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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Effective Coaching: Overcoming the Urge to Sell for Your Salespeople


I recently had a conversation with a manager who asked me: “What do I need to keep in mind when I, as a highly-competitive person, am managing a seller who is also highly competitive?” He was concerned that because they both had highly-competitive natures, he may have a tendency to want to compete with his own direct report, which he instinctively knew would work against them both in the end. I gave an analogy to the manager that I would tell any manager, competitive or not.

Picture this scenario: A football team is playing their biggest opponent. They have possession of the ball on the 2-yard line on the 4th down at the end of the 4th quarter. To ensure that the team scored the touchdown, would the head coach run onto the field, tell his team to step aside and then take the ball and run it into the end zone himself? Of course not! That would be ineffective and ridiculous. Instead, the head coach would call his players to the sideline, or simply yell from the sidelines, and coach them on what they need to do to get it done. Then, the players will use their own talents combined with his great coaching to score the touchdown.

Remind yourself that you are like that head football coach. It is your job to train, develop and coach your salespeople to win at selling. Resist the urge to jump in, take over control, and do it yourself. Coach your salespeople from the sideline, and in the end, you and they will both be more successful.

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Topics: Sales