The Coaching Effect Blog

Sales Coaching Cliches

Posted by Will Kloefkorn

September 4, 2013

It is that time of year again in Lincoln, Nebraska, where the leaves are starting to fall and the temperatures will soon be following suit – thank goodness. More importantly it is that time of the year when normally rational people here in Lincoln start to become, well, a bit irrational. Why? Because football season is finally upon us and as we learned at our last Sales Coaching Summit human beings are 6 times more driven by emotions than they are by logical information. A statistic which makes a lot of sense at the moment because Husker fans don’t seem to be too interested in the fact that inexperienced defenses generally don’t perform to well in their first appearance of the season. Husker fans want results because they passionately care about Nebraska football and do not want logic or facts to get in the way of their emotions, but I digress.

I wanted to cover a fun topic in this blog and in the spirit of football season I thought it would be great to tackle a time old football tradition – coaching clichés. You know, coach speak. That ritual of not saying anything to the people whose job it is to at least get you to say something. Below are a list of my top 3 coaching clichés:

  1. “We just need to focus on one game at a time.”

  2. “He is giving us 110% effort out there.”

  3. “We're gonna play a full 60 minutes.”

Now, when you look at those statements above I am sure you have heard them hundreds of times before, but do we ever really think about what they are saying. Not really because we know that those answers are not meant to give us information, but rather keep us outsiders on the outside. But what about the clichés you might be using within your organization as a sales coach? Do you ever catch yourself or your managers saying the same phrases over and over again without putting much thought into them? Below are 3 of my personal favorites that I have heard time and again from sales managers throughout the country.

  1. “I’ve been putting out a lot of fires lately.”
  2. “We need to focus on the important and urgent.”
  3. “Just need to close out this quarter strong.”

Do you ever catch yourself sputtering any of those 3 clichés? If so, don’t beat yourself up to bad because they all can be necessary and true at times. However, most of those phrases above are a result of undisciplined sales coaching. The better sales coaching you do on the front end will lead to less flames on the back end. The more time you allow yourself to focus on the important and non-urgent will set you up for more future success; this is where organic growth comes from. And organic growth will lead to exceeding objectives and not relying things falling into place at the last second to “close the quarter strong”.

Keep up the hard work sales leaders – you might be the only ones under more stress than football coaches across the nation.


Will Kloefkorn

Director of Business Development

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