John has watched his sales rep Susie make some very correctable mistakes when selling to prospects. Unfortunately, every attempt John has made to coach her has been rebuffed. She resents every suggestion he makes. John sees so much potential in Susie…if she was only receptive to some coaching. What to do?
Part of the salesperson’s DNA is ego. Without ego, salespeople would crumble whenever they encountered rejection. Yet, ego can keep them from excelling in the role. The top of the top professional athletes receive daily coaching from mentors so how do you get salespeople who don't want coaching to be receptive to it?
As a sales manager, you have two choices when you encounter situations like John has with Susie. You can force your assistance on the sales person, but guess what happens when you do? She resists your gracious offer and resents your efforts. Where many sales managers err is they continue to force their coaching and further push the salespeople in need of it away.
In this type of situation, there is another option to consider. Leave Susie alone! Invest your coaching time with other salespeople who welcome the support. They will succeed under your tutelage and appreciate your guidance.
After watching this from the sidelines, Susie will come by your office and ask, "How come you don’t spend any time with me on my accounts?”
And, you’ll respond, "I apologize. I didn’t think you wanted help so I left you alone.”
To which Susie will reply, "Oh no, I need your help…especially on this one particular tricky account.” Bingo!
The next time you encounter a salesperson who rebuffs your coaching, stop pushing and pull entirely away. Work with those who are receptive to your guidance, help them succeed, and the others will naturally gravitate to you for mentoring.
See you next time on the Sales Management Minute.