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Group Therapy for Sales People

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 3/5/15 2:34 PM

Early on, when I started my first consulting business, I hired a one-to-one business coach. He tried to teach me sales by having me read books and sometimes by role playing a fictional situation. I got an understanding of different sales methodologies and processes, but I never actually got any new sales.

When I realized I wasn't getting any better at sales, and still hated to do it- I hired a sales coach. Part of the program that was put together was to have group coaching sessions twice a week.

Three other business owners and I would get on a call and have our 15 minutes to share a sales situation. The coach would explain certain strategies to use and then would role play the call or meeting with us, as if we were the buyer and he were the sales person and vice-versa. Even if you were in the hot seat, it was a lot of fun. 

Oftentimes, I would get more out of those calls then a half hour or so of a call that was just one-to-one. Why is that? Ever seen the movie One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? Not like that. 

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Benefits of group therapy applied to sales.

  • It forces transparency.
    Joining a group and sharing how you messed up or how you are not perfect might seem intimidating. And that is part of the benefit. If you can get over your hangups and share with a group, and hear how others struggle with the same thing, it doesn't seem so bad when you are face to face or on the phone with a potential prospect.

  • Additional accountability.
    Getting multiple perspectives on a problem also makes you even more accountable to change your own and do something differently. When you get on the next call and tell everyone about your success or flop, you have a sounding board to help set you on a better path next time. Or give them warning about why it didn't work.

  • Emotional distance.
    To some degree, everyone on the call has an opportunity to "coach" someone else (when guided by the more experienced leader). Because the others are 
    not emotionally involved in the sale, they are able to think outside the box on how to engage. On group coaching, when you are not emotionally involved in their sale, so you can see clearly what is happening and be able to offer a different perspective. That in turn helps you reflect on your own situation with less emotional eyes.
     
  • You are not alone.
    Hearing the challenges that others like you face in sales situations is a relief. Others have been there and made it to the other side just fine.

How do you incorporate group sales therapy into your professional development as an entrepreneur? What benefits have you seen by being part of a program that included group coaching? 

Want to try it out?

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Topics: sales coaching