If Olympic athletes need great coaches who doesn’t?
Last Wednesday, former Olympian Karen Garossino enlightened the EcSell Institute audience about great coaching and the impact it can have on performance. When you picture an Olympian, what images come to mind? If you said size, strength, speed, or any other physical trait, smile because you are correct. However, before you get to proud ask yourself this question, did any of your images paint a picture of someone who is exceptionally mentally fit as well as physically fit? If so, you are one of the few and you should pat yourself on the back. If not, don’t feel too bad because most of the human population takes the power of the mind for granted.
Having great physical talent without having great mental talent will not maximize performance. Likewise, having great mental talent without possessing the physical attributes will not maximize performance either, however, when the mind and the body are working in perfect unison that is when Olympic type performance can occur on the field, court, ice rink, and sales call. And nothing has more impact on performance than the Olympian working hand in hand with their coach or coaches.
Have you ever wondered why top performing athletes have coaches? Have you ever wondered why they are always seeking constant feedback? Have you ever wondered why they are so diligent about making sure others are studying the things they do well and the things they need to improve? They do these things because they realize that they will never reach their full potential without a coach, because nothing has more impact on performance than coaching. And the secret that these top performing athletes, or any top performers for the matter, possess is that they clearly understand that their ability to stay on top is done through their ability to be both physically and mentally fit.
Sales, as an industry, does a decent job of being physically fit if you think of the physical as being the tools, processes, and systems, that the reps (players) need to have in order to be successful. How has the sales industry done on the mental side of the equation? Not good! There are lots of reasons for why, but the biggest reason is that sales is a change resistant industry. That being said, the progressive organizations that are developing their front-line sales leaders into great coaches are the organizations that are going to get more sales, discretionary effort from their people, and market share.
So if the biggest challenge for the sales industry is getting more mentally fit through coaching, how can it overcome the challenge? There are many. So, for the sake of getting started Karen told us that the first thing we must understand is that “people do not necessarily dislike change; they dislike change without their involvement”. So if truly effective coaching is going to be woven into your sales culture you must first understand is that in order to introduce the change successfully you are going to want to gather their input before you start the process. Ask yourself the question what does successful sales coaching look like for your team and make sure you ask “what does successful coaching look like according to your reps”.
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Director of Business Development