Coaching By Example

Selling Managers have a great job – they sell to clients (which is fun) and they coach their players (which is lots of fun). They play on the field with their team, they take and create new opportunities with clients and customers and execute the sales process that they also manage. Some selling managers complain about being overwhelmed and not being able to juggle both roles effectively, while others (the really smart, highly trained ones) have figured out how to do both – how to sell and manage their team by showing them how it’s done.

If you are a selling manager you have several opportunities during the day to demonstrate the skill you want your team to execute. Whether you’re working in the showroom with a client, are on the phone prospecting or following up, or in a purchasing presentation, you can pull any of your sales team members over and identify the particular aspect of the sale that they struggle with and would like to improve, and have them watch and listen to how you do it. Even if you were unsuccessful at producing your desired outcome, you have demonstrated several behaviors that are excellent sources of learning. By teaching by example you can juggle both roles and be highly efficient with your time. It also ups the ante on your selling skills to be performing at the top of your game when you have to demonstrate with a real, live client in front of one of your players – something that lesser sales and selling managers avoid, preferring to talk about selling skills rather than showing them.

To keep it simple, here’s a checklist to help you put this in place in your showroom:

  1. Identify the skills needed for each team member (connecting, qualifying, etc.)
  2. Each day, select one of your team members and have them watch that part of the sales process. Tell them the specifics you want them to be watching and listening for (BADASS in qualifying, for instance).
  3. Meet with them after your client has left and spend about 15 minutes discussing what you did and have THEM try it now that they’ve seen you.

You can succeed and balance selling and managing, and it will take maximizing your time with efficiencies like this to do it.

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”
-Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965)
German medical missionary, Nobel Peace Prize winner

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