Posts Tagged ‘executive coaching’

The Cheap and Easy Quick Fix Is Not Cheap, Easy or Quick

How often do sales managers to SMB owners to even sales professionals seek the cheap and easy quick fix to increase sales?  Then how often do companies create viable tools, but those tools are abused and misused because of this ongoing desire for the quick fix?

What usually happens is disappointment sets in and those in charge seek another cheap and easy solution to what ails their businesses and specifically their sales.  Einstein’s definition of insanity is alive and well not only in these SMBs, but all other organizations.

As an elected school board trustee and public educator, I saw this behavior through the application of grants.  Most grants have a three year funding cycle and then the school must fund the solution of their own.  Instead, they seek another grant because this was a viable way to get money and money drove the decision making process, not results. There was a constant turnover of programs that only diminished student engagement and effective instruction.

For profit businesses and other not for profit organizations also seek the easiest solution in the quickest time frame.  Investing in long term solutions is rarely considered.

We know this to be true because of the lack of return on investment for the majority of sales training and development programs. There is and remains a quick fix mentality by executive leadership because they have not engaged in any strategic planning nor understand how people learn and what keeps the application of newly learned sales skills on the back burner.

Today I submitted my 40th article to Worldwide Coaching Magazine.   The subject of this article looked to artificial intelligence (AI) and executive coaching.  Possibly the future will be “Coach Data.”  Unfortunately, even two entrepreneurs who have built AI into at their AI executive coaching program recognize this solution should never replace face to face interactions.

Executive coaching is a skill set that is often confused with consulting or worse yet traditional training and development programs. The first significant difference between executive coaching and traditional training and development quick fix is return on investment.  ROI is a demonstrated and measurable result.

Time is the next significant difference. Changing behaviors does not happen overnight.

Reflection of application of newly learned skills is the third significant difference. Executive coaches continually ask for their clients to share what has happened since the last coaching interaction. They also request application of new behaviors between sessions.

Beliefs probably are the fourth and probably the greatest difference.  Our beliefs, our attitudes drive our behaviors. Traditional sales training and development to leadership development to customer service training looks to the behaviors first instead of looking to the beliefs.

All of these differences demonstrate that executive coaching, sales coaching, leadership coaching or business coaching is not cheap, easy or quick.  If you are seeking the quick fix to your people problems, save your money until you can afford to do it right.

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Want to Achieve More Success? Unite Inspiration, Perspiration and Clarity

How many people want to achieve more success and yet fall short? They seek inspiration from Ted Talks to attending seminars to reading books.  Then some actually go out and start applying through perspiration what has inspired them. Yet with all their efforts they still are not where they want to be.  Something is missing and that something is probably, most likely clarity.

Blaise Pascal wrote:

“Clarity of the mind means clarity of passion”

When we have clarity around our passion which is directly connected to our purpose, our vision and our values, we can unite what we find inspiring and then start perspiring to achieve what we want or need to achieve.

Father Theodore Hesburgh believed “No one can follow can uncertain trumpet.”  Even though those words are about being a leader of others, I believe it is also a quote about being a leader of ones self.

If you have uncertainty, which is a lack of clarity, then how can you follow your passion?  What is your passion? More so, what is your purpose?  Why are you here right at this moment?  Our purposes change as we age.

Successful people are self-leaders with clarity of purpose.  The greater the clarity, the greater their success is.

Sometime to make that jump from being somewhat successful to really successful also suggests defining what success means to you.  Again clarity should be present in that internal dialogue you have with yourself.

Working with executive coaching clients who have worked with other executive coaches and without the success they wanted, I have learned this missing word of clarity is so vital.  Finding clarity, crystal clear clarity is not easy as it takes time and sometimes even trial and error.

What I do know is when people know their talents, their strengths, they have an advantage in finding that clarity much sooner  because they have been hampered by looking to improve their weaknesses. Maybe now is the time for you to begin to find your own clarity if you are not satisfied with your perspiration from all the inspiration you have received.

Reach out to Leanne to schedule a time to speak with her about finding your clarity. Click HERE

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What Makes You Truly Amazing?

makes-you-amazingHave you ever asked yourself this simple question of “What Makes You Truly Amazing?” Probably not.  Yet it is a truly an essential question to be answered.

Recently I was having a conversation with Dan Waldschmidt (who is amazing).  He shared a conversation he had with a young woman who wanted to be like him. She wanted to speak and share her story. She was writing a book.  Dan simply asked her “What makes you truly amazing?” 

For Dan knew many people had stories to share, many had written books and many never reached that level of personal and professional success.  Until this young lady knew what truly made her and consequently her story different, she would not realize her dreams of success.

