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Sales Coaching
The Art of Self-Coaching
By Linda Richardson, CEO, Richardson

All told, it is critically important for all Reps to take control of their own development. Only you can truly commit to changing your skills

In an ideal world, Call Center Reps would be regularly and consistently coached on what is and is not working for them in their customer interactions. In reality, most Reps are starving for good, honest, direct feedback. Feedback that is constructive; Feedback that is more focused on the issue or behavior and not the person him or herself; Feedback that is given frequently enough to have an impact - any feedback at all.

Even in the best companies, where a coaching culture exists and feedback is part of the performance and developmental process, most Reps look for more meaningful feedback more often. Great coaches aside, it is, therefore, equally important that all Reps learn the art of "Self-Coaching" so that development and growth continues to happen. The bottom line message is, and should be, that all Reps must take ownership and responsibility for their own development. Waiting for someone else to do it can be hazardous to your health and the death knoll for your career. Coaching yourself can be one of your most valuable tools to staying on top of your game. Here are some helpful hints to doing it successfully:

1. Make time to Self-Coaching
  • Coaching just doesn't "happen." It must be part of a routine - something planned and scheduled for. Without it, it happens by "chance" which can easily be translated into "not often enough" and / or "not at all." As you would schedule time for pre-call preparation or even lunch, you must schedule some follow-up time for yourself to sit back and reflect on what just happened and what you need to do about it. We are not talking about scheduling 30 minutes of Self-Coaching time for every call, but simply an occasional 5 to 10 minutes of reflection time after a particularly good or a particularly challenging call, done on a daily or weekly basis.
2. Ask yourself three critical Self-Coaching questions: To help you formulate an effective Self-Coaching session, try asking yourself the following three critical questions as you reflect upon that particularly good or challenging customer call:
  • What Did I Do Well? Start with a strength every single time so that you can begin your focus on something positive. Even in the most challenging call of your career, there is at least one thing you did well. You need to find that one thing, celebrate it, and think through how you could use that one strength in even more challenging calls.

  • What Could I Do Differently? Once you have focused on the positive, it is time to find one key thing that you would have liked to change during the customer interaction. Don't try to find seven things to change-one will do. Even in the best call of your career, there is at least one thing you could have done better. Find it and work on improving it for the next time.

  • Where Can I Go To Learn More? Self-Coaching is not about achieving perfection. That is simply not possible. It is, however, about progression and your ability to continually stay on top of your game so that you deliver phenomenal service to all customers all the time. By focusing your last thoughts on where you could go to learn more, you keep yourself in "stretch" mode and raise your game to higher and higher levels. Leverage all of your resources here

    Linda Richardson, founder and CEO, of Richardson a global sales training company, author of nine best selling sales books, and faculty member at the Wharton School, is the driving force behind the Richardson sales curriculum. visit or call 215.940.9255.

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