Coaching is when a very large man in a varsity jacket yells at you for being a complete disgr...wait no. Sorry, high school flashbacks.

Coaching in the sales context is when a person armed with a lot of charts and data yells at you for being a complete disgrace. At least, that’s what some folks seem to think it is.

That, however, is basically the opposite of what sales coaching should be. 

The essence of coaching is understanding. Coaching is a process of discovery, both for the coach and the person being coached. It needs patience and skill to identify where a person is going wrong and then guiding them to overcome those problems themselves.

There’s a lot more to sales coaching than that, but another point worth mentioning here is that coaching also isn’t let’s-get-this-out-of-the-way-ing. This means, if your mentee comes to you about a particularly difficult prospect, you could always pick up the phone or take over the call to “let’s get this out of the way” it, but guess what, your mentee will be back next week with a similar issue.

Coaching is listening to the calls together, asking probing questions, and slowly but firmly guiding your mentee to the solution. Having them figure it out themselves. Getting the deep satisfaction of seeing the lightbulb moment first hand as they gain new insights, knowing that this was more than just a simple problem that was solved. This was a teachable moment.

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