3 Mantras Of Sales Leadership

sales leadership Aug 19, 2017

Where does winning sales leadership start?  How about in your own head?

Did you like my Wisdom? If so, please share it with everyone who is looking to help their team get to the next level, and is looking for a tool to articulate their vision.  – Matt


If I were to tell you that there's one word that can make or break any manager, what would you say it is?


Important, but not big enough.


Not bad, but clarity of what?

What's that?  Consistency?

Also pretty darn good, you're likely a fairly successful manager already.

Editors note:  If you aren't currently in a leadership role feel free to print this, take it to your boss, and let him or her know Matt said it's time for a promotion.  (Unless your boss gave you the answers, in that case give them a pat on the back instead)

While all of your answers were certainly worthy of being considered, but I believe I can capture them all in one single, unifying word, and that word is...mantra.

Ask winning people in sales leadership, and they will tell you that there are few things you will do that are more important than defining what you believe in, and communicating those "mantras" to your team.

Accountability?  Check.  In this case, mantras allow you to lay out the rules everyone is going to play by, which means everyone can be held accountable...including you.

Clarity?  Of course!  Imagine a day where every person on your team knows what's expected of them and those around them...including you.

Consistency?  Your boss ever make a seemingly random decision that made you shake your head?  Think your team doesn't do it behind your back too?  Of course they do!  What if they knew when to call you on it?

This week's Windshield Wisdom is all about the rules, or Mantras, I've spent 20 years operating my teams under.  It's a simple concept I've helped dozens of sales leadership teams develop for themselves, and I can tell you that in all circumstances this simple exercise had a remarkable impact on the direction, passion levels, and successes of each team.

Good luck defining and developing sales leadership mantras of your own.  If you would like to show yours off, feel free to drop them to [email protected]  I would love to see what you came up with and hear about your path to discovering them as well.

Full Transcript:

Hey everybody, how's it going?  I'm Matt Middendorp, the owner and founder of Sales Math, and I just got done with a phenomenal conversation with a brand new sales manager.  He asked me a question I've never really been asked before, and I wanted to share my answer with you today.  The question was, "Matt, what's the first thing I need to do to set my team up to be successful?"

Of course my first response was, "Hire me to train them."  I'm kidding guys, no wait that actually was my first response, but the next thing I said was even more important than that, and that was, "define yourself".

Define what you believe and communicate that to your team.  

So what I would like to do today is I would like to give you the core mantras I operated under as a sales leader for almost 20 years, then talk through how I used those to guide my team.

There were 3.  I don't want to spend a ton of time on them, because mine may be different from yours, but I definitely want you to take some time to come up with what you're core mantras, your core beliefs are that you're going to lead your team through.

The first one for me was always, "Believe that you're the best".  In banking that meant that we were the "best bank in town".  It didn't mean that we had the best rates.  Our CD rates weren't always the highest.  Our loan rates weren't always the lowest, but we knew that we were going to take care of our customers better than everybody else.  That was an incredibly important mindset for my team to have.  I've lost track of how many new customers we got because we caught fraud as it was happening, because we cared.  We wanted to be something more for them than just the lowest rate.  Especially in banking, we were trying to compete with credit unions, and we knew we weren't the lowest rate on loans.  We knew we weren't the highest rate on deposits, but we also knew we took care of our customers better than them because we knew we were more than just a rate, and that's all they had to sell.  Unlike them, we were people thinking and caring about other people.

So believe that you're the best...whatever you want to be.  My team did.  They internalized it, and they lived it.

The second mantra we talked about was, "Winners keep score".  There was a connection that had to be made there guys, otherwise this idea is intimidating to people who think, "Ok, winners keep score so we're going to set up tracking, and we're going to measure you.  If you can't live up to this then..."  No.  That's not what "Winners keep score meant".  If we were going to truly take care of our customer better than anybody else, there was one thing we had to do, and that was measure it.

