Yeah, I know, last blog I wrote about Complex Donuts and now, yummy cupcakes and beer! But this is about Sweet Revenge, so deal with it! :-) Revenge can be sweet, can't it? Especially when its against a crappy sales environment and an abusive boss.
Maybe you have seen the Chase Ink commericials, featuring Marlo Scott, owner of Sweet Revenge, a fantastic cupcake, beer and wine bar in Greenwich Village, New York. Saturday I was in the village, googled dessert and walked into this great little spot for a cupcake and beer pairing, with no idea she was the sharp brunette in the commercials. I looked up and there she was!
Turns out Marlo was a salesperson at a major media company and according to her beating her numbers. I interview tons of people and am a subscriber to Malcom Gladwell's "Blink" theory. When you find an above average person, you just know. From what I could tell, Marlo is an A player. Frankly, she was sharp as hell.
So what happened to Marlo at the media company? Well, let's just say management was "interesting." So Marlo got motivated enough to work on her plan for a year and a half and get Sweet Revenge by breaking free. The catalist was corporate restructing and lay0ffs, including her. Good idea! Layoff a great sales producer. Marlo said they did her a favor.
Which brings me to the concept of leaders being servants. In previous posts (Flipping Burgers to Sales), you have read about how truly successful salespeople are servants to their prospects first, and sellers later. The only way for an entire sales team to adopt that attitude and blow out the "80/20" self-fulfilling prophecy that permiates sales teams is to have a capable servant leader, to set the example.
Serving people to get what you want is deep in culture and religion. Laotzu --his teachings are the basis of Philosophical Taoism--said this: "When the master governs, the people are hardly aware that he exists. Next best is a leader who is loved. Next, one who is feared. The worst is one who is despised." He also said: "If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them."
Another guy you might have heard of, Jesus, said this in Mark, 9:35: "Whoever wants to be first must place himself last of all and be the servant of all."
Of course you don't have to go all religous to find wisdom like this, although I would imagine Robert Greenleaf, had to know these philosophies when he wrote "The Power of Servant Leadership" (www.greenleaf.org).
Not in a leadership postiion? You should still study and embrace servant leadership. It will result in more sales for you. In a leadership position? Cast aside, the "80/20" BS, be the example of servant leadership, and find people who follow your philosophy. Treat your people well.
And if you are suffering under C player management, Get the hell out. Marlo says it was like a million pounds was lifted off of her. Now she is being the servant, having fun and making money, I imagine she was a servant seller when working for the media company as well.
Of course I'll be back for more Sweet Revenge next time I'm in NYC. You should say "Hi" to Marlo,too. You will be glad you did. Just don't make the mistake of trying to pay with American Express.