Jun 02 2018 • By

The Only Thing You Can Coach On

Everyone who knows me, knows I’m broken! What I mean by that is anything I do, I go all in. I give 1000% of my passion and effort towards that cause. To my detriment because I often ignore other things! Being passionate about our country, I joined the Army, went into special ops and volunteered for deployments overseas. Finishing with the Army, started selling cars with an extreme passion which led to me managing dealerships. Going 1000% at managing dealerships introduced me to coaching. After almost 15 years on the showroom floor, I realized coaching was my new 1000% passion.

My insatiable passion for coaching people to reach their goals has become something that I am blessed enough to live out daily. I have the honor of working with company owners, sales managers and salespeople across the country. I get to have amazing conversations with these savvy business people regularly. Finding ways to help them achieve greater results, impact their team, and gain more career satisfaction is extremely rewarding. It’s almost a classic fairy tale! I know… A weird analogy for an ex-special ops Army guy! Blame my two lovely daughters and the fact that we’re planning a trip to Disney next month. That being said, if I am to put myself into a fairy tale, it’s important that I point out the antagonist in my story! The villain in my coaching fairy tale is the pea. That’s right, when it comes to coaching conversations, what I am sharing in this article is the pea to my princess. The one thing hidden deep under all the mattresses which causes me to toss and turn at night and lose sleep! This will ultimately be a lesson for you managers that are seeking to be even better leaders by coaching your team.

What I’ve learned, there is only one thing you can coach someone on or that you can receive coaching on. That my friends is controllable. A controllable is something that you alone have impact or influence over. Often, I enter into a coaching conversation and it seems the person I am coaching feels helpless. They feel helplessness about the current state of their career or about the way their manager interacts with them. Managers feel helpless about what their employees say and do. Having much empathy for other business people in this situation, I’m always seeking to find ways to help them. What I realized was that I couldn’t help them with any coaching around anything that is a non-controllable!

What can’t we control?

Other People

While it would certainly be useful, and most likely fun to control what other people say and do, unfortunately, it’s just not possible! Actually, we can control how we approach others! Want to make a massive impact in an upcoming conversation? Would you like to have a difficult conversation with someone and aren’t sure how to approach them? Feeling frustrated with how someone is treating you at work but aren’t sure how to handle it? These are things we can coach on.

The Market

If only as a coach I could control the market for you, anyone else, or myself for that matter! Oh to affect supply and demand and directly influence traffic for my clients. That would be pretty awesome stuff! Sadly, I don’t have those powers. I do as a coach; however, have the power to help you influence your market share. How can coaching do this? By helping you tailor actions, routines, and messages that will end up landing more appointments, bringing in customers, and closing more sales for you!

The Past

We’ve all tried things and failed. We’ve all made mistakes! Everyone one of us has had negative experiences and outcomes. We’ve all felt stuck before! I know, you’ve been doing it that same way forever! Don’t let your past out-negotiate your future. If you are limiting yourself due to the failures of the past, or how you’ve always done it your future possibilities will become fairly bleak. For something to change, something must change! What does that mean for coaching? You’ve got to be open to creating new possibilities by changing your actions which will change future outcomes.

If you focus on a controllable, what happens?

Your actions become laser focused

You can choose to take action around any given situation. If you want other people to treat you differently, the action you could choose to take might be to have a difficult conversation to discuss how you expect to be treated. If you want your manager to promote you but don’t believe they will, you could schedule a conversation and ask what expectations you need to meet in order to be next in line. If your sales are lacking, and you’re frustrated with the market…you can carve out time for actions that impact business like unsold prospect follow up calls, social media branding, social media selling, sold prospect referral generation, cold calling orphaned contacts, meeting with service customers, taking current owners to lunch and strengthening those relationships…etc.

Your reactions become impactful

Are you a product of your environment? Only if you allow yourself to be. Every day, great and amazing things will happen to you. Each day, things you perceive as negative will also happen to you. When you take the good things and relish in them, allow the bad to be like water off a duck’s back. When you keep your cool, you’re mastering your reactions. When others don’t respond or act in a favorable way to you, know that it’s not about you. It’s about them! They aren’t trying to screw you over, it’s just life. When something happens that you may normally shy away from, your new self-awareness will help you tackle these challenges like a true gladiator. Use both positive and negative experiences to create reactions that improve you as a person, as a salesperson, and as a leader!

Your attitude changes for the best

We all have an inner coach. Sometimes the coach is great – encouraging us to work harder, be better, stay strong! Other times, our inner coach acts like a spoiled two-year-old telling us that we are entitled to something, demands that we give up, or tells us things won’t work. I have good news for you, to quote my coach Keith Rosen – “You are not a product of your thoughts.” A few weeks ago, my AC went out, a client had to reschedule on me, and I found out a house I’m selling soon has termites! That week cost me about twelve thousand dollars. My inner coach turned into that spoiled two-year-old, I started getting frustrated at all of the bad luck! I could have stayed down in the dumps for a week, crippling my ability to function! Instead I thought to myself, “My AC went out in May, it could have happened in July when it was 30 degrees warmer! I’m lucky!” Also, now I can list this when I sell my home and potentially sell it much faster… not to mention, my electric bill is about 50 bucks lower per month! The termites? Psh, we caught them early! Some of those infestations go on for years and the house needs massive structural rehab. These bugs had only been in the home for months, and as a result, the treatment was the only cost. Finally, the client rescheduled? Perfect, more time this month to prospect and connect with potential clients! Which I did, and I landed one. Ultimately, my attitude helped me turn the expense of $12,000 into a $48,000 gain!

Your language generates desired outcomes

Have you ever tried something out but stopped when it didn’t work? Maybe it was coaching your salespeople, conducting sales meetings, cold calling prospects, trying to sell service customers…etc. How can one person can talk to 100 customers and sell 60 cars, while another salesperson can talk to 100 customers and sell 15 cars? One salesperson calls 1000 customers and schedules 10 appointments, while another call 1000 and sets 100 appointments? This is primarily due to the language being used, and the message being delivered. When you learn to improve your language, ask more questions, say the right thing at the right time… results will improve. The way we communicate with others is certainly a controllable; thus, you can coach someone on their language and message!

Summing things up…

If you’re listening to your salespeople rant about everything that they can’t control, you are more a therapist and less of a coach. Not to say that we don’t all need someone to listen to our woe’s sometimes! Just remember, you can only let them point outward at other people, the market, their environmental conditions, or what didn’t work in the past, for so long before getting them to look in the mirror. Snap them out of these unhealthy, entitled mindsets when they are blaming everyone and everything else for their plight. Help them understand that they aren’t helpless and that they do have the power to control the controllable. This will ultimately lead to the results that they need and want most! Remove the “pea” out from under the mattress, help your coachee’s by focusing on the controllable and get your coach on!

Sean Kelley #thecarbizcoach CEO of Car Motivators in Arnold Missouri helps sales leaders achieve great results through their people and technology, with a unique approach to coaching and people development. If you are interested in achieving these same results, email Sean@CarMotivators.com

#communication #thecarbizcoach #coachingthecarbusiness #coachingexcellence #winningcultures #leadershipdevelopment #thisisleadership