The Coaching Effect Blog

How to Give Your Sales Team an Olympic Edge

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

April 8, 2011


Sales Coaching Summit Session Summary

Instructor: Dr. JP Pawliw Fry, Institute for Health and Human Potential.Dr. JP Pawliw Fry, IHHP, Summit instructor

Dr. Pawliw-Fry challenged the group with this question.

"Is your sales team performing up to Olympic standards? More importantly, do you, as their Sales Manager know how to get them there?"

Here are some of the secrets to moving your team to achieve that next level of performance.

What’s possible?!   This is what we want our team to embrace. too often the answer to this question is "exceed our number".  As important as it is to have a sales goal, there is a paradox around goal setting.  We often get so focused on the goal, we forget to look at anything else.  Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry’s suggested that once you set a goal, immediately let it go. When you are too attached to the outcome, you get tight.  Rather, focus on the activities that are going to get you there.

For example, rather than focusing on the end result of the presentation – the sale, -  focus on the integrity of inputs. Are you prepared? Are you asking the right questions? Do you understand the needs of the client or employee? Etc.

As a coach, when you set goals for your sales reps, set it, communicate it, and then let it go. Rather, focus on what individual needs to do his/her job and then coach to it. But remember that you need to help people as they need to be helped rather than following a standard, pre-defined process.  You should  know each person on your team so well that you know what triggers to push to help them get the most from themselves.  You need to know their drivers.

It is the game within the game. The game is to win the deal. the game within is understanding what are you doing inside each rep head and heart.  Focuson the integrity of input and the results will follow.

Following is a science based explanation why people can get derailed from focusing on the game within the game.


We Confuse Impact for Intent

Somebody says or does something. Because of the way our brain is designed (we feel before we think), we confuse the impact of what they say or do for their actual intention. We jump to conclusion about their intention based on less than 5% of available information. So, what to do? Get more information before you judge! And remember, as a leader, others do the same the thing: they confuse our impact for our intention. So clarify, clarify, clarify your intention!


Wanting to be Liked

80% of leaders routinely experience being let down in the management of a project. Yet only 14% are able to hold a difficult conversation in an effective way.

The Consequence?

82% of time, deadlines gets missed, 73% of these projects go over budget, 77% failure to meet quality or functionality, 69% of the time team morale was damaged.

Be aware that we avoid difficult conversations for many reasons, but a big one is wanting to be liked.


Make Yourself Vulnerable!

When you are not afraid to admit to a mistake or being imperfect, you allow others to do the same. Making yourself vulnerable allows you to build a culture of learning (and risk taking) as opposed to a culture of perfection (and risk aversion).


Build a Bridge

Your people have three driving needs when you communicate with them, especially when there is a disagreement. To be given voice (feel heard and understood), to feel valued, and to know where they stand, have feedback.


Start on their side of the bridge, before you attempt to give them feedback. Get more than 5% of info.










Your view of

the situation

their behavior

Understanding gap

Their view of

the situation

their intention






Select for Optimism

Optimists outsell pessimists by 21% in year 1, 57% in year 2

Using the SASQ selection tool will decrease turnover by 50%, significantly increase revenue

Beware of: Me, Always, Everything (pessimistic explanatory style) when you hit a setback

Sales Managers can coach your people to be more optimistic


Read Dr. JP Pawliw Fry's bio

Please enjoy this additional article written by Institute for Health and Human Potential. Enjoy!

Managing to the Generations: The big disconnect

Topics: Emotional Intelligence

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