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Creating a Safe Environment for Sales Teams with Richard Harris {Hey Salespeople Podcast}

April 16, 2020

Sales is an up and down game of wins and losses, with reps constantly experiencing peaks and valleys. So why is there a stigma around talking about mental health in the industry?

Richard Harris, the founder of the Harris Consulting Group, understands that no relationship works well when you’re not supposed to talk about your experience and when you don’t feel like you are in a safe environment. This is especially true now and during any time of uncertainty.

Richard takes a deep dive into what managers can do to show their employees that they care while creating an environment where they feel listened to. In addition, he and Jeremey discuss topics from how individuals can clear their heads during the day to which Dr. Seuss story is the greatest sales book of all time.

Listen here and or on Apple Podcasts. Keep reading for key takeaways from Richard:

“I realized that sales can be a very lonely place, like I was already pretty wired as a depressed person, which is isolating in and of itself. But then when you put on top of it, you know, when you’re not performing well, you feel isolated.

Even when you’re performing well, your, for me, I still felt isolated because I was waiting for the bottom to drop out. Right? And I don’t think that everybody has this challenge. I don’t think everybody, you know, is a depressed person like me.

But I also think that everybody’s been through a slump, and they’ve been down because of it and having to pull themselves out of it is, you know, we’ve all been a part of it.

The other part of it is that there’s a stigma in sales that you can’t talk about this stuff, right? You can’t talk about ‘I’m down,’ or, ‘Hey, I need some help. I don’t know what to do’ or, you know, it was always, when you’re at top, don’t brag. And then when you’re at the bottom, don’t talk about it.

So basically no matter what you did, you weren’t supposed to talk about it. And I don’t know any relationship that works really well that way.

Things that a manager can notice: like, you can notice if someone’s constantly coming in late; if they’re missing deadlines on simple projects that they never did before; clearly, if they’re not hitting goals, or they’re not hitting the metrics that are going to help them get to the goal; and you can just politely tap them on the shoulder and say, ‘Hey, Jeremey, everything okay man? You doing all right? Wanna go for a walk?’

Go for a walk and talk, get out of the office, go get coffee; don’t get coffee, but just go for a walk. Just approach it there and tell them like, ‘I’m not asking to go deep. That’s not my job, but I am concerned about you.’

Be calm and casual about it, just as if it was one of your closest friends.”

If you have a passion for the art and the science of sales, are looking to further your career, or just want to hear some great, practical tips, ‘Hey Salespeople’ is the podcast for you. Subscribe so you can follow along as Jeremey interviews the brightest minds in modern sales to bring you immediately actionable advice. Listen and subscribe here.