BSE Insights – Labeling vs Criticizing

BSE Insights – Labeling vs Criticizing

Our jobs as dealership managers are to develop, manage and grow our sales teams. Most of us were salespeople at one point and you would think that having that experience would provide us the path to be successful sales managers. However, as often is the case, selling and managing are all too different and salespeople can make terrible managers.


Let us admit it, we were great salesmen and the general manager allowed us to manage the sales staff. However, as a new manager, we want everyone to be like us. We cannot understand why they do not act like us, talk to customers like us or have our work ethic. We become frustrated and begin to label our staff when they do not do what we expect them to do. That is when the labeling begins, using terms such as; argumentative, stupid, weak closer, never stops talking or crazy. The list is almost endless. The question we need to ask ourselves as managers do we take an INTEREST in our people or we take a POSITION. When people are labeled you have taken a position and sealed their fate.

1. We can predict – success/failure of salespeople and managers

2. How do we predict success?

3. Relationship indicators – How we interact from manager to salesperson




There is a permanent aspect to labeling our staff versus criticism is temporary. Think about your sales team and the labels you have given some of them. When an employee requires correct action and you provide that action in a calm consultative manner and work through the problem together with your employee, your company and you are better off for having that conversation. When you provide corrective action to your salesperson, you tell them what went wrong, why it did go wrong and how they should have done it a different way? Then you walk away and return to your desk? If this is your approach, you are like many managers in the automotive industry and you have just added to the problem by having a one-way conversation.

Another approach would be to ask the salesperson what was going through their mind and have an understanding before you provide your comments. 
Since criticism is temporary, you may consider starting the conversation by saying “You normally do not react this way” or “You appear to have something on your mind” at the start of your conversation. This way, your employee knows a conversation is coming and some criticism is coming their way. These conversations say a lot about the manager, salesperson and the culture of the store.

What are some labels we tag people with – Good closer, Never listen to the desk, never agree with anything we suggest, jerk, crazy and insane. good listener, a true pro. loves to argue or lazy.

 Difference between Labeling and Criticism  

1, There is a permanent aspect to labeling “This guy is crazy”

2. Criticism is temporary – “You normally do not react this way”

As managers, we often take people with promise and destroy their will without realizing that we are destroying their will to work.

Now if someone is crazy “You can’t fix crazy?” So eliminate crazy.

However, if someone is having a tough time on a deal or having a tough month. This is when they need your help.

If we stop labeling people and begin to take an interest in our staff, we can begin to take steps forward in helping our staff grow and develop.

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