Usually we are asked to deliver coaching to managers in organisations where they have staff reporting to them and they are tasked with improving the functioning of their department. We coach mainly by taking the coachee through considering the tasks and challenges of managing money and people. Recently we have looked at how we can coach sales people in increasing their effectiveness. This is working on a very different set of “technical” skills, and as we have no sales professionals in our core resource pool, an initial reaction was “we can’t do this one.” However on reflection we realised that we can coach effectively on this, for two reasons. Firstly, coaching is about helping the person identify their priorities for change in their own context, and not about proposing solutions. Secondly, effective selling occurs when excellent communication is created, which is crucial to all managers and leaders. Listening to the potential customer, discovering what they see as most important features or benefits, and then handling any reasons (excuses) they put forward for not making the purchase are all aspects where coaching brings improvements.
Furthermore, these “sales” techniques are exactly those we teach in parts of leadership training under the heading of “influencing people”. That is why we look forward to our next enquiry for coaching sales professionals and this time we’ll reply immediately “yes”.
Feel free to contact me direct if you want to discuss in more detail.