A blog to acknowledge those who should have been acknowledged and thanked more appropriately before, and to possibly help you in your lives and career by provoking thought, reflection and reading material that might well alter your career and life. If it prompts you to contemplate and acknowledge those in your life, even better.

The importance of leadership in sales

If you've been following my journey, he'll realize that I've spent time acknowledging and thanking people for the role they played in my careers.  Today's post will address the importance of senior leadership in sales and within the sales process.

You've heard me mention Terry McCubbin previously, but his sales leadership, as well as his willingness to share his network made all the difference in my career. There are several others who made huge contributions as well, either by their approval, they're backing, or their direct influence. In no certain order those people are Larry Burke, Al McDowell, Clay Messick, Mike White and Jim McCormick.  All of these people were in senior leadership roles at Alexander and Alexander beyond our local office. Each of these people either offered moral support, time, or their sales skills in the sales process. Some were more active than others… e.g. Larry Burke who gave me the single best sales advice I ever received, and that was to ask questions as though you were NOT getting the entire truth the first time you asked (paraphrased, I am certain)... This was not only handy in the insurance industry, but as my kids became teenagers it became imperative. Others, gave me their approval and support to continue to pursue sales even when the facts suggested that might not be a great idea. I remember specifically that Clay, Mike and Jim allowed me to begin training the sales process at Alexander & Alexander.  It began with sales training with sales cassettes, moved to regional orientation, and ultimately to my training of sales leaders throughout the country. To this day, it is still the what I enjoyed most within the industry.

Commonsense might have advised each of them that no one for the golf industry could learn sales or insurance, but none of them ever dampened my enthusiasm for the quest. I believe Mike, Al and Larry are still living but I'm uncertain about Clay and Jim.  Personally, I know I am forever thankful that all of them were in the roles they were in at the time when I needed the support.  For those who know my story and see that Denis Langhans, Jerry Brown and Greg Stanbury are not in this article it is because they will be mentioned later as people who I directly reported to who made a demonstrable difference.

All of these posts end with an assignment… Today's assignment is: Reach out to those who were influential in your career either directly, or indirectly,and tell them what a difference they made in your life or career.


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