Last week I took a golf lesson from my favorite instructor. He’s my favorite pro because when I take a swing he sees at least a half dozen flaws. But then he gives me just one suggestion, and that one suggestion solves many of my flaws.
This is a great model for coaching, one that I advise for any sales manager.
What typically happens, however, is that a sales manager will give a sales rep a laundry list of things they need to improve. Most of us only have the capacity to improve one or two things at any given time. Learning—and especially skill development—occurs little by little over time, not all at once. Overwhelming a sales rep with a long list of things they have to improve, is more likely to undermine their self-confidence than result in meaningful change.
A much more effective approach is what my golf pro does: pick out the “vital few” most important things for his students to work on.
Years ago, I learned a great technique for diagnosing...