(Maybe) You Don’t Need Another Sales Coach (Right Now)
I feel a bit coo-coo just writing this right now. Who ever heard of a person who makes her living getting hired by individuals and companies to help them drive their sales telling them NOT to hire her right now?
Well, this one is.
Because we are living in the upside down right now. Nothing is normal. So why should I be any different?
If you’re in sales, you feel like you are on quicksand. Nothing is the same as it was. You can’t visit your clients the way you used to. You can’t get them on the phone. You know that you cannot just say, “We’re open” and expect orders to come in. The mailboxes are empty. Heck, the STREETS are empty.
We never thought we would be here, and yet here we are. And now is not the time for sales as usual. You do not need me to tell you that. You don’t need me to coach you right now.
I have talked to hundreds of sales professionals in the last 40 days. I have talked to them on the phone, through Zoom calls, on webinars, and over SKYPE. So, I feel qualified to share with you some of the things that I think salespeople DO need right now.
Inspiration – You need to see stories of how your colleagues, neighbors, and even your competitors are helping right now. They are producing PPE. They are making masks. They are designing makeshift hospital beds. They are partnering with distilleries that stopped producing booze and started producing hand sanitizer and designed and produced the labels. You know who you are. You might not wear a cape (I would support you if you did), but you are heroes.
Support – Everyone needs words of encouragement occasionally. Bosses and owners, I need you to earmuff it for a minute. Your boss might not be focused on making sure your morale is doing well right now. So, you need to get your support where you can find it.
Friendship – I have made more “friends” on LinkedIn in the past four days than I have in more than a decade of being on the platform. It is my new Facebook. I am counting down the days until PRINTING United so I can meet up with some of these fine creatures IRL.
Camaraderie – Whether it is commiseration, sharing ideas, or celebrating victories, people need to share these experiences. Having someone to listen, to be a sounding board, and a brain trust of people to trust and strategize with is invaluable.
Ideas – I like to call it “A fresh pair of eyes” Sometimes someone else can look at the same situation and see it in a new way and come up with a solution to a problem or an application that no one has ever thought of before. Having someone who you can collaborate with and share ideas with makes you feel valued.
If you are a manager, and you are providing some or all of these to your team, I commend you.
There are a lot of us out there today, living on LinkedIn and trying to bring these things to whoever needs them. I hope you are getting what you need. If you’re not, please reach out to me and I’ll help you.
Which of these five things are most important to you right now?
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.