Acres of Diamonds: Show Me the Money!

© Virusowy |

© Virusowy |

Last year I finally read Acres of Diamonds. It’s a century old, yet its truths are timeless.

This pastor, lawyer, speaker, politician, and university president – who collected $11 million from his speech by the same title and donated it to students – spoke of the riches that are available to all of us and how we search for them in all the wrong places.  The acres of diamonds, you see, are in our own backyard.

He tells of struggling merchants who know nothing about the people living near their businesses, nothing about their families or their kids, their joys or sorrows or aspirations.  They just plain don’t care about people – and THAT’s why they’re poor. They don’t see opportunities because they don’t know that people will show you how to help them—IF you just listen.

A metaphor for business? My thoughts exactly.

Here’s a thought. What would happen if you eliminated all the drama from your sales team? Work would no longer look like an adult day care because people would be accountable for their own problems and solutions.

What if instead of having to manage people, a sales manager could focus on improving sales?  No managing the frail egos of people who complain about minutiae; every sales person 100 percent accountable for his or her results; no dealing with “hurt feelings” – because you’re dealing with grownups who know that their feelings are their choice.  Just imagine it.

Stay with me here. In this little dream, the sales manager would spend:

•    a third of his or her time generating leads for the sales team;
•    a third making the sales operation optimally effective;
•    a third coaching the players on positioning, strategies, techniques, and sales skills.

How would that change things?

Are you ready for the change? It’s not that hard. Simply make sure that you instruct people to own their problems and find solutions fast. If anyone comes to you with a gripe or a whine, stick your fingers in our ears and shout, “I’m not listening, I’m not listening.”  Tell them to come back to let you know what they did to create a quick solution.

Do this and sales will accelerate!

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