So, Ronan, you are always talking about Mis-Maps and how they affect communication. And I’m beginning to understand now.
What has changed?
Well, I have a member of the team who is struggling a little with building his sales pipeline. And I have noticed a trait in him that is behind it. He is a passive listener.
What do you mean?
I’ve been using your COACH methodology. I have tried hard to avoid being the Chief Problem Solver. As you like to call it. And in our conversations, I have worked much harder to slow down and get to the root cause of challenges with the team.
You are spending more time on the Clarify stage.
Yes. And that is when I started to understand the root cause of this team members problem. He doesn’t listen.
Can you explain? Do you have an example?
Yes, just this morning actually. We met for a review of a major Enterprise deal he is working on. He asked for some advice. And I gave some guidance. It is a big deal, and I generally get involved in the Enterprise deals as they often require multiple people.
Anyway, I asked him to summarise our discussions in a follow-up email. And oh boy did I get a shock.
It was as if he attended a different meeting. Very little of what we agreed was captured. What he captured was inaccurate and potentially damaging to the progression of the deal.
What part did you play in this?
You know what Ronan, I knew you would do this. So, I anticipated it. And in truth, I am definitely a contributing factor. You know my communication style. I tend to keep things high-level and brief. And his communication style is similar, but his listening style differs greatly. However, I don’t do a good enough job ensuring we are on the same page.
That is very inciteful. And honest.
I need to be honest with myself. I have to improve, and communication is an area I have identified as a priority.
OK, so let’s use COACH and summarise your progress.
Yeah, good idea.
Firstly, CLARIFY. What is the root cause of the problem?
I’m confident that the root cause of his sales pipeline problem is his inability to listen effectively. If he doesn’t improve his listening skills, he will consistently miss the mark, when communicating with clients.
OPTIONS – what are your options?
1) I can meet him and discuss my feedback honestly with him. And agree on a plan for his development.
2) I can use an assessment tool to diagnose the problem.
3) I can start recording his sales calls and use these in our coaching sessions.
ACTION – which of the options makes the most sense?
I think option 2 is the best. It is an unbiased assessment tool. It means I can focus on the facts in the report. And not on my personal opinions. That will improve our development plan too.
CRITIQUE – what could go wrong with this option?
He could refuse to do it. But I don’t think he will. He may not like the results of the assessment. And I could get pushback. But, I don’t think he will push back. And even if he does, it is crucial for the business that he learns how to improve. To be honest Ronan, I don’t see any downsides to this option.
HOLD ACCOUNTABLE – when who and how?
I can order an assessment immediately. But first I’ll talk to him tomorrow and explain why I am suggesting he complete it. I will then allocate a couple of hours on Friday to conduct a review with him.
Sounds like you have it all under control.
Yeah, let’s see. I’ll keep you posted Ronan.
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Ronan Kilroy | Insthinktive Sales Leadership Ltd. | Blanchardstown, | Dublin 15, | Office 01 8220523
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