I've always been attracted to the startup world.
I find many entrepreneurial founders intelligent, thinking, creative, inquisitive and often fun to talk with.
But, God they can be idiots! (I'm using "idiots" in the most teasing and loving sense of the word.)
Here are some recent examples.
"If I could add 20 hours to my work week I’d absolutely do it and would enjoy it." "It" is being the head of Sales. What does that say about all the awesome Sales VPs that work 80 hours a week at being a Sales VP? Many founders consider sales skills 'soft skills'. Not as important as being the visionary or the technical genius.
"various personal traits matters far more to selling effectiveness than I previously imagined." Seriously? It's more than process, data and metrics? Can you imagine a salesperson telling a prospect, "I know that you're going to buy from me, because statistically, I have missed on twice the standard deviation of the normal distribution of sales calls and the probablity that you won't buy from me is less than 1 in a billion."
"he suggested to talk to you about sales coaching for some of our reps. Please let me know if you have some time to chat" Why aren't your reps calling me? How do we know which ones? "Chat"? Seriously? Do you ever "chat" about anything important?I spoke with a VP and sent an email the day that he returned from his vacation (as we agreed). I sent this email 8 days later. "I see that you opened this email, but never replied. (I LOVE SIGNALS!) My guess is that it wasn't what you were looking for and you've decided to go in a different direction." To which he replied, "Rick, haven't gotten through emails yet after my vacation and swamped at work so don't "strip-line" me yet :) Let's drop a catchup call on our schedules for early June?" I replied, "No thanks." To which he replied, "Let me know if I missed something here?"
I'll never reply and we'll probably never speak again. Why? A coach lives for the salespeople that he's coaching. Salespeople connect prospects and customers to marketing and the company. Their effectiveness is the company's #1 priority. The reason that the company exists. The question is, "Effective at what?" The VP above accused me of "strip-lining" him. He's looking for tricks. He probably wants me to teach his salespeople more tricks. Prospects don't want to be tricked. It's their #1 fear. Tricks cause prospects to lie. Salespeople need to learn how to understand people, their motivation, their fears, their goals. They have to do it in such a way that the prospect thinks, "This guy really gets me." This is not something that can be learned in a classroom. It's not something that can be taught to a group. Why? Because salespeople have their own issues. That's why sales managers now have to spend 50% of their time coaching. Coaching is not training. It's not get rich quick. It's not once a week if I have time. What the VP missed is that in hs haste to 'scale', he's killing his salespeople.
OK. Enough! If you've never experienced a 1:1 coaching session, you can sign up for a free coaching session.