WHAT IS THE UNIQUENESS IN ME TO HELP CLIENTS SOLVE THEIR OWN CHALLENGES?
From a coaching/mentoring perspective, I partner with clients to understand and to dive deeper into these challenges. I am seen as a Trusted Advisor, but to gain true change in behaviour, the client must be involved in the process or there will be no behaviour change and challenges won’t be solved.
My uniqueness is a combination of Trusted Advisor (subject matter expert) as well as an award winning Strategic Business Developer. This has allowed me to help leaders and business owners to look closely at their revenue and to work with their sales teams to excel.
My uniqueness is my communication skills that have drawn CEO’s and other leaders to immediately trust me and to discuss their pain points.
My knowledge and certification as an NLP Master Practitioner has allowed me to take a deeper dive into these limiting beliefs. Why are their teams not in sync; how can they increase revenue; how can they lead and coach high performing teams; how can they reduce turnover; how can they provide more cross-training which enhances overall team performance?
In my next blog, I am going to share specific examples of challenges some of my clients face.
BILLION DOLLAR COACHING QUESTION
Happy New Year. In 2019 I’ll be posting various personal insights into Leadership, Sales Leadership Coaching, as well as Entrepreneurial Coaching. They will be in the form of postings to various forms of Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn), as well as my blog and articles. This week will focus on Sales Leadership Coaching.
One of the Sales Leaders I recently coached wanted to build a Coaching Culture. Part of the process was to tweak his leadership style to become a Coach to his Leadership Team and staff. There were two reasons for this. One was that he was attempting to have everyone take responsibility for the revenue they were driving. This meant an end to him problem solving with his staff and a new beginning by asking questions that would assist them to provide solutions. He felt this was paramount in order for his team to develop new skills and for the company to realize an improved bottom-line.
So let’s set the stage to reveal one of the Billion Dollar Coaching Questions that he asked and the results that he attained. Below is the scenario:
One of his salespeople approached him with a timely, pressing issue.
“ I really need your help on closing this deal. As you know, I’ve been working this deal for the last year and have it in my forecast for this quarter. Unfortunately, now the customer is pushing back and all of a sudden they’re looking for a better discount. Something’s going on in procurement and I’m not sure what to do. I know you have a relationship with the CFO, so can you please call the CFO and help me out here, or just tell me what I need to do?”
Of course, I’m sure you, as a Sales Leader, have never been in a situation like this before!!
Here is your defining moment that, depending upon your messaging and how you communicate, will either create a new possibility, or something less desirable. Here are the two basic options you have at this very moment.
Option One: You can call the CFO, tell your salesperson what to do or worse, you can do the work for them, believing that doing so will save you time, be more efficient and allow you to move on to the next task on your plate.
The result? Failure. If you’ve seen the movie, Groundhog Day with Bill Murray, then you know what I’m referring to here. It’s the story of a guy who wakes up every day, repeating the same day exactly the same way. He finds himself trapped in a time warp, doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right.
What’s my point here? Well, if you’ve ever felt like you’re reliving the same day over and over again, here’s your chance to get it right. Have you ever had a repetitive or redundant conversation with someone? What does that tell you? Either they’re not listening to you, not understanding you, or you didn’t get to the root cause of the issue. And the reason why they may not be listening to you is because you may be telling them something that they already know.
Redundancy turns off listening.
Once someone feels they’re being talked at or not getting what they want or need, they stop listening. To compound this, if you’re not asking questions, then you’re assuming the facts and consequently, wind up solving the wrong problems or providing ineffective solutions.
Keith Rosen provided the most profound Billion Dollar Coaching Question which was perfect for this situation.
Parts of the Billion-Dollar Coaching Question
Part 1: “I’m happy to share my opinion with you”
Acknowledge that you will be sharing exactly what they have asked for, keeping them engaged.
Part 2: “However, you’re much closer to this situation than I am”
Many times, it’s the seller who has the relationship with the customer and is much closer to the customer than their manager. This statement acknowledges their position, role, and most importantly, their accountability in their scenario or issue, in a positive way.
Part 3: “And I trust you and your judgment on this.”
This statement alone is so powerful. How often does someone say this to you? Do you hear this often? And if you do, how does it make you feel? What does this do for your self-worth and confidence? Acknowledging you trust someone and believe in their abilities builds their confidence. It also builds a deeper, more trusting relationship with your team, as well as their trust in you.
Part 4: “So, what’s your opinion on how to handle this?”
Here’s the coaching moment you have created. Seek to understand their opinion and viewpoint before sharing yours. Otherwise, you may find yourself creating your own Groundhog Day scenario.
Just the sheer act of respecting, actively listening, and truly wanting to understand their point of view builds trust and stimulates the Law of Reciprocity. That is, if you respect their opinion, authentically care, are insatiably curious, and give them the gift of your listening and attention, they will do the same for you. This fosters trust, deeper collaboration, and is the formula to spark remarkable innovation. Besides, what people really want in their career and from their manager is to be acknowledged, to be heard, to be able to contribute, and to be respected.
Finally, think about how long it took to ask that question. Much less time than giving an answer and you’re empowering others to do the work, and own it.
I am thrilled to say that the Sales Leader took on this approach and his sales staff became more motivated, more solutions focused, less needy, and most importantly more successful. This doesn’t include how much additional time he saved for the more important role of being a Strategic Sales Leader, by becoming a solution focused coach.
