Sales Essentials Blog

‘How to manage and help salesmen’ – lessons from ’60

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You might be taken aback by the sexist nature of the title of this article ’How to manage and help salesmen’.

However, if you take into account that this title comes from a book written in 1960 by Charles B. Roth you might be a bit more forgiving.

Much of what is written in this book is about honourable business practices, fair and decisive leadership, care for customers, effective coaching and support of teams, and above all, respect and dignity for salespeople and their livelihoods.

A snippet of the titles of chapters and their sub-sections gives you an idea about the intent of the book:

  1. Getting the most out of every man
    1. Men eager to give their best
    2. You can’t treat them alike
    3. But they all need building
    4. Treat them as you do your best customers
    5. Encourage them to improve themselves
    6. You can’t afford to be stingy
    7. Teach the philosophy of kindness
    8. See things as they see them
    9. Fears cause failures also
    10. etc
  2. Becoming a sales management leader
    1. The sales manager is still the fall guy
    2. Adequate sales force – first requirement
    3. Human engineering always comes first
    4. You have to know men
    5. Link up with salesmen’s emotions
    6. First rule: be human
    7. Keep promises to your men
    8. Give fair and impartial treatment
    9. Don’t become a big shot
    10. Be sure your attitude is right
    11. You have to work with outsiders
    12. Be better educated every day
    13. Set up a thinking department
    14. How to be your best
    15. Pace yourself during the day
    16. Test and classify yourself
    17. Check your creativeness
    18. etc

It takes effort

Being an accomplished sales leader takes effort, application and dedication. It is a constant job of action and reaction. It is not for the faint hearted but at the heart of being a great sales leader is caring for our teams, helping them get the best out of themselves and each other. It’s a role that leads from the front and creates the way forward. It requires vision, courage, fortitude and selflessness.  

However, with so many distractions and a myriad of things on our plate, many sales leaders and sales managers of today are at risk of losing sight of what makes great sales teams and great sales leaders. Distracted by the latest app or silver bullet promising to save the day, perhaps they should look back into the history journals to see that sometimes the old ways of doing things are what they need more than ever in today’s hectic and ever changing landscape.

Author: Sue Barrett, 


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