What to Do When Your Sales Coach Is a Jerk

Have you ever worked with a jerk? Better yet, have you ever intentionally hired someone that acts like a  jerk? I did and it may be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and here’s why.

I hired Rick to be my sales coach a few weeks ago knowing that I would be challenged and from time to  time challenged in a rude manner.

Yesterday, I was made aware of the fact that I had double booked a time slot on my calendar. The  original appointment was slotted for a monthly call with our channel account manager at HubSpot,  David Weinhaus. The new appointment was one of the coaching calls that Rick and I have. Then I sent  this email to David with Rick being copied on it:

Hi David, Apparently, I have double booked the time slot for our call next week.

In my excitement to getting started with Rick, I agreed to have one of our regular training sessions at the  same time. Here’s what I’d like to propose.

I would love for you to join us on the call because this is where the action is happening and you have  been integral in the process leading up to our engagement with Rick.

But if you just want to reschedule our call that would be fine as well. Let me know.

To which David replied: Let's do it. Would love to join the call.

Not too long after that I got the “jerk” reply:

Leo,  You are lucky that David is a tolerant, patient and forgiving guy (and much more classy than I) because if  you had sent me that email, I'd have replied, "Who cares what you think?"

Now, why do you think I would reply that way?

To which I replied:

Rick,

My guess is because you wouldn't have tolerated my incompetence in making sure my schedule was  clear for those times and you were treated unprofessionally.

Rick said:

Leo,  This is what I would have sent to David.

Hi David,

Let me start with, I apologize.

I think you're aware that there was a lot of back and forth and excitement when we were getting set up  with Rick, I didn't notice that your call with us and Rick's call with us next Wednesday.

Again, I apologize. No excuses. My bad.

  1. Should I reschedule our call with you?
  2. Should I reschedule our call with Rick?
  3. Or is there any value in all of us being on the same call?

You have been integral in the process leading up to our engagement with Rick and we expect great  things for all of us.

Please let me know, so that I can update everyone's calendar.

Thanks in advance.

Leo

Leo, what are the two differences between our emails?

This question was the topic of conversation in today’s coaching session. Here are the two differences.

  1. I didn’t own the mistake in my email.
  2. I never asked David any questions

Lesson learned in being a better communicator.

Now if we go back to the question posed earlier, have you ever intentionally hired someone that acts  like a jerk? I did and here’s why. Rick understands that if I’m going to be any good at my job I need to be  prepared for the jerk because not everyone is as classy as David.

So, what do you do when your sales coach is a jerk? You listen and listen good because if you let your  emotions get the better of you when pushed in a real sales situation you will likely lose.

From Rick:This is a HUGE step for Leo. Leo has need for approval and as such, wants people to like him, respect him and he prefers not to offend them. When I asked Leo what he thought of my email to him, he apologetically said that it was "kind of rude". Do you realize how hard that was for him? He didn't want to hurt my feelings by telling the truth and now, he's baring his soul in front of you. Let him know how you feel by commenting below or contacting him at Leo Longoria on LinkedIn.


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