At the end of 2015 they hit the highest sales record in the company history and the employee engagement scores were exceptional, with a truly motivated team.
Why I Love My Work
From lessons learned over the years, both in the corporate world and as a business owner, I have discovered that coaching and mentoring is a rewarding profession. I help my clients become unstuck and then watch them lead happier, healthier and more prosperous lives because of it.
As 2018 comes to an end, it has allowed me time to reflect upon the last year. It has been a great opportunity to work with my existing team and clients. I look forward to welcoming new clients in 2019.
Let me share with you a sampling of significant comments many of my clients posed over the past year.
See if any of these resonate with you:
- Want concrete goals for 2019.
- Not sure if I am truly committed to making the changes I need to make to advance my career or business.
- My organization has identified me as a high performer, but there is no clarity around my future from a succession planning point of view.
- My sales are increasing, but so do my quotas on a consistent basis.
- My sales are increasing, but from a time management perspective I feel disorganized and my days are longer.
- I need to communicate better with my staff, especially those on my team where I feel nothing in common, from a business or a personal perspective.
- My sales staff needs to become more solution-focused. I need to rely on these seasoned professionals to get out of asking me to help solve problems. They need to become more accountable and come to me with proposed solutions.
- There seems to be a misinterpretation of vision and culture by some of my team members. This also holds true for our leadership team.
- Cross-functional relationships within our organization need to improve.
- I have always considered myself to be an entrepreneur but I can’t seem to take this business to the next level. Seem to be spinning and certainly haven’t been keeping fit.
AND FINALLY THE MOST FREQUENT COMMENT:
- I need more life balance. The company expects more each day from me, but I have to be disciplined around exercise and health. If not, I can see myself leaving the organization.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
WHAT IS BUSINESS COACHING?
(Wanted to share with you a thought-provoking review of Business Coaching and what it means to you as Leaders and Entrepreneurs.
It more clearly describes Business Coaching, establishes what the relationship looks like between coach and client, demonstrates how to build your business (even if you think you have all the right answers) and gives you an understanding of the beginning and end of a coaching/client partnership.)
By Jonathon Raymond
There are an awful lot of people out there today calling themselves business coaches. Without any real professional accreditations or associations, it’s hard to know who to trust. Not just about their methodology or the quality of the training, but about their approach to business and life in general. It’s a deeply personal engagement and on some level you’re buying who they are and why they do what they do.
Business Coaching is a relationship. It’s a place where you go for guidance, support, and challenge so you can figure out what’s in the way of creating the business you want. Business Coaching is not just about having a trusted guide; they also have to have the right map.
It’s about asking you the right questions in the right moments from a place of real competence, so that you become a better leader for the sake of your business, your employees and your bottom line. Great coaching helps you build a company culture based on ownership and accountability, and backs up the right ideas with real tools to put theory and tools into practice.
A Trusted Partnership
Business coaching is not consulting, and also not therapy. It’s right between the two. A good business coach is someone you can trust that has the acumen to be able to diagnose specific and systemic issues in your business, but who has the strength to wait for you to deliver on the solution instead of jumping in and doing it for you.
Being a good listener is half the equation, but a coach can’t help you unless they understand what makes a good business good and a great business great.
Being smart about business is half the equation, but a coach can’t help you unless they care about people and really want to get to know you personally.
Great coaches are patient as their job is to help you get clear on what needs to happen next, but they wait for you to take action. And of course, they hold your feet to the fire on your goals. A great coach lives by one rule: that you already have the fundamental ingredient to transform your business, which is the ability to change your relationship to it.
Curiosity and Courage
Great coaching is equal parts curiosity and courage. Curiosity to look in each and every corner of your business to find the root cause for why things are stuck or stagnating. Great coaches understand that you want the truth, even if it stings a bit or takes a little longer to achieve.
The Goal Is Obsolescence
Business coaches with integrity want to make themselves obsolete. Their passion is to show you how to do for yourself what you need their help for today, which is to become a real-time diagnostician of what your business needs next. Like any good helping relationship, it’s bit of a paradox. Your coach makes money by you staying on as a client, and at the same time their success is determined by whether you need them less over time. A coach with integrity is up front about this, because they’re confident enough in their own abilities to know that after they help you will move to the next level.
NLP and how it has helped my clients grow and lead more fulfilled business and personal lives.
Becoming a Board Certified NLP Master Practitioner was a challenging, yet rewarding journey. It allowed me to integrate and to better understand aspects of my career that, although successful, certainly could at times be stressful. In turn, I now have this toolbox, from lessons learned over the years, as well as during my credentialing process, to better serve my clients.
My clients work with the present, to create a compelling future. They understand the need to release past obstacles to create that future. They realize that by focusing on the process of how they block themselves, they can be more empowered.
NLP Coaching is a learning model and focuses on future and achievable goals and outcomes. Change amazes clients because they are so fast, and often fun.
Clients discover and utilize their most productive strategies, values, and other modalities already at their disposal. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of values that the clients possess, their teams and ultimately their organizations. If the values are incongruent, the organization will not be successful. NLP takes a very deep dive into the importance of values and how through coaching, assessment and training everyone in the team can work more congruently. Remember, values run beliefs and beliefs run behaviours.
Perhaps this aspect of NLP was the most profound for me, personally, and for my clients.
For those of you reading this blog, there is more information on NLP under the reference section.