“A mentor of mine pulled out his business card and wrote on the back of it: never forget when you were a sales representative.” – George Frangos
Anyone in the sales profession knows the challenges that both sales reps and managers have faced over the last 12 months. In this episode, we hear firsthand about the experience of a pharmaceutical sales leader and how their team has forged ahead amidst the storm of COVID-19. My guest today is George Frangos, Director of National Sales, HIV at Gilead Canada.
George has held progressive roles in sales, analytics, marketing, training and sales leadership over the last 16 years. And he was also part of the panel that hired me into my first head office role at GSK over 10 years ago!
In today’s episode, we discuss:
- The biggest challenge faced over the last 12 months, and how teams can push through it
- How sales reps can successfully adapt during a crisis by focusing on themselves first
- The power of employee development, and how it brings value to an organization
- Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, and much more!
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How Sales Reps Can Stay Productive During Lockdown
Business continuity is critical whether we have a pandemic or not, especially with chronic conditions such as HIV, which is the space we work in. I challenged my team to come up with a plan to be productive even during the pandemic, and we called it the “Work From Home” plan. So we developed a week by week schedule which allowed us to work on our individual development plans, and also team development plans.
Leadership Struggles During the Pandemic
It’s tough to convince your team or to assure them that they have nothing to worry about. We’re all high performing individuals and we make sure that we deliver hard results for our organization. But it’s tough to have frank discussions when the pandemic is something that we haven’t experienced before.
Remember Your Humble Beginnings
Most sales leaders have been a sales representative at some point in their life and in whatever industry they are in. And it’s important to remember those days because you’ll be able to empathize with your teammates and understand exactly what they are going through. It will help you make decisions, create empathy, and to listen and understand their needs as individuals and as professionals.
Links and Resources
Connect with George: LinkedIn
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek