Sales Managers: Are You a Day-Trader or a Long-Term Investor?


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John C. Maxwell, author of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, said, “Leadership is a lot like investing in the stock market. If your hope is to make a fortune in a day, you’re not going to be successful. There are no successful day traders in leadership.”

How about you? Are you a day-trader type of sales manager trying to make a big killing by focusing on your problems du jour? Or are you a long-term investor who is willing to wait for sustained team results?

A day-trading manager rarely has time for team development… Why? Because they’re busy responding to emails, dealing with unexpected problems, answering calls and texts, finishing work from the day before, etc.

I’m willing to bet that much of your time is spent on these same kinds of activities. But let me ask you this… Are there any of these activities that – if you did them effectively and consistently – would significantly improve your team’s sales results?

The answer is no. All those things may feel important or at least urgent in the moment, but none of them have a lasting impact on how well your team performs.

What does have a big effect on team results? Coaching! The goal of developmental coaching is to make your team stronger and more competitive in the future – it’s about empowering others. And the more empowered your people are the less stress you have. Reduced stress is a good thing, right?

Spending time on developmental coaching is what will turn you from a day-trader into a long-term investor. Begin evaluating tasks in terms of pay-off. Think of time as a return on investment. Every hour you spend coaching a rep to improve their skill, will, or habits will pay off hundred-fold or even more — because that rep will be more effective even when you’re not working with him or her. That’s the leverage of coaching.

Your mindset should be “What is the most valuable use of my time right now?” or “What can I do right now that will help one of my reps improve?”

Also, start learning how to proactively manage your schedule so you can eliminate all the timewasters — the things that get in the way of you spending more time on your important tasks.

One way to tell the difference between an urgent timewaster and a truly important task is who initiates the activity. Timewasters are almost always initiated by someone else… and in responding to them, you are automatically in a reactive mode. Learn to fight the impulse to automatically respond to every request that comes your way… the desire to answer every email, every text, every call… the instinct to fight every fire that you’re called in to fight. Become very deliberate about how you respond to tasks that others would have you do.

In contrast, a long-term investor is proactive — he or she initiates all the tasks that contribute to team development. That includes activities like one-on-one coaching, sales opportunity coaching, account development planning, and so on.

While it’s true that a day trader — whether in the stock market or in the management office — can occasionally have a big score, you’ll get more sustained results if you invest in developmental coaching. That’s how your sales team can continue to improve quarter after quarter after quarter. To learn more about developmental coaching download our 5 Sales Coaching Essentials report.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kevin Davis
Kevin Davis is the president of TopLine Leadership, which provides sales training and sales management leadership training programs to companies from diverse sectors. Kevin is the author of "Slow Down, Sell Faster! : Understand Your Customer's Buying Process & Maximize Your Sales". For more information visit


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