In the movie, "Glengarry Glenross," the sales manager is a jerk, an acerbic cynic, a malevolent force, a take-no-prisoners, I-don't-hear-your-excuses, kind of guy.
He announces a contest.
First place, you win money.
Second place, you win steak knives.
Third place, you're fired.
Is this guy for real? Are there sales managers who act like this?
Of course, there are. I haven't met any as a consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, but they're out there.
I've worked with them.
And, though it's a little contrarian to say this, there's something important they have to teach salespeople and other managers.
In a word, they embody what everyone in selling needs: CERTAINTY.
If you are certain, definite, unequivocal about the value of your product, your service, your company, your place in the universe, your right to earn a big, fat paycheck, then the world is your oyster.
As they say, people will step aside for a person who knows where he's going.
On the other hand, if you're riddled with doubts, and you wear your insecurities on your sleeve, then you have a big problem.
The Glengarry manager won't hand you those knives, he'll hurl them at you.
Like a hard-bitten drill sergeant or that dour taskmaster of a teacher you had in high school, he won't cut you any slack; he'll just cut you from the team.
Results, results, results, results!
That's all he'll accept.
Like one of those old-fashioned cops with bursting biceps, his swagger discourages most problems from ever ripening into existence.
I had a martial arts instructor who was like this. Somebody asked him about the potential for injuries in training and he shot back:
NOBODY GETS INJURED HERE. THERE ARE NO ACCIDENTS HERE!
Tell that to the guy I drove to the hospital for a dozen sutures to his chin, but even in that fellow's mind, after the surgeon was done with him, if you asked him what happened, he wouldn't quite admit it really happened.
He never spoke of it.
I DIDN'T GET INJURED. NO ACCIDENT HAPPENED HERE.
The Glengarry sales manager just won't tolerate anything but victory.
TO BE SURE---there's something to be said for that!
Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 800 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered a foremost expert in telephone effectiveness, customer service, and sales development. A top-rated speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.