Who do you think is your most important customer? Whether you work on straight commission or not, your most important customer is your manager. This tip from Harvard Business Review is a good one to help you build a stronger relationship with your most important customer.
These are the questions the article suggests you ask your manager if you want a productive working relationship:
- Do you prefer that information be delivered formally or informally?
- “How do you like to process information?”
- “How would you describe your management style?”
You have to know what your manager prefers in order for you to work effectively. I’ve known managers who need time to decide, yet their sales staff insists on a quick reply. What happens is the boss is uncomfortable and on some level you become the less preferred employee. That’s not something you want in sales. You need everyone on your side and that means especially your boss!
I always added another question to the three questions that are above. I asked all of my managers, “What can I do to make your job easier?” I often got unexpected answers. The one that surprised me the most was that no one had ever asked that before. Yikes. How’s that for unaware salespeople? Others simply wanted to be made aware of problems as they developed. I had one manager that said all he expected was for me to complete tasks on time. That was a pretty low threshold to accomplish.
By asking I was able to learn quickly about a new manager and do what I needed to do to meet his requirements. (I never reported to a female.) Your job is to meet and exceed your customer’s expectations. You can do that for your manager when you know what your manager expects.
You have to ask. I would schedule this on your calendar immediately if you don’t know the answer for your manager.
Here’s additional help to get an effective strategy to work with your manager.
Best wishes for your selling success!