Coaching Part Three!

posted: Friday, November 12, 2010

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We've spent a great deal of time talking about how important coaching is and some of the techniques to improve your salespeople. However, if you don't write it down, it never happened. Every coaching session you have with your salespeople has to be documented with the date and what areas were addressed. This is mainly to hold sales managers accountable. If a salesperson is not improving at an acceptable rate and there is no documentation of the coaching from the manager, then who is at fault? Any smart business owner is going to go to the sales manager first. If they are unable to provide documentation, then chances are that's whom the owner/manager is going to hold accountable. Documentation is also vital if you ever get to the point of having to terminate someone.

Any coaching is best when it is direct and concise, in other words, don't beat around the bush. If you have something to say, say it. Coaching should be done in a constructive and positive manner and those receiving the message will appreciate your honesty. Do not give mixed messages to your salesperson. During your scheduled coaching session, tell them how well they are doing in specific areas and address areas that need improvement. Provide the instruction in a concise and constructive way and move on. This eliminates any chance of the salesperson receiving a message that is different from the one you intended.

The best tool that you have when it comes to coaching is your eyes. The numbers will provide you with most of the information that you need to provide the appropriate coaching, but your presence on the sales floor will provide you with the rest. There is no better way to coach someone than by bringing up specific examples of things observed on the floor with your own eyes. The ability to discuss real life situations of what the salesperson did right or wrong is much more effective than teaching from theory or a book. Effective coaching involves teaching from both the salesperson's reality, as well as that of the company's. Even the very best can improve on something every day. It is up to the sales manager to ensure that improvement is taking place.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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