Problems happen.

But if you’re regularly running around putting out fires, it might be time for a systems check.

As sales leaders, our role is to create an environment that allows our team to excel.  That environment needs to be one that is not only motivational, but also one that has systems in place so we can all do our jobs efficiently, and not have to waste our time dealing with the same problems over and over again.

True story:

We  own a boat that’s been in the shop for about 6 weeks. Last night at the dinner table my husband was talking about how much it was going to cost to get the boat fixed.

And so I had to ask… “did they ever figure out what caused the problem that led to the boat overheating that’s now costing us almost $10 effin grande?”

And his response was simple…”yes, it seems seaweed and sand were in some filter preventing the water from cooling the motor.”


And then my 22 year old daughter asked the most important question of all….So how can you prevent that from happening again?

Momma was so proud of her!

Too often problems arise and we’re so busy, we fix the problem and move on to the next.  Does this sound familiar?…

The wrong appliances were installed in the customer’s home, and we have to order new ones and replace them before they close on Friday.  But now that these appliances have been uncrated, we can’t return them, so I need to figure out what to do with these appliances…do I offer them at a special reduced price for another buyer?  Now I have to get approvals, communicate to the team, and so on and so on.  Sound familiar?

Or…The traffic and sales numbers were off for the final report at the end of the month, so on the morning of the July 1st you’re pouring through reports, checking this and checking that and trying to figure out where the discrepancy was…only to find one of the sales wasn’t counted.

How many hours are lost by our managers and sales people because we are spending time putting out fires? Even worse, how much energy is drained?

In my experience….way too much.


If we would just slow down and ask the question:

What can we do to prevent this from happening again?

Granted, this question might require a little more discovery:

What is the cause of this mistake?

Why did this happen?

Who missed it?


Don’t get me wrong, this is not to point fingers to reprimand the one who made the error, or the one who missed it when checking the paperwork. Instead, it’s to determine how to prevent this from happening again.

The ROCK STAR leaders view this as an opportunity to:

ask the WHY questions

to learn how and why it happened,

and fine tune the system

so the same problem doesn’t happen again.

4 ways to take these ideas into your organization:

The success of the sales team is a direct reflection of the strength of the sales leader. Investing time to evaluate your systems and make necessary modifications not only HELPS YOU be more effective with YOUR time, but it also helps your team be more effective with THEIR time.

Problems are going to happen. But how you address them can determine the trajectory of you and your team.

Fostering a culture that learns from mistakes and implements the necessary changes is one that is more efficient, more profitable, provides a better customer experience, and is just more fun to work in.

If you like this and think others would enjoy it, please share.

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Kathy Tucker Coaching & Consulting is a boutique sales and leadership training company specializing in helping builders and real estate companies develop top producing sales teams and brilliant sales leaders who foster a healthy, high-performance sales culture.

After over 25 years leading top-producing sales teams with the nation’s leading homebuilders, Kathy saw many sales leaders being under-trained or burning out, or wanting to get to the next level of their career but not knowing how to do it. So she started her coaching business to help sales managers learn the systems and skills to take their performance to the next level and THRIVE in the role of the sales leader.

Kathy offers:

Virtual Sales Training Workshops, 1:1 Coaching for Sales Professionals and Sales Leaders, and her Signature Leadership Program: 9 Steps to Leading a Rock Star Sales Team.

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