Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford


Your Supporting Cast - July 2, 2016

Happy 4th of July - a short post this week.

At some point over the years I am sure you’ve watched an awards show. Whether the award goes to a best actress or to a singer, it is rare that an acceptance speech comes without acknowledgement of their supporting cast. You’ll hear: “I’d like to thank my wife”, “I could not have done this without a great director”, “This wouldn’t have been possible without a great band backing me up every night on stage”. I honestly cannot recall a time where the supporting cast didn’t get a shout-out. And deservedly so.


I believe this same situation occurs in sales. A sales person is only as good as their supporting cast. That supporting cast may be an assistant, manager, customer service rep, accounting department team member, or the CEO. Regardless of the market you serve, the products you represent, or the services you sell, you are not alone.


I admire ‘A’ level sales people for the fact that they know they are not alone and they routinely acknowledge their supporting cast. It has always been my mission to give credit where credit is due. I’ve been very fortunate to have great supporting casts for years. Giving them props also does not mean you have to buy them lavish gifts all of the time. Sometimes it’s a simple thank you.


Whenever I interview a new sales candidate for my firm or work providing counseling to a sales person, sales manager or business owner, I will make it part of the Q&A to gain perspective on how they acknowledge the contributions made by their supporting cast. It goes without fail that those that provide a little token from time-to-time blended with fairly regular praise tend to be much more successful sales people. Those that do not, well they almost always get ranked as a ‘B’ or ‘C’ level sales person.


Keep your supporting cast in mind next time you win a deal. Give them a nod for their efforts. And then watch as your relationship with them and your client grows. 

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