We hear a lot about entitled people these days. They have the expectation of deserving—an expectation that sometimes far outweighs their true worth. As a leader, you have the choice of how to cultivate the people under your guidance. The question is, empowered or entitled? How do you want to lead your sales team?
The entitled salesperson
A person who demonstrates entitlement expects to receive merely by showing up. Their self-esteem is disproportionate to their skills, knowledge, and performance. Usually, an entitled person has become that way from parents who have applauded and rewarded every effort, big and small. Eventually, the young person sees that a small achievement is worthy of praise and prize, so they expect accolades from everyone around them.
The entitled new home sales professional believes that customers automatically see them as a trusted advisor, so they make little or no effort to earn that honor. They skip steps in the sales process, because they believe it’s unnecessary. That’s for the common salesperson. They dismiss people who disagree with them, rather than listening to objections and attempting to overcome them.
A person who has overestimated their value under-performs. Yet, they expect the same rewards as the individual who has worked their butt off to achieve goals.
Now, let’s look at the opposite type of sales professional.
The empowered salesperson
Empowerment is projecting power or authority on an individual, “the giving of an ability, enablement, or permission.” This person earns rewards through achievement. They are self-motivated to reach higher, to grow and learn, for their own personal gratification. They don’t just take part in sales training, but fully embrace it.
An empowered new home sales professional will take initiative to pursue leads, staying on top of follow-up with the right message and frequency in their communication with prospective buyers. They continue to learn, always seeking new ideas and solutions. They are energized by challenge as it is a path to improvement. That growth represents its own reward.
Differences between empowered and entitled
While you think about your sales team and where they fall on the value scale, consider these fundamental differences between empowerment and entitlement.
- Keenly self-aware of their value
- Seeks growth
- Good listener
- Open to ideas and opinions
- Feels honored by praise
- Cultivates other people’s abilities
- Shares credit
- Overestimates their value
- Confident in their knowledge
- Prefers to speak rather than listen
- Values their own ideas and opinions above others
- Expects ample praise
- Adheres to the “WIIFM” belief
- Grasps credit, doles out blame
Spend or invest?
The difference between entitlement and empowerment is similar to that of spend versus invest. When you spend money, you get little or no return. It’s purely an exchange. When you invest in something or someone, it’s with the idea that there will be a greater return on that investment.
In sales leadership, you invest in recruiting, training, and retaining superstar talent. Your desire is to build a strong team that will, in turn, build other professionals. That growth is the payback. Your investment in true professionals also provides people who achieve through their own motivation, not external rewards. They are better team players. All of these qualities means you invest less in the right people but receive so much more.
Look at your sales professionals. Are they empowered or entitled? Maybe they’re somewhere in between. You will cater to an entitled salesperson, while an empowered salesperson takes initiative without the need for prompts and rewards. Which one is worthy of your investment?