The right sales coaching has a measurable impact on individual and organisational performance.
While this article might seem self-serving, or at least serving the purpose of coaching professionals everywhere, the action I am advocating will mostly benefit those who go ahead and get themselves a coach.
I’d like to start by passing on a story recently repeated to me about five frogs who were sitting on a log. Four of them decided to jump off. How many frogs were left on the log?
After trying to fathom the trick, I said “one” as well.
The answer is that there are still five frogs left on the log because they only ‘decided’ to jump off.
It's more than just semantics.
Recent research suggests that out of every 100 people who buy learning materials, only two of them will actually follow through with their apparent decision to study what they paid for. So if they were frogs, 98 of them would still be sat on the log.
Let’s consider the research from another perspective. We could construe it to mean that out of every 100 decisions, the average number that will be acted upon is 2! This sounds about right when one thinks of the commitments and decisions taken by governments.
What is your experience? Perhaps you are one of the few people who are ahead of the average when it comes to doing what you decide to do. There must be many people below the average!
It’s perfectly easy to jump off a log on an impulse. There is hardly any effort involved. In fact, it is probably just as easy as falling off a log. Changing habits is a different matter. Despite knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that something is good or bad for our well being, most of us are nearly helpless at trying to change our own behaviour without support.
Yet when our peers are all changing, it seems much easier to follow along. Well, perhaps not easy but it becomes possible.
If you had some sales habits or practices that cost you money, would you want to change them? If you are a manager or director the impact of the things you do or don't do is multiplied through the performance of others.
If you pay someone to make you do it, to change your behaviour or practices in a positive fashion, you are much more likely to achieve the change you desire.
Perhaps you don’t need to change anything. It’s all the others . . .
If others in similar roles have achieved more, earned more, gained the accolades, been able to take more care of their loved ones, or simply been able to spend more time doing what they wanted to do, then you must have similar potential. It is simply a matter of making better choices, following through more often, and adopting better habits.
Success has to be a combination of circumstances, nature, and nurture. Self-determination, breaking and re writing ones programming is doable, yet few can do it without good support.
A coach makes a person do it! Do what they have set out to do. Ask anyone who has the benefit of a coach.
He or she makes you face up to the planning and preparation part of turning aspirations into reality,
Coaches instil discipline, even if the source of new found resolve is having to pay the bill. They put your interest first. That is what they are being paid for. The right coach is also a specialist who constantly researches the best methods and practices and presents them to you when you need them.
A coach provides candid feedback. This is a very sought after commodity rarely available from ones spouse, friends, Manager, or colleagues.
The right coach is someone you get on with who you respect; someone who has relevant experience and expertise. He or she invests in continuous research and learning; and has the confidence, courage, and communication skills to give undiluted feedback without causing friction.
Could you fit these criteria for someone else? If so, you might be able to establish a trade by offering free executive coaching in exchange for the same in return. You could arrange to exchange an hour, once a month. The sessions should take place separately so that there is no confusion as to who is in the coaching role. Sessions could take place face to face or via the telephone. Alternatively, use Skype.
On average, sales people with a coach perform 13% better than they do without a coach. Based on our sales coaching fees, this easily amounts to a 20-fold return on investment for a sales person’s employer, and at least a 5-fold return on investment for sales people paying the fees out of income. The better a sales person is, the higher the return.
Halve the return estimate and halve it again. Just a 3.5% improvement will still generate a return of at least 500% for the employer and break even for sales people investing in themselves. If you can set up a mutual coaching arrangement, it costs only the discipline to take action and keep taking action plus a little time.
Executive coaching, sales coaching, and even online coaching provided by coaching professionals or even amateurs is a vastly under utilised an a means of advancing individual and organisation interests.
If there is a way to summarise the inestimable value of having a coach, I find it in the words of Aldus Huxley, “There's only one corner of the universe that you can be certain of changing, and that's your own.”
Article by Clive Miller
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