Why do I need a business, management, or sales coach?
I am often asked this seemingly simple question. When I start explaining, some people will stop me and say one or more of the following:
- I’ve been selling for years. I know what I’m doing.
- Ours sales are just fine, thank you very much.
- No one knows my business like I do. I’m a lone wolf. I like to do things my way.
- Our company once brought in a “guy” to teach us everything in one day.
- I only hire experienced people. Why do I need to train them?
…or an assortment of other objections they honestly and adamantly believe to be true.
Many people conflate experience with expertise, while others may not understand that it’s not enough to be merely good at something. We must endeavor to constantly improve if we’re to compete in an ever-evolving and competitive world where success can be painfully fleeting.
All successful top athletes have coaches – often, more than one. Successful top executives and business owners typically have a line item in their budgets for Professional Services like training and coaching.
So why is it smart to have a Business, Management, or Sales Coach? Here are my top 10 reasons.
- To improve our skills by continuously traveling between the realms of learning and execution. Masters know that we must first learn new skills, go out and execute them, return and evaluate our outcomes with a coach, then repeat the process to achieve proficiency.
- To brainstorm with an objective observer who has a vested interest in our success. On the field, things don’t always go as planned. It’s always good to talk things over, search for new solutions to new challenges, and hear yourself articulate ideas and feelings and compare notes.
- To role play different scenarios before you go onto the field. Top athletes prepare and practice strategies and tactics for varying contingencies. Actors and musicians always have “dress rehearsal” after many weeks and months of constant rehearsal and tweaking.
- To learn the secret weapon called Accountability. Top performers start with SMART goals, then plan, track, and tweak their accomplishments – holding themselves accountable with their coach. A good accountability partner will always motivate higher performance.
- To avoid same-industry myopia. I’ve worked with over 20 vertical markets and, I’ve noticed many smart people become blind within their own silos. It’s always good to cross-pollinate ideas from different businesses and markets. There is always a new technology out there you’ve not heard of, and there is always someone doing or trying something better.
- To have someone to constantly challenge you to get outside of your comfort zone. We are all creatures of habit. We seek what makes us comfortable. However, once you have mastered a skill, tactic, environment, discipline, or whatever, it’s time to set another goal and act. Success is typically found outside of your comfort zone.
- To ward off loneliness and get the personal attention you deserve. One of the ironies of the sales or management profession is that you are always in front of people while being lonely. A good coach will focus on your personal needs and aspirations to help you improve and achieve your company and personal goals.
- To improve your networking opportunities. A good coach has and has had many clients and is always networking. I have introduced many clients to one another and have seen new relationships blossom with participants benefiting in all sorts of direct and indirect ways.
- To save time, money, and effort. Selecting a coach that has ‘been there and done that’ can help prevent you from making costly mistakes and save you time from “winging it” and failing.
- To have a secret weapon. Many people do not strategize every move they make. Those that do, often do so in solitude. Since the days of Sun Tzu, it has been beneficial to strategize aloud and be challenged or affirmed; either will always improve the odds.
According to a recent study in Fortune 500 companies, the ROI for business coaching is very high.
The Return on Investment was as high as 529%. Now crunch those numbers!
Learn from a master….someone whose passion and focus is Kaizen (constant improvement).