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The Critical Rule Of Coaching


How long is a Got a minute? meeting at your radio station? Its a lot more than a minute. I once had a Got a second? meeting that lasted an hour and a half!

Salespeople ask you for a minute whenever they have a fire for you to put out for them.

Thats because you have trained them to come to you to put out the fire instead of developing them so they dont start fires that need putting out.

Heres the problem: Developing people is more time on the front end. As a new sales manager, the quick, easy thing for you to do is to give people the answers to their questions. Fix their problems fast. Put out one fire and move on to your next Got a minute? meeting.

This can go on all day, of course. And it will unless you change the dynamic of the Got a minute? meeting.

Every time you have a one-on-one meeting with a salesperson, you have an important choice. It can be a one-on-one training session or a one-on-one coaching session. Being aware of what kind of meeting youre having puts you in control. You can use the meeting to do the job for the salesperson. Or you can use the meeting to develop the salesperson to do her job.

You can tell them what to do to fix the problem (training). Or you can coach them to come up with their own solution

Chris Lytles Critical Rule of Coaching explains you must ask at least seven questions before you give an answer.

But, Chris, youre thinking. I dont have time to ask  questions. There are more people lining up behind this salesperson. Ive got to keep things moving.

The time you take to develop people on the front end will save you countless hours on the back end.

The other benefit of asking seven questions before you give an answer is that it forces you to quiet your mind and listen to your salesperson. You cannot possibly ask seven questions in a row unless you are really listening.

Of course, when you launch them on a voyage of discovery to come up with their own answers, you build confidence, commitment and buy-in.

The late Norm Goldsmith used to say to the managers at our Leadership Institute, You cant influence the thinking of your salespeople until you know what theyre thinking. And you wont know what theyre thinking until you quit telling them what to do and start asking them what they think they should do.

Chris Lytle is the founder of Sparque, Inc. This well-traveled speaker has conducted more than 2200 seminars on three continents. Hes the best-selling author of The Accidental Salesperson and The Accidental Sales Manager.
Reach Chris by e-mail

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