I kid you not, this approach comes from a manager of a small company that recently hired a new salesperson.  The salesperson traveled to the company for a couple days of training before his official start date.  He did this on his own dime so he could accelerate his ramp-up time.

The manager of the company was involved in the training since this salesperson would report directly to him (remember-small company).  During the training days, there was some confusion about when the salesperson should arrive in the morning.  No specific time was set, but a general schedule starting around 9am was the target.  The salesperson arrived around 9:20am.

A stack of forms was given to the salesperson to fill out before his start date, but no more specific time requirement was given.  The salesperson did not fill out all of the paperwork during the training.

A meeting was held in which the price of an integral part (that they manufacture) was going to increase substantially.  The new salesperson did not ask specific questions about the price change.

These are 3 occurrences that upset the manager.  Don’t ask.  But we asked the manager, “What was the salesperson’s response when you discussed these items with him?”

The manager’s response, “I didn’t talk to him about any of them.  I was observing him.”

Now I’ll admit there is an aspect of management that involves observation.  But a new sales hire?  My goodness, this is like the Twilight Zone.  Managers must be engaged with their salespeople including the need to guide the new salesperson through expectations.

This seems obvious to me, but I never cease to be amazed.

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