Each of us in our own way is already amazing. 

We just don’t know it.

Possibly some of that reason is we truly do not know ourselves.  We work against our existing talents and strengths.  We look to improve our weaknesses at the expense of those talents. We do not know what motivates us beyond mastery, autonomy and purpose.

Then we fall into the trap that this woman had fallen into.  She believed speaking, writing and sharing her story would be her success path.  Yes it could be, but more than likely it would be the success path of those selling speaking and writing services to even executive coaching services.

When we answer the question of “What makes you truly amazing,” we are taking a deeper dive into our own reality and not the realities of others.  We learn to appreciate who we are and what makes each of us truly unique beyond our DNA.

For some the answer may begin with discovering one’s purpose.  Why are you here at this moment in time?  Purpose is the North Star to each of us.  Knowing our purpose keeps us moving forward in the best direction.

So as you move forward this week, begin to answer this question.  Remember you are amazing as the person you are right now.  Your challenge is to be able to gain crystal clarity as to what makes you truly amazing.

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Will You Be a Casualty of the Sales Coaching or Business Coaching Stampede?

Well, it seems like everyone is now a coach, be it sales coaching, business coaching or even executive coaching.  From local Small Business Development Centers to recently unemployed executives, there continues to be a plethora of “coaches” ready to solve their clients’ problems and fill their own bank accounts.

sales-coaching

Credit www.gratisography.com

Yet most have just swapped consulting for coaching and therein lies the problem.

Coaching is not consulting or even mentoring.  Let me repeat that critical statement:

Coaching is not consulting or mentoring!

Coaching in its original intent is about having the client find the answers to her or his own issues. Consulting and mentoring is when the answers are provided by the consultant or mentor.

One of the best definitions regarding the role of for those engaged in sales coaching, business coaching or executive coaching is from Resource Associates Corporation:

“The role of your coach is not to provide answers or solutions. It is to help you develop the potential that lies within you so that your increase your capability to overcome all obstacles and achieve all of your goals…it is to help you discover for yourself where you are today and where you want to be in the future.” (Reprinted with permission)

I share this definition with all clients so that they understand our respective roles.

Great coaches also have employ a process for self discovery supported by proven tools.  The tools in many instances are not the latest and greatest technology applications, but rather tried and proven tools that have been employed for decades if not centuries.

No, not everyone is a coach. No, a coach does not have to be certified through some coaching organization.

If you are thinking of hiring a sales coach, business coach or executive coach ask about his or her process.  Ask about the results that have been achieved and most importantly are those results sustainable? If possible talk to some of his or her past clients, hear from their mouths what results they achieved.

Want to discuss sales coaching with Leanne Hoagland-Smith? Ask about your process for self-discovery. Click here to schedule a free 30 minute session.

P.S. If you want someone else to find your answers, then hire a consultant not a coach.

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The Hourly Executive Coaching Fee, Ego and Ethics Collision

Sherpa Coaching continues to update executive coaches (focus on behavior change) about the hourly executive coaching fee. This update also includes hourly fees charged by business coaches (focus on knowledge and skills).

executive-coaching-feeIn having various conversations with colleagues, I have begun to wonder if there is a collision happening here between the executive coaching fee, ego and ethics?  For some, how much one charges reflects the worth of that particular individual.  More dollars, more worth.

Years ago I revisited my fees and adjusted them to reflect marketing conditions and my own personal financial goals.  As the economic motivating driver is not in my top 50% of my motivating values, charging high fees was not of particular interest. I preferred working with forward thinking business leaders who saw the value in my solutions.

I have listened to some executive coaches talk about their fee structure.  Their egos do appear to get a boost when they state “Well, I charge $500 an hour and my clients gladly pay.” My first thought is good for you and my second thought is “Hmm, ego have we?”

Then there is this issue of business ethics or positive core values.  Is what you are charging ethical?  Of course, some might say I charge what the market will bear.  And I can appreciate that position. Please understand, I believe in capitalism, 100%.  My issue is how higher executive coaching fees may be a reflection of ego and a potential lack of ethics.

What concerns me is those executive coaches who say they work with struggling entrepreneurs or SMB owners and their fees only add to those struggles.  There is a movement to bill for monthly executive coaching retainer services which may lessen the hourly rate impact. I actually employ that strategy with some of my executive coaching maintenance clients.

Since my fees come from the profits of my clients as well as from their own discretionary funds, I am very cognizant of the impact on their bottom line. Yes as some colleagues have encouraged me, I could charge much more given the results my executive coaching and sales coaching clients quickly experience, but then I would be having a collision between my business ethics, my personal core values and the executive coaching fee structure.

