Hint: It's got less to do with the coach and almost everything to do with you.
What a great movie, if you haven't seen it go watch 'Untouchables' right now.
Sean Connery's character is asking the young Federal Agent Elliot Ness how much he wants to get Al Capone, the famous crime boss in Chicago. The relevance to sales coaching is direct and blunt: The client determines failure or success strictly through their commitment to improving.
I don't care how good the coach is...if you won't put forth the commitment and work to improve...the results will not follow.
So how should you hire and get the most out of a professional sales coach?
- Forget about 'credentials' and look for experience and references. Most so called 'coaching designations' are worthless and predominantly aimed at assisting them in marketing themselves.
- How does their model for coaching you reasonably predict success? It isn't the questions or exercises that make sales coaching work...it is how the coaching model requires your improvement that is the 'magic'. Do you believe that they know how to get you to where YOU want to be?
- Does the prospective coach possess deep experience and expertise in at least one particular niche of sales? If they aren't really good at one particular aspect of the sales craft you should be highly skeptical of their ability to coach. Sales success isn't vague or undefined...its numbers and effort.
- Do you believe they will challenge you to reach higher levels of performance? I would rather be fired by a client for being too 'blunt and direct' than to enable one more salesperson to underperform. That doesn't mean you should hire a sadist, but, it does mean that your coach has to be willing to push you hard to where you said you wanted to go. If it feels safe and comfortable...its not sales coaching. Got get a 'rent-a-friend' life coach to make you feel better.
Most importantly: Decide that you are going to improve and engage 100% with your coach to do so. Ironically, the decision itself is a big part of the results.
So as Sean so eloquently puts it: "What are YOU prepared to do?"
If you want to improve there is no arguing for the demonstrated success of sales coaching and if I can help you in that process please feel free to reach out. Yes, I am a sales coach myself, but, I don't mind helping you find a different coach...I just want coaching to work for you regardless of who you work with.