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Coaching…

March reminds me of basketball; and basketball, reminds me of coaching.  Coaching – personally and professionally – makes a difference.

March is full of basketball news and events.  The NCAA even copyrighted the title of their men’s Division I tournament, “March Madness” ©!  Fans apply that slogan to other NCAA divisions; women’s teams; and even associate March to the NBA regular season wind-down to their playoffs (a marathon that actually begins in April and ends sometime during the next NFL season) because:

Overkill is underrated. 

Col. John “Hannibal” Smith

The A-Team

This (if you’ve seen the movie) was spoken by a leader, and a coach, who believed in the power of a plan.  By I digress.

I’ve been blessed in my life from the guidance and grit I’ve received from coaches.  In basketball, Harley Knosher; Bud Johnston; Larry Wiley; and others too numerous to name coached me and helped me get better.  Bearing in mind, I was already pretty good – they still helped me get better.  I adopted this experience in my “elevator pitch” today; I help others get better at what they already do best.

Not that all sports analogies work out well:

Golfer Tommy Bolt is known for his sweet swing and foul temper.  While giving a clinic to a group of amateurs, Bolt tried to show his softer side by involving his 14-year old son in the lesson.  “Show the nice folks what I taught you”, said Bolt.  His son obediently took a 9-iron, cursed, and hurled it into the sky. 

Thomas Roswell

Nevertheless, I have benefited greatly from coaching in my personal and professional life.  Unlike basketball, when I started out in the sales profession, I didn’t know anything about anything.  Sales is what we do when we can’t do anything else.  No one has the aspiration, “Damn the rejection – I’m cold calling!”

So when I couldn’t do anything else, yet at a young age needed to provide for my wife (married at 20) and family (fatherhood at 23), I turned to sales, “Damn the rejection – give me a phone!”

Frank Justo coached me in my early days, “You better speak up or your prospect will throw you out …” Rob Denkewalter too, “Stop frowning when you present or your prospect will throw you out…”  Their coaching helped “me” get ready to face “them” – the prospects.

I’ve had coaches my entire career.  Nick Ryder; Tony Marabotti; Jim Anderson; Teah Bennett; and many others too numerous to name.  To this day they help me think about me.

I say all that to offer context on this; Integrity Solutions Research Brief.  The bad news?  Their research suggests when it comes to coaching in the sales profession – we suck.

The good news?  They offer us a starting place to improve:

The aspect that is rarely discussed is not a sales rep’s skillset but their mindset. Do your salespeople have limited, negative thinking that’s getting in their way? People need to change their thinking first in order to change their behavior. Almost every training program misses this critical point and therefore fails to help coaches develop this important aspect of performance. Helping to improve the conversations that they have with prospects and clients is important. However, the conversations that they have with themselves are just as important and too frequently overlooked when it comes to coaching.

Regardless of your athletic, academic, personal or professional situation; what conversations are you having with you?  Who’s helping you get better at what you already do best?

GAP

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2 Comments


  1. John Ferro
    Mar 13, 2019

    Thanks GP! Great ditty and relevant for me lately. Hope you got through the blizzard today!


    • Gary
      Mar 14, 2019

      Thanks for reading and commenting John! And yes – springtime in the Rockies – never a dull moment LoL! Thx, GAP

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