The Coach's Corner

Archive for June, 2014

Selling? Me?

June 23rd, 2014 // Tom Doescher //

We have always believed that every team member has a sales aspect to their job, be it internal or external. Unfortunately, when we say “sales,” it often conjures up negative thoughts and feelings. In his latest book, To Sell Is Human, Daniel Pink (author of Drive) — once again sighting some pretty compelling research — makes several surprising statements about those people who are most successful in sales. The following are a few of his findings:

  1. Thirty-five separate studies involving more than 3,800 salespeople found that the correlation between extroversion and sales was essentially nonexistent. In fact, the most successful salespeople are ambiverts — which is someone who, on the extroversion/introversion scale, falls in the middle.
  2. The most common thread in the people who are really good at selling is humility. Consider reading our March 29, 2012, Food for Thought article, which talks about the importance of humility for leaders and references a Patrick Lencioni article you may want to read.
  3. Asking good questions and problem-finding is more important than problem-solving. Use the “Five Whys” — ask why five times, and you’ll be surprised what you will uncover. However, do not interrogate!
  4. Listen, listen, listen. When others speak, we typically divide our attention between what they’re saying now and what we’re going to say next, and we end up doing a mediocre job of both.
  5. Make it personal. In this high-tech, global economy, we often neglect the human element and adopt a stance that’s abstract and distant. In the long run, relationships still matter.

Hopefully you’ve picked up a tip or two and, at a minimum, you have a different attitude about selling. If you want more, we would recommend reading Daniel Pink’s book.

I want to get better!

June 9th, 2014 // Tom Doescher //

After working with a number of clients, it has become clear to us that we are incredibly fortunate to have received more developmental feedback than most of our peers. That being said, we were also fortunate to have been the recipients of a lot of mentoring, which we admit we may have taken for granted. Tom, for example, benefited from the Plante Moran environment, which provided regular improvement suggestions and gave very specific feedback every six months. It was not a program; it was a way of life. We believe in outside training programs like Harvard and the Center for Creative Leadership, but the best way to improve your team and company results is to provide continuous developmental feedback.  Why? Because it’s very specific to each individual team member and your business.

The question is, do your team members get regular, actionable feedback to help them be better? (And we’re not talking about a program or forms.)

Get started this way. Twice a year, meet with your key team members and tell them two things they’re really good at. Then, give them two suggestions for how they can become even better.

People are dying for candid, truthful feedback. They want to do better, and they need your help.

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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