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Outside Chance

When the old sales plays aren't scoring, it's time to call in the Gipper: a sales consultant to rally your team.

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This story appears in the January 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

New York City digs my marketing action. Three hundred miles, at least five accents and an entire way of life away from my Maine perch, I do more business in the city than I do in my own backyard. It's evidence of an odd phenomenon: We've got a great appreciation for things from "away": art, people, literature, culture and, it seems, advice. What comes from within our home, community and workplace is never quite as compelling as what comes from without.

Embracing an outsider makes good sense when your sales force needs a little pick-me-up. The person nearest the sales difficulties, the manager, may be too hamstrung to diagnose the troubles and implement any substantive changes. "Those close to a situation often lose their objectivity and credibility," counsels Mike Marchev, a sales trainer, employee motivation consultant and president of Michael Marchev Associates in Colonia, New Jersey. Marchev, the author of Become the Exception (Greyhound Press), adds, "Regardless of the sales manager's ability to train, teach, coach and motivate, there's truth to the notion 'no man is a prophet in his own land.' "

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