Masterful Reprimands – The Best Sales Management Training
By Ralph Burns
As effective as Masterful Praisings are in reinforcing good behavior, reprimands are as effective at curtailing bad behavior.
We call em, you guessed it…”Masterful Reprimands”.
Although they are basically concept, just on opposite ends of the spectrum, there are big differences in the approach.
For your “veteran” salespeople, this tactic is particularly effective in changing ingrained bad habits and behaviors. How many of these guys have you got?
My guess is quite a few. Old dog, new tricks, seen it all before…you know the kind.
For your newer or new salespeople, this should be used sparingly due to the fact that most mistakes made by new salespeople are made due to lack of experience, knowledge or familiarity of policies and procedures…or just plain naiveté.
If the salesperson has been doing their job for some time and they know how to do it well and they make a mistake, be quick to respond. As fast as you are with Masterful Praising, be just as fast for Masterful Reprimands.
1. As soon as you learn of the mistake, call or visit the salesperson personally
2. Confirm the facts – ask the salesperson about the situation and listen to them tell the entire story. Ask questions to create understanding
3. Look them right in the eye and tell them what they did wrong.
4. Tell them how you feel about it: “This makes me extremely upset because…”
5. Let what you say to them sink in – pause for effect. Let it hurt. The longer you pause, the better.
6. Look them clearly in the eye and tell them how competent they are. Tell the salesperson the only reason you’re so upset with them is because you have so much respect for them. Tell them: “this is so unlike you”
Do it right after the mistake. This tells the salesperson that you are on top of things and that they will not get away with sloppiness.
Unlike masterful-praisings, NEVER miss a reprimand. This sets the tone; you are not going to miss a thing. By missing a masterful-reprimand, you lose respect and control – it undermines your ability to lead because it says to them that mistakes WILL be tolerated. This sends the wrong message and creates more work for you down the line. Do it now. Yes its hard – it really stinks to do it – but don’t delay. And don’t miss any masterful-reprimands.
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