Congratulations, you deserve a lot of credit!! You left corporate America to realize your dream of becoming your own boss. Now, a few months or years later, well, things could be better. Sales are harder to secure than you thought. In your new role, you must do EVERYTHING, and you noticed lately staying focused and motivated has become a full-time effort. You’re alone. Who do you turn to for help? How will you build your sales, your pipeline? What about prospecting and networking? How do you handle client expectations? How do you deal with clients when expectations are not met?
You remember, back in corporate America, those long meetings, the high pressure and that horrible boss you reported to and are glad that is all behind you. However, you did have a secretary, someone to mentor you, a help desk for IT issues, someone who could fix the copier along with a steady paycheck with benefits. That’s all gone now. This new reality, called business ownership, feels like you just bought yourself a different job with multiple stressors. You are working long hours IN the business but not ON the business. It is a lot harder than you expected. Moreover, it is all on your shoulders.
What do you need to be minimally functional in your business? As a starting point, you need a website, a phone, sales, a computer and maybe an office. All those business services, with few exceptions, require updating. You are not still running Office 2003 anymore, are you? No, you upgraded that service. Similarly, consider your business processes, like sales, marketing, communication, record keeping and IT, they all require continuous adjustments and fixes. The moment you stop updating and improving is the death knell of your business.
So maybe it is time to consider a business coach or a sales coach? How can those specialists help?
The business coach is problem-focused, and will typically work with you or your team across the enterprise. They are experts at identifying and correcting problems or uncovering weaknesses in your business.
What about a sales coach? More typically, they work on a one-to-one basis; they may coach you on improving your sales outcomes. Check out my blog, Three Outcomes You’ll receive From a Good Sales Coach. A coach supports the consultant and builds upon the consultant’s strengths. More typically, a coach will focus on individual and interpersonal dynamics that support behavioral change. More often, they are focused on long-term results. The best sales coaches aid in self-discovery while promoting value-based goal setting.
Ideally, a coach enables the consultant to make changes for the better. Besides advising on sales issues, a coach can provide relief to the business owner or sales manager who may not have the time, inclination or the skills to coach salespeople. The alternative, a business coach, differs by providing technical, relationship expertise to companywide challenges.
So maybe your business is growing like gang-busters, you have no problems and no need for a sales or business coach. You are fortunate! Many franchise owners and consultants struggle with challenges like sales effectiveness, prospecting, networking and business profitability. Some have yet to make a profit years after start-up. If this describes you, save yourself from yourself. It’s OK to ask for help.
Find a trusted adviser as a coach to assist you for the short term. If nothing else, just talk about the challenges you face and the obstacles for growth. Just by having a “listening ear” will be a calming influence by providing wise counsel.
If you liked this blog, please share on social media. If you are a struggling business owner, sales manager or a sales professional looking to considering a sales coach, let’s talk. I am Will Harley, with Harley-Consulting, a growth services company. With over 20 years of business leadership experience, I leverage my experience to help owners achieve their goals. Sign up just to talk. Leave a comment; I promise to reply immediately.