should be modeling sports teams. Every day athletes are working out, practicing their plays, reviewing video of their games/practices. They’re seeing what they need to do better and then they have coaches who are helping them get better. Teams have dedicated strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists, position coaches, mental coaches and the list goes on and on.
I understand many will push back, saying they don’t have the budget to have all of these extra people, but I would counter that you have people on your team right now, and it is more of a structure and mentality versus adding staff. In your dealership or your business do you have a time every single day where people are working on their craft? As I visit dealerships, there is a lot of downtime which, if structured correctly, could be used more effectively.
Let’s look at a few comparisons from a dealership.
- Reviewing Playbook: OEM Product Knowledge
- Individual or Position Practice: Role Play with small groups
- Reviewing Film: Listening to Calls or Reviewing CRM in front of team
- Full Practice: Group sessions with departments who interact (BDC/Sales, Sales/Service) to review how customers moves from group to group
The new ABC should become the new business mantra. Always Be Coaching. There is a reason why certain businesses, dealerships, and teams consistently perform. They have a built in culture of coaching the whole team towards success. They do not assume putting talent together alone will make success happen. They understand there is always time to coach.
Leaders need to structure coaching and training into their daily workday. There is no perfect system or plan. You have to adapt and be flexible due to your staff, schedule, busy days or times of day. But there are always times when business is slow, maybe before customers flock in, where training can occur.
The best teams find a structure to take what they review in class and put it into practice on the field. Make sure your managers are active on the “field” with your team to help them implement skills so they are at their best when facing customers.
This new ABC will help focus your leaders on training employee’s skills, helping them translate it into actionable performance all focusing on providing the best customers experience. Now instead of “Coffee is for Closers,” we can all drink because all of us are delivering great results.
I’ve taken my successful online course, Building and Leading a High Performing Team, and turned it into a 2-day live workshop entitled “You’ve Got the Job: Now What?”, where I will provide attendees the skills needed to become a great leader for their team.
If you want to learn more about enhancing your team and building leaders, sign up for my educational workshop, June 19th and 20th at the Sheraton in Eatontown, NJ.