Sales coaching seems like a fantastic idea. It’s also a task that’s easily pushed aside. You might think, “I’m busy with this project now, so I’ll get to coaching next week” or “My team’s rocking it, and they don’t really need my guidance right now.”

Although you may want to postpone coaching your team, procrastinating doesn’t help. Remember that guiding your team is part of your leadership role, not something you can keep putting off.

Jason Evanish, the CEO of Get Lighthouse, says that being a good coach can have a bigger impact than you even thought possible. The key is to build the habit of coaching regularly and to do it well.

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we share Evanish’s guiding principles for leaders to elevate their coaching game.

  1. Ask great questions. Coaching isn’t about having all the answers. Make sure you’re asking your sales reps insightful questions and asking them often. Evanish recommends asking questions like, “How might we approach … ?” and “What did you learn while working on that project?” He suggests framing questions in a constructive way that encourages staff members to think for themselves.
  2. Actively listen. The first step is asking thoughtful questions. The second step is carefully listening to sales reps’ responses. Evanish says active listening is a critical part of being a great coach and leader who wants to build trust, inspire teamwork and prevent misunderstandings. Try paraphrasing to confirm you get what your team members are saying.
  3. Provide constructive feedback. Be kind but clear, Evanish says. You can say what you need to say, but do it respectfully. He recommends framing your feedback as a desire for your sales reps to improve and succeed while also emphasizing that it’s not optional to ignore your feedback.
  4. Use your emotional intelligence. Do you need to polish up your emotional intelligence skills? Emotionally intelligent leaders can bring out the best in their teams by building trust and facilitating growth. Self-awareness is a big part of it, Evanish says. The better you understand your own internal emotional state, the better you can manage your responses.
  5. Tailor your approach to the person and the situation. Don’t take a cookie-cutter approach with sales coaching. Everybody has different motivations, experiences, personalities and preferred learning styles. Evanish points out that situations also vary greatly in complexity and context.

If you lead a team, consider the principles above to unleash a positive ripple effect within your promo company. It’s a win-win when your sales reps feel valued and empowered to perform to the best of their abilities.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Jason Evanish is the CEO of Get Lighthouse, a company that helps people learn how to become better leaders.