I recently started taking swimming lessons. I love telling people about it because the response is priceless. First there is a confused look. Then, a gasp, followed by, “You don’t know how to swim?!”
Of course, I know how to swim. Like most children, I grew up taking swimming lessons, but it’s been quite a few years since I received any coaching. I decided to add swimming to my fitness routine to give my legs a break as I train for a spring marathon. Since I don’t typically swim, and I knew I’d be spending a lot of time in the water, I figured it made sense to take a few lessons with a swim coach so I didn’t develop bad habits.
As they say, “Practice makes perfect,” and if I was going to practice something repeatedly, I thought I’d better practice with proper technique.
When it comes to sales, how is your technique? The best sales people work with their sales manager or a sales coach on an ongoing basis to sharpen their skills. I see a lot of parallels between athletic coaching and sales coaching:
If you want to get better at something, it takes practice.
A good coach takes you back to the basics and knows how to break the process into tiny steps, which makes it easier to pinpoint where you need work.
You can swim—or go on sales calls—with poor technique, but making the same mistake over and over is inefficient and requires more effort in the long run.
A coach provides encouragement, tells you what you are doing well, and makes you believe you can succeed.
It’s overwhelming to think of everything you need to change all at once. A coach helps you master one thing at a time.
You might succeed out of sheer will and eventually get to the finish line, but doesn’t it make more sense to work with someone who can help you spot the areas where you need to refine your skills? If your sales skills are a little rusty, a sales coach might be just what you need!
What is the best thing you’ve done this year to improve your sales performance? Share your tips in the comments below.
Kim Peek is a Digital Sales Coach at The Center for Sales Strategy.