The shock showed on my face when the strategic business unit leader I worked for 20 years ago said in the middle of a conversation, “…for example, I coach you all the time.”
To my knowledge, I had NEVER been coached by this leader nor would I WANT coaching from this leader.
Coaching relationships, processes, and tools can be deployed all day long but at the end of the day, it becomes a “check the box” exercise if they do not value your coaching.
Grab some of these eight practical tips to be a VALUED sales pursuit coach:
- Be the “water cooler conversation on steroids.” Bring the latest from the field… at least one thing to every coaching conversation. Your competitors are constantly figuring you out and evolving. So, what is working now? What is not working? What is making you go “hmmm” now? Be the bearer of the latest from the front line. Speed the knowledge sharing and trigger new thinking. (P)
- “Shhhh!“ Protect their frankness. Coaching is a superficial waste of time if vulnerability is not a part of it. Do not be careless with details they share. It is not for leadership banter or your judgment of them. If anything comes back to bite them, your coaching relationship will be INSTANTLY changed. Mostly unrecoverable. I am sure you can name someone like this in your life. Do not be that person. (E)
- “Make restraint your best friend.” It is THEIR deal… not yours. Yes, you are responsible for making your organizational number but do not panic and take over their deal. You do not have time and your coaching reputation will not survive if you do. And worse, you accelerate the already accelerating trend of “quiet quitting” in your salesperson. Conclusion? Performance AND results will be down. (R)
- “If you really cared, you would have asked.” Habitually ask two follow-up questions as they share. Still keep the coaching session tight by trading interrogation type questions for the “listen to understand” type of questions (Revenue Storm tools/apps help you do that without sacrificing detail). As you do that, check in on facts AND their emotions. Your coaching quality increases, and the coaching relationship deepens. Now, they will not dismiss your coaching. They saw you WORK to truly understand. (F)
- “Slow down!” No one gets to slow down anymore. Protect that coaching space where people have room to really outthink their competitors. Do not rush their answers. Rushing encourages gut reactions. “Gut reaction processing” in the brain relies on historical experiences. We do not want to sell only pulling from the rearview mirror. Remember, HOW we sell is a differentiator. Let the brain breathe and stop being so predictable for your competitor. (O)
- “Be the Machete” They will fall in love (yes, I said love) with anyone that clears the way for them. Are they using precious time fighting internal distractions to get a deal done? Will you clear their way? Will you save them from some wistful bureaucratic tasks? Can you provide them aircover or resources? Will you champion them? SERVE them and it will SERVE your revenue commitment. What can you get out of their way today? Do it. Get yourself some love. (R)
- Remind them of the “sport of selling” because it can sure feel like a grind and quickly cause people to forget this profession has the excitement of an epic adventure. Do not let anything eclipse the thrill of the game. What does coaching feel like WITH YOU? What is the banter? The energy? The dare? The gamesmanship? Do they leave your coaching sprinting back onto the field of play? O b s e r v e. (M)
- “Have you abandoned the ‘just suck it up’ leadership style? If not, today is the day.” Selling requires a lot of personal resilience. So, while they are “sucking it up”, CHECK IN. There is no longer a dividing line between wellness and professional work. How are they feeling? Say it with me, “Feeling.” Do not leave the emotions out of the coaching conversation. Emotions and beliefs are primary blocks to taking action. And by the way, self-fulfilling prophecy is a real thing. Do not let your coaching end without them getting their swagger back. It is a rough world out there. (M)
None of the above will matter if they truly do not believe that underneath it all, your intention is to help them, speak truth to them, and truly commit to their success.
So, bring on the dare, bring the sport back, clear the way, and make this career stop one they will always remember… in a good way.
Dear Revenue Storm Coaching Alumni. Just like in the movies, did you catch the “easter eggs” above? For those of you using the PERFORM coaching approach, you will see the letters of PERFORM attached to each item above. Enjoy!
We all have bias toward our own ideas… and unconsciously fight for them (keep bringing them up, explaining them further, or labeling them as “I have a great idea!”) This can shut down the coachee’s thinking. Be open to their ideas, different ideas, and/or counter ideas. They may be better. Embrace that. Vocalize that. Show appreciation for THEIR ideas and let them run with it.