I hope that I don't ramble and lose you in this post, but it's the result of a series of recent events. I just finished reading Dharmesh's article, "Failure Is Not The Worst Outcome, Mediocrity Is". He had several half-liners that really resonated for me as a coach. Read them slow. Let them sink in.
"I knew that Drew was really smart — but I didn't have enough evidence to know if he was going to be a great entrepreneur."
"Failure lets you move on, mediocrity stalls you and keeps you from reaching your potential."
“Ramen profitability is where the company is making enough money that the founders can live on Ramen Noodles."
"Life is short. We have a limited amount of time to achieve our potential."
You can read the whole article here.
Another "event" was Arjun's guest post in which he answers the question, "How much Sales Coaching is Enough?" He answered from the perspective of the coachee, but the coach can tell when it's time. Good coaching is actually driven by the coachee. At first they may wonder, but after a couple of sessions, they bring situations, questions and have a meaningful agenda for our time together. As they get better, they become more successful and as a result, busier. As their schedule becomes tighter, they arrive late for their session and may even believe that what they have to do is more important than their regularly scheduled coaching session. Please don't read this as negative. It's positive growth and they're learning to establish priorities. You should also know that a good coach can see the scheduling issue coming because immediately before it, the coachee has another breakthrough. They come to coaching sessions with the question AND what they think is the answer AND their answer is often close and/or part of the right answer.
You can read Arjun's article here.
Finally, at the beginning of December, a salesperson was given two months to get their act together or they would be terminated. He contacted me and asked if my coaching could help him keep his job. I was concerned that two months would not be enough time. My normal engagement is 3-6 months. Seldom longer. Never shorter. I was also concerned that he was desperate rather than motivated. We started working together. At the end of December, his manager and up the line commented on my client's progress. More confident in delivery. Eliminated false starts and wasting time with non-buyers. Following the process and working smarter. Great! Then, about 1/10, he realized that his deadline was approaching and he slid backwards. He lost his delivery. Showed his desperation to his prospects and couldn't close a door. He got terminated and he deserved it. Furthermore, as I already mentioned, I knew that I probably didn't have enough time, but if I didn't try, he had no chance, but here's the thing. He started working in May and averaged 100% of his monthly quota for the first 4 months. (73%-124%) Not unusual. New job. Fresh process. Excited. In September, he struggled with a 36% of quota month. Also not unusual. Reality sets in. It's not new anymore. If he had contacted me in September, maybe it's a different result. Desperation is a killer. I remember a guy that was going to sell his car to work with me. He'd been failing for months. While I could have been flattered at the reputation that I had with him, I told him not to sell his job and to get a job. He hates me, but it's better that he hates me than hate himself.