So if you are considering or revisiting your own executive coaching fee structure, please take a moment to think about if your fees are in alignment with your business ethics, your values and not a reflection of your own ego.

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Quick Fixes in Sales Often Ignore This Reality

In sales many seek the quick fixes that range from sales training, incentives, hiring new sales managers, new salespeople or some motivational speaker.  Yet in a few days to a few weeks, the sudden burst of sales productivity gradually returns to its pre-quick fix levels.

quick-fixesThe reality is 99.9% of all quick fixes ignore this reality. The reality is clarity or rather lack of clarity.

In the story Alice in Wonderland, Alice approaches the Cheshire Cat sitting in a tree.  At the foot of the tree are various paths. Alice asks the Cat “What path should I take?”  The Cat responds with “Where are you going?” Alice states “I don’t know” and the Cat then replies “Well any path will take you there.”

Clarity is essential in sales, in business and in life.  If you don’t know where you are going with crystal clear clarity, you will end up taking the wrong path.

Many SMB owners and C Suite executives in their efforts to increase sales confuse symptoms with problems.  They believe lack luster sales are the problem when in reality the poor sales are usually a symptom of one or more problems.  All of these problems return to a lack of clarity. Without clarity there is incredible miss direction and misguided decisions.

For the last almost 20 years I have been working with SMB owners and sales professionals.  Given that most have never invested the time to determine where they are going; how they are going to behave and what they are going to do in the immediate future to get to where they are going, I am not surprised by the inability to increase sales or sustainable business growth.

The lack of clarity is the reason for executive coaching.  These professional coaches look to support their clients in gaining crystal clear clarity.

Years ago I wrote an eBook entitled Triage Business Planning with this message on the front cover:

Know Exactly What to Do and When to Do It.

Track the Right Things to Produce the Right Results Avoid Misdirected Actions and Misguided Decisions.

If you have any hesitancy when reading the previous words, then you probably lack crystal clear clarity and may be subject to the temptation of quick fixes.

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Time Management Is Our Greatest Oxymoron and Lie We Tell Ourselves

Have you ever attended a time management training event or read a book on time management?  You do realize of course this concept of managing time is an oxymoron and probably the greatest oxymoron we humans have.

time-management

Credit www.pixabay.com

Just to be clear, an oxymoron is a figure of speech in which contradictory terms appear in conjunction. Since time is a constant meaning there will always be 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute, no amount of human behavior can change those facts.

We cannot manage time.

What we can do is better manage ourselves.

Time Management Is Self Management!

Believe it or not, there are five specific and measureable talents that can support us in overcoming what is limiting ourselves from better self-management.

Concrete Organization: The ability to understand the immediate, concrete needs of a situation and to establish an effective plan of action for meeting those needs.

Consistency and Reliability: The internal need to be conscientious in one’s personal or professional efforts

Project Scheduling: To understand the proper allocation of resources for the purpose of getting things done within a defined time frame.

Attention to Detail: The ability to see and pay attention to details.

Realistic Personal Goal Setting: To set goals for one’s self that can be achieved using available resources and operating within a projected time frame.

When we take a 30,000 ft view and see these talents all working together, it is much easier to understand how to specifically improve the self management of ourselves.

After working with executive coaching, sales coaching and leadership development clients now close to 20 years, I can personally attest to the impact of realistic personal goal setting as the talent that has the greatest and most immediate impact on self-management.  When people are intentional about setting personal goals, this behavior has a direct correlation on other talents such as consistency, attention to detail, personal accountability and results orientation.

If you want to better manage time, then take a time management course. However if you truly want to improve your results, then look to improving your self management through these 5 talents because time management is the greatest oxymoron and lie we have as human beings.

Special offer until 2/28/2017, have these 5 talents assessed along with 73 other talents plus the DISC and Values Index and a 30 minute executive telephone coaching session.

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A New Sales Leadership Model

One of my favorite models is the 5 Star Model for Organizational Development.  Jay Galbraith and his colleague created a simple graphic to ensure both alignment between key functions of any business and the desired results. Essentially this model is for leadership as well as sales leadership as it looks determine where the gaps exist between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals.

sales-leadershipThe simple genius of this model was the interconnectedness of these 5 keys areas of:

  1. Strategy
  2. Structure
  3. Processes
  4. Rewards
  5. People

Results were always in the middle. By incorporating this model into executive leadership behaviors worked to avoid misalignment between these 5 areas.

Executive Coaching Tip: Misalignment is usually the real problem especially when execution fails.

