As a fellow salesperson (I drew the short straw when I took on being a CEO), I want to take a deeper dive on the importance of the 3rd “I” in the article, imagination. From the time I was little, I found great inspiration in all kinds of music, mostly thanks to my parents and their eclectic tastes. Blues, bluegrass, rock, folk, jazz – on the list goes, and the older I got the broader and deeper my appreciation for different genres (except for rap and heavy metal – neither of which I have even been able to truly understand). I would also tell you that my appreciation for animation has also evolved, from a child’s eye of wonder to an adult’s ear for witty one-liners. Oh, the things they put into kid movies…
OK, Mike?! Can we stick to the point of helping my sales team, please? What’s this about music and cartoons?
Enter: Iris Dement & The Incredibles
For those of you who don’t know, Iris Dement would be categorized as a folk singer. I first discovered her unique, tinny voice in a duet with one of my all-time favorites, John Prine. If you’ve never heard them sing together, I’d encourage you to start with “In Spite of Ourselves”. The song lyrics alone are worth the effort. I mention her, and music in general, in the spirit of imagination. And the acceptance of music in your workplace. I would encourage you to use music whenever possible in your culture and with your sales team. Play it in the office, allow your team to gain inspiration from it. I would also tell you that you can LEARN things about your team by listening to music they like. It may just give you some personal insight into who they are as people and what makes them tick.
As for The Incredibles, remember how each Parr family member had a different superpower? Bob was strong and invincible, Helen could stretch her body exponentially, Violet could be invisible or create a force-field, and Dash had super-speed. Guess what? Your sales team members also have their own “superpowers”. And guess what else? Just like with the Parr family – they were stronger when they worked together using each other’s powers. Strive to create that kind of atmosphere, and as I mentioned in the “F’s”, don’t be afraid to insert a little fun.
One last thought – about those one liners. Inserting them into an office environment can be tricky. But it’s as much about listening for them as anything else. Listening, that is, to what’s between the lines, the inferences, the tones, the general vibe. Believe it or not, it can be a strong indicator as to the health of the sales team as a group. But you have to be paying to attention to what is said…and what isn’t…
#PutPeopleFirst #RaiseAllShips #EagleONECares
P.S. Be sure to join us next week when we talk about the 3 J’s – Jargon, Judiciousness, Justification