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10 Tips for executives: How to criticize your employees without demotivating them

They are part of every manager's everyday life: critical discussions with employees. They are unavoidable and important in order to eliminate factual differences or to correct unwanted behaviour. But how can you, as a superior, criticise without demotivating your employees in the long term?  

Please take these 10 tips into account during your next critic discussion:      

  1. Make an appointment: Give your employee the chance to prepare for the interview with you. For example, say: "Can we talk briefly tomorrow morning at ...? It's about ..."
  2. Don't wait too long: think in advance what exactly you want to tell the employee. But don't let too much time go by for the incident to be up to date.
  3. Pay attention to objectivity: Do not approach the critical discussion with your employee until you can describe the facts soberly and objectively and you have your emotions under control again.
  4. Speak plainly: Get to the point quickly. Quickly explain to your employee what you are talking about and exactly what disturbed or annoyed you.
  5. Give your employee a chance to express himself: Your employee must also have the opportunity to describe the situation from his or her point of view. Listen to your employee actively and do not interrupt him. For example, signal that you have understood his or her point of view by nodding your head or briefly "understand". Avoid commenting on excuses.
  6. Get your expectations to the point: Make it clear to your employee what exactly you expect from him. Tell them concretely which changes in their behaviour or in the facts are important for you in the future.
  7. Have your employee submit a proposal for a solution: Perhaps your employee has an idea for a solution to the situation you can both live with. The motivation to achieve your goals will be much better if the suggestion comes from your employee himself. Proposed solutions on your part will only be necessary if you fear that the employee's idea will not lead to the desired result.
  8. Come to a common conclusion: Record in writing exactly what the outcome of the interview is and what goals should be pursued in the future. Make sure that the employee has understood everything to clear up any misunderstandings.
  9. Do not prolong the conversation unnecessarily: make sure that the critical discussion does not last longer than 10 minutes, as the situation is anything but pleasant for both parties.
  10. Pay attention to a positive outcome of the conversation: Don't go without addressing some appreciative words to the employee, this can be a praise or also the mention of a good quality, which distinguishes this employee. Say, for example, "I want you to know that I appreciate your creativity very much and am glad to have you in the team".
NewsletterHeader_Verkaufserfolge_08_15 Dear reader, we are constantly confronted with the topic of selling in everyday life: Whether at the bakery in the morning, in the supermarket at lunchtime or in the restaurant in the evening - we are constantly encouraged to buy products or services. But what makes a good salesman? When do we like to buy more than planned and when do we put a stop to it? In today's issue we present 7 mistakes that you should avoid in your sales talk. Kind regards and good selling yours Friedbert Gay

What is actually selling?

Selling is much more than just the perfect conclusion of a contract between different people. Selling is first and foremost an interpersonal process, in which you should definitely observe the rules of interpersonal communication. If there is no communication, there can be no conclusion.

Sales talk - avoid these 7 mistakes

Error 1: Lack of trust in the customer Don't worry - you don't need to know the customer very well. Trust can also develop through a well conducted conversation. However, if a sales conversation is conducted without any emotional note, it is doomed to failure. Our tip: Create trust and build a relationship with your customers. Often even a slight personal touch in the conversation helps to win over the other person. But don't get too personal - that's more of a deterrent to most people. Error 2: Rant on competitors Of course, customers will also seek quotes from their competitors. In many companies with central purchasing this is even a requirement. Avoid the urge to make your competitors bad. This seems dubious and can cost you the order. Our tip: There's nothing wrong with praising the competition. Be self-confident and show your counterpart that you are not afraid of your competitors. This gives the impression that you are convinced of your own offer. Error 3: No knowledge about the customer Only well-prepared salesmen can respond to the wishes and needs of their customers. Our tip: Research online before you meet with customers. The more you know about your customer and his products/services, the more professional your conversation will look - and the more secure you will feel during the conversation. Error 4: Lack of interest in the customer Do not carry out sales calls according to scheme F. If you only pray your usual sentences down, it seems to the customer that any interest on your part is missing. Our tip: respond individually to the customer. "Ask, ask, ask" is the motto here. This allows you to adapt your offer directly to the customer - this increases the probability of a deal considerably. Error 5: Ego-related selling Do not put yourself in the focus of the conversation, but clearly your customers. No one wants to hear what you have already done great things about. Involve your customer ("we", "together"), this implies a feeling of togetherness. Our tip: It is important to respond to your needs and support them with your products/services. Act accordingly. Stop just talking about yourself and start listening to what your customer wants - this is the only way to get the chance to do the job. Error 6: No self-confidence Anyone who appears insecure in a sales conversation has already lost. Your customer wants to rely on you and will hardly be satisfied with vague statements such as "should we get there", "maybe yes" or "actually already". Our tip: Self-confidence begins before the actual conversation - even during the welcome. Show openness, greet your customer with a firm handshake, look him/her in the eye. Show your conversation partner during the conversation that you fulfil 100% of the required services. Error 7: Delay completion The classic: The conversation went well, but your customer does not want to commit himself and demands time for reflection. However, if this reflection period lasts too long, such offers often come to nothing. Our tip: If at the end of the interview you are asked for time to think about it, tell your interviewer clearly and confidently that you cannot give him much time because there are other interested parties or training dates are scarce. Set a clear deadline by when you need an answer. In this way you signal to the customer that you are interested in carrying out the order, but that your well-being does not depend on it. Sometimes a sentence at the end like "I'm looking forward to our cooperation" helps to speed up the conclusion. Conclusion: If you follow these tips, you increase your chances of closing a sale. And as always: Practice, practice, practice! With every sales talk you gain security. My recommendation - take the test: How fit is your sales department? Grafik_GratispaketTest your sales and increase your fitness systematically! How? With the "Implementation package for effective sales" from my colleague and sales specialist Jürgen Frey. It contains a self-test, exciting video clips, valuable templates and even a complete e-book. And the best thing about it: For you as my newsletter reader, everything is completely free of charge. Hier geht‘s zum Umsetzungspaket

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