The following series of advertisements reportedly appeared in a daily newspaper years ago:
Monday: “The Rev. A.J. Jones has one color TV set for sale. Telephone 626-1313 after 7 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Donnelley who lives with him, cheap.”
Tuesday: “We regret any embarrassment caused to Rev. Jones by a typographical error in yesterday’s paper. The ad should have read: ‘The Rev. A.J. Jones has one color TV set for sale, cheap…Telephone 626-1313 and ask for Mrs. Donnelley, who lives with him after 7 p.m.'”
Wednesday: “The Rev. A.J. Jones informs us that he has received several annoying telephone calls because of an incorrect ad in yesterday’s paper. It should have read: ‘The Rev. A.J. Jones has one color TV set for sale, cheap. Telephone 626-1313 after 7 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Donnelley who loves with him.'”
Thursday: “Please take notice that I, the Rev. A.J. Jones, have no color TV set for sale; I have smashed it. Don’t call 626-1313 anymore. I have not been carrying on with Mrs. Donnelley. She was, until yesterday, my housekeeper.'”
Friday: “Wanted: a housekeeper. Usual housekeeping duties. Good pay. Love in, Rev. A.J. Jones. Telephone 626-1313.'”
I TOLD YOU THAT TO TELL YOU THIS…
Miscommunication in sales happens quite often. It’s especially inevitable in sales coaching.
Fortunately, I know of someone who wrote an excellent blog post about this issue.
The post itself is titled: “Coaching To Your Strengths Or Your Salesperson’s Weakness?” It was written by sales trainer, consultant, speaker and board member for multiple organizations David A. Brock (@davidabrock).
THE BIG IDEA
The big idea of Brock’s post is this:
“To be effective, we have to step back from our own biases–driven by our strengths. We have to understand the issue the sales person faces, we have to focus on correctly identifying their weaknesses, coaching to them.”
WHAT I LIKED
Brock’s post uses a pair of scenarios to clearly convey the problems that come with coaching to your strengths as a sales professional instead of coaching to your sales professional’s weakness(es).
Within each scenario, it becomes clear there are a variety of ways this issue could arise. As sales coaches, it’s up to us to accurately determine which type of coaching is needed.
Some scenarios playing out in your own sales team may look like one problem but are, in truth, entirely other issues to which coaching must be applied.
The problem of our natural bias toward our own areas of strength is a very real temptation for each of us, and Brock knows it too:
“If we are great closers, everything becomes a closing problem. If we are great presenters, everything becomes a presentation skills problem, if we are great negotiators, everything is about negotiation, if we are great prospectors, everything can be solved by more prospecting.”
Read Brock’s entire blog post now and begin putting it into practice with your team today.
* The newspaper story leading off this post was taken from First United Methodist Church, Meadville, PA, Content The Newsletter Newsletter, August 1990, p. 3.
[Reading Time of Brock’s Post: 3:00 minutes]
QUESTION ::: If you were honest with yourself, what bias for training others do you need to watch for most?
Let’s talk about it…