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Book Review of Sales Coaching: Making the Great Leap from Sales Manager to Sales Coach by Linda Richardson

April 22nd, 2012

You do not need to be a C.E.O. or Business Owner to benefit from reading and learning from
Linda Richardson’s classic business book: Sales Coaching: Making the Great Leap from Sales Manager to Sales Coach. One primary theme is that coaching helps people remove obstacles.  I’ve applied many of these concepts to family life, church organizations and volunteer work. If you are motivated to make a difference in the world, than I would recommend that you read Sales Coaching!

  • One of my favorite quotes from the book is: “Coaching takes Strength – real emotional muscle” page 91

It is a privilege when you are in the Coach role. If you try to be analytical without taking in culture, values, feelings then you may misread a situation. In both professional and personal situations, I’ve found that emotional intelligence is vital in assisting others to become capable, dynamic citizens. Linda Richardson makes an early observation that “most coaching comes in the form of telling.”

  • The point is that we should ask questions and let people come to their own conclusions.
  • This shows respect and allows learning and growth to occur.
  • By asking questions, you can establish a dialogue based on actual behaviors.
  • These conversations can then take place over time and be referenced
    in different situations.

My only critique of Sales Coaching is the author’s point that “coaching is about how to change by doing things differently.” Most really good business people find what works and do it over and over again. They find the best practices, or success habits, of achievers and pattern their attitudes and behavior to reach new levels of performance. There are times to get people to change their behavior and there are times to reinforce what people are doing right.  Saying “coaching is all about how to change” sounds like a cliché.

To elaborate, let’s compare coaching to a really good golf lesson. The best golf instructors observe, ask questions and make small changes over time. One lesson that I took involved being recorded on a digital recorder.  My swing was compared to the swing of a golfing professional. The technology allowed frame-by-frame assessment. My golf coach pointed out my strengths and areas of improvement. Small changes were made and my golf game improved. This also allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of the game so I could enjoy it to the fullest.  A coaching mindset in business follows a similar theme:

  • We help people identify and remove obstacles so that they can be more productive and enjoy their lives, relationships and careers!
  • The art of asking questions helps the people understand their best qualities.
  • This instills the confidence to make small changes.
  • This works with co-workers, family members and children.
  • Praise is a powerful, positive and wonderful motivator!

Sales Coaching gets a five star recommendation as both a skill building book and a tool kit. There are plenty of examples with excellent questions. There are also checklists and forms that you can use as resources. For more resources, please visit facebook/salestrainer4U. A like will get you a steady stream of emerging markets, tips, positive news and skill building resources.


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