Nearly two decades after working with executive and sales coaching clients,  I realized a similar model would be beneficial for those in individual sales leadership roles.  This model could work in tangent with the 5 Star Model for Organizational Development.

What I developed is the 5 Star Sales Leadership Model™. Here the focus is still on results. This model looks to the individual salesperson and where there also may be misalignment impacting results.

sales-leadership

 

  1. Goal Achievement
  2. Sales Process
  3. Self-Leadership
  4. Talents
  5. Sales Skills

What I have observed is many times a singular focus when it comes to the goal to increase sales. For example, there is a flurry of activity on sales training for improved sales skills and yet very rarely is goal achievement included in sales training.

Maybe the SMB is forward thinking and has taken to developing talents. However, that talent development sometimes works against self leadership especially motivation.

Sales results are not just because of one aspect of the salesperson or the SMB.  No, the results are because of interconnected aspects. The 5 Star Sales Leadership Model™ brings clarity to those interconnection points and looks to simplify what might be limiting the salesperson and consequently the SMB from achieving the desired results.

This week, I will review each point of this model to further explain the rationale for each point. I look forward to your feedback.

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Maybe Sales Quotas Are Only Part of the 2017 Business Growth Equation?

For the last several weeks to maybe months, sales managers and salespeople are looking to 2017 business growth. Within this annual or quarterly activity is the setting of sales quotas or goals.  However if we believe sales research that  44% of salespeople have an 80% probability they won’t close the sale (Hubspot), then maybe there is something else missing?

business-growth

Credit www.gratisography.com

With so much dependent upon successfully achieving 2017 business growth (fill in the year or quarter), then doesn’t it make sense to deep dive as to what limited 2016 sales quotas?

Strategic Plan?

Without a well researched and yes time consuming strategic plan, SMB owners, sales managers and salespeople are engaged in the role of Captain Wing It.  You heard about Captain Wing It haven’t you.  He or she goes around spraying all his or her actions all over the place and then prays something will stick.

Goal Setting Process?

Given how many people fail to achieve their own personal resolutions or goals, this suggests there is not formal goal setting process in place.  Think about all those courses you took on Goal Setting 101,

Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Processes?

Larger firms have improved their recruiting, hiring and retaining processes. In a recent LinkedIn Pulse article, David Brock looks at the dramatic loss of dollars because of these poor retaining processes.

Talent Development?

Much has been written about talent development from the employment of psychometric assessments to executive coaching, leadership coaching or sales coaching.  And yes, return on investment can be measured when specific goals are set provided there is sales culture where organizational alignment exists.

Learn more about the impact of organizational alignment in this book, Fail-Sale Leadership.

Far too often individuals regardless of their roles confuse symptoms with problems.  They also look to obstacles or barriers instead of seeking what is limiting forward progress as in this instance business growth.  Note: A limitation may not be as obvious as an obstacle or barrier.

Reach out to Leanne Hoagland-Smith at 219.508.2859 Chicago USA time or schedule a time on her calendar (CLICK HERE) to have a quick conversation to further explore what is limiting your business growth.

 

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How Process Trumps Price in Business, Executive or Sales Coaching

Once again I heard, “Your price is too high.  I can get sales coaching for a much cheaper cost.” Possibly you have also heard a similar sales objection to your price?

sakes-coaching

Credit www.pixabay.com

My direct reply to this sales objection was:

“Then that other coach may be a better solution fit for you.  My fees that you believe are too high are the result of 19 years as an executive, business and sales coach with a proven track record.

There are only two problems in any SMB – people or process.

Many executive coaches, business coaches and sales coaches lack a process.  This is why I have personally coached numerous executive, business and sales coaches who did not have a process.  Effective coaching be it for executive, small business owners or sales professionals is 100% about continuous improvement. How can anyone engage in sustainable continuous improvement without an initial process?”

Sales Coaching Tip:  Not everyone is the best fit as a sales coaching client. I already had a sense this was not my ideal customer because forward thinking people do not bring price up at the beginning or sometimes never at all.

In speaking with my colleagues on the East and West Coast as well as with some of my clients, my coaching fees are way too reasonable for the proven results I deliver. However a SMB owner one must be cognizant of the market place.  Also having separate fees for different geographical areas just seems unethical to me.

If you are thinking about hiring a sales coach, then the first question should not be about price, but rather about process.  What process does the coach employ?

The second question should be directed to what are the results generated by the process?  Results must be quantitative (measurable) not just some feel good qualitative results. This may require you speaking with the clients of the coach you are considering hiring.

As to the third and final question, is how do your clients get those results? Here is where the rubber meets the road for those engaged in executive, business or sales coaching.

Click HERE to schedule your time to learn of my answer to that third question.

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