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How Much Should Sales People Be Trusted To “Get On With It”?

In his commentary during the 1982 Austrian Grand Prix James Hunt observed, in his own inimitable style, that, regarding driver control of turbo boost, Renault did not allow their drivers to control it whereas McLaren did and that if you, “Don’t trust your drivers it is a stupid decision and is asking for trouble”. After all, you had chosen to employ them and so you should let them get on with it.

This got me thinking about how much should salespeople be trusted to, “get on with it”? For example, I know of situations where salespeople are not allowed to negotiate terms and conditions. What does that do to a salesperson’s credibility and power in the eyes of the buyer?

A survey carried out many years ago posed the question to buyers that if they had two options that were both equally able to provide a solution under similar terms and conditions, how would they make a choice? The answer with the highest score was summarised thus, “We would choose the option from the salesperson who had shown the most control over their company’s resources”.

For salespeople to be perceived this way would require their managements to invest them with a considerable degree of trust.

I suppose it is a variation on the, “What if we train our salespeople and they leave? What if we don’t and they stay”?

What if we trust our salespeople and they negotiate away our profit? What if we don’t trust them and they lose the sale?

Surely, if the right people are recruited then trusting them to “get on with it” should be axiomatic?


If you are curious about this, register your interest by contacting me, John Busby, to discuss at:; + 44 7968 066 165

Copyright©2015 John Busby

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