We had to know that if we were making our loan goal for the quarter, or if we were bringing in deposits like we wanted to, it wasn't that we were better sales people.  It was that we were measuring ourselves, because if we weren't taking care of our customers then we wouldn't grow.  I was linking those goals to the first mantra.  It was winners keep score, because when we're winning for our customers, when we're winning for us, when the bank is winning it will show up in the results we're getting.

It's a great connection to make.

Let's recap. We're the best <blank> in town.  Winners keep score.  The third mantra was, "Having fun while being your best".  You guys see this in my LinkedIn profile.  You guys see this in my Twitter feed.  You guys see all the energy and passion I have in these Windshield Wisdom videos.  Having fun while being the best is something I believe in very, very strongly, because if you're not having a great time.  If you're not learning.  If you're not engaging yourself.  If you're not enjoying the people in front of you, whether it's a customer or a co-worker.  If you're not taking time to celebrate your wins, then you are not going to have sustained success.

One of the most important days, if not the most important day, in my sales leadership history was the day I stopped trying to motivate people.  It was the day I instead decided to draw passion out of my team, and facilitate their love of what they do.  Motivation is fleeting.  It's a moment.  You can motivate people for a day, but you can't make them great for a quarter, or a year, or 5 years, or 10 years if it doesn't come from inside of them, and I saw it as my job to bring that out.  I wanted to share my passion with them, and if you do that and they believe that they're the best, if you can show them quantitatively how they're taking care of their customers better than anybody else, and if you can help them pull out their passion so they want to be successful for the long-term, then you will have immeasurable success.  Sometimes even with team members that others have given up on.  Sometimes with people who could've been great, but they might not have been if you hadn't chosen to make them great by having them model these behaviors.

Here's one other thing I want to share about this very quickly, and that is I had these three mantras, and they gave me a framework to make decisions in.  It allowed me to have a framework to run my branch in, but more importantly it gave my team a framework to come back and hold me accountable.  There were several times where I would propose an idea, or talk through something, and they would say to me, "How does that fit into (insert mantra here)?  How does that fit into having fun while being the best?  How does that allow us to keep score?  How does that fit into showing that we're taking care of our customers better than anyone else?"  You know what guys?  A lot of the time when they called me on these things, they were right and I was wrong!

By giving them the freedom, and a framework, to question me, we were so much more cohesive and successful, because I wasn't steering us in a direction that didn't match what I believed and what they had come to believe through working with me.

So define yourself.  Define your business.  Give your team a way to hold you accountable to the things you claim to believe, and you will find a level of success, long-term success, that you didn't think was possible.

Thank you very much.  I really hope you enjoyed this Windshield Wisdom about creating your framework, or mantras.  I love your comments and feedback.  Keep bringing them.  Keep them coming.  You can find me on LinkedIn.  You can like Sales Math on Facebook.  Please call me, (715) 897-0879.  If you have any questions about your own sales leadership, or your own mantras I would love to hear them.  You guys do a great job of that.  In the meantime, I'm looking forward to talking with you again next week.

Make sales.  Be Happy.  Be successful.

Matt Middendorp is a nationally acclaimed speaker and sales coach with over 20 years of experience turning connections into customers and advocates.  In 2013, Matt founded Sales Math, and debuted his “Formula for Success” sales training system to bankers across the country.  From the beginning, Matt’s clients have experienced learning that is fun, meaningful, and makes a difference in the real world.  Today, Matt’s core philosophies of “Learn Together, Do Together, Grow Together” are taught through in-person coaching, online as part of the Cool Bankers Academy, and by his leadership of the Cool Bankers Club Facebook Group.  His clients are making millions based on the confidence and skills gained from learning a sales process tailored to their individual personalities and businesses.  For information about training and workshops visit www.Sales-Math.com, call (715) 897-0879, or email Matt personally at [email protected]


Enter your best email address to get impactful and relevant sales advice designed just for bankers

And I promise absolutely no spam!

Sign Up >>