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If you have ever watched or participated in dog training you may have realised that most of the training is actually focused on training the owner to behave in the right way, that then enables the dog to respond appropriately.

It struck me that there are real parallels with this for both sales and management. In sales, how the salesperson behaves then determines the interaction between the buyer and seller. Put more strongly there is no such thing as a bad prospect, only a bad salesperson. If the seller doesn’t feel peer to peer with the buyer, they may be too willing, not plant their feet and do what the prospects says even if its to the detriment of them or their company. Yet that same prospect may behave in a very different manner with a sales person who does feel peer to peer, will push back (when appropriate). And if they don’t, the strong sales person will (nurturingly) not accept that.

The same is true in Management, what challenges you face with your people may well be a direct result of your actions or inaction as a manager. Yes there are people who are very difficult to manage and can cause real challenges, but you either choose to deal with it head on, or hope it will go away. Team sport gives us many examples of where this holds true – the same team under one manager may be performing at an average level, bring in a change of manager and that same team can suddenly start to excel (take Leicester football club as an example).

So if you have frustrations with how buyers treat you, or are frustrated with the things your people do, or don’t do then think of dog training. Start first with examining what you are doing (or are not doing) that is causing or perpetuating the situation.

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