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All too-often when sales managers are busy, they’re task-oriented in the wrong way. Not to be cruel, but they’re focused only on what’s at the end of their noses. For effective management and revenue, the trick is to guard against it.

In part, as a study showed, mid-level managers often feel like monkeys because they have all kinds of pressures from their bosses or from their subordinates.

This means managers miss opportunities in other important job functions – to provide support and to motivate their employees to higher performances. Another responsibility is to motivate employees to offer profitable ideas. 

If you want maximum profit, the ideal situation is to partner with your employees.

Employees inherently expect their leaders to be consistent – to behave calmly and perform at a high level.

Employees rightfully expect it and it’s good for morale. After all, high morale among employees propels profits.

Even when you’re having a bad hair day, don’t overlook an opportunity to motivate members of your team when they approach you with a problem.

From the expression on your face to what you say and how you say it, can be crucial. Appearances and words can either be powerful motivators or balloon deflators. It’s your choice to make.

10- second tips for typical scenarios

When an employee comes to you excitedly with good news or a somber face with bad, smile, and stop what you’re doing. Look at the person, put down the phone, your pen or set aside your laptop.

Greet the person with interest, like you mean it – even if you’re troubled by something else.


If a person brings a problem, don’t be too quick to respond. Ask: “What do you think?” You’ll help instill confidence in your employee. There’s another self-serving reason: You’ll make it possible to ease your workload for the long term. Effective employee delegation is a wonderful thing.

If you disagree with your employee’s response, you’ll learn what needs to be corrected for the future. In any event, emphasize the principle involved to make it a great teaching and learning experience. Help them to see for themselves.

If you’re confident in the person, consider empowering your employee with “I trust your judgment.”

Avoid micromanaging

If you feel the need to teach without micromanaging, use the phrase, “What if we tried…?” As soon as you can, get out-of-the-way. Let the person assume ownership and develop skills for personal growth. This will ultimately power your brand with employee empowerment.

When an employee faces a seemingly insurmountable problem, ask “How can I help?” This is particularly helpful when a salesperson is trying to satisfy a customer’s reasonable request, but is hampered by your company’s internal policies or politics. The employee appreciates knowing that you listen and understand. It’s a great validating approach.

If your employee is facing a really big obstacle, try: “We’ll figure this out,” but follow through on the situation. Don’t let it drop from your radar. It underscores that you’re a team. It’s reminiscent of the adage, “No man is an island.” No person can exist without others. So, it provides hope to your employee.

In a difficult situation, here’s another great phrase: “What I hear you saying, is…” You’re showing that you’re listening and that you are making an attempt to understand.


Honesty can be a great motivator. If an employee can’t solve a dilemma, it’s often comforting for the person to hear: “I don’t know. Let’s find out.” In this age of instant gratification, some problems aren’t easy to solve and require reflection and study. That’s a wonderful lesson for an employee.

If an employee is discouraged and anticipates that you’ll negatively respond, the person feels much better if you answer: “Let me think about it.” And you show thoughtful leadership.

Sales employees hear “no” a lot on a daily basis. Why not brighten their day? Whenever possible, show support with “you’re right.” Another positive response: “I couldn’t agree more.”

If you feel the need to disagree with the person, impressions count. Don’t react with what would appear to be a negative reactionary ruling. Instead, consider the phrase: “Let me play a devil’s advocate…” In this way, you’re criticizing on principle, not the person.

Finally, in 98 percent of every conversation, a manager has an opportunity to boost an employee’s morale with a simple “thank you” or “please.” They should be favorite words in your vocabulary. Good employees will take the cue and use the phrase more often with you, their peers and their customers.

Certainly, these ideas don’t comprise a full list. What has worked for you? Why?

From the Coach’s Corner, additional tips:

“A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.” 

-Harvey Mackay


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.