Why coaching is key

By Trevor Coltham

I often get resistance from salespeople early on in our SG Partners sales training and coaching programs.

Often, I hear:

‘I have done lots of sales training before’, ‘I have 20 years experience, I know what I’m doing’, ‘I’m too busy to attend’ ‘I’ve always sold this way, and it has worked, why change now?’

The ‘years of experience’ is precisely what holds many salespeople back from becoming even better, year after year.

Over time their knowledge acts as a mental filter preventing them from opening their minds to improved ways of thinking and being more flexible in their lives.

They become locked into their beliefs and therefore limit themselves in personal and professional growth.

“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” — Jack Welch

 How can we teach old dogs' new tricks?

For most people, the more experienced they are in their roles (not just at work), the more likely are to discount new information or learning.

The logic is, I already know how to do this.”

They have established mental shortcuts. Their mind would rather stick with what it knows, stay safe and maintain certainty.

There is an urban myth that we cannot learn new things the older we get.

For example:

Compare how a typical pensioner and a 5-year old interacts with a new piece of technology. It’s comparing apples with oranges.

The pensioner has a fear of change. The unknown, maybe of learning something new (a challenge they aren’t used to).

While on the other hand, the five-year-old child, plays with it and gets it in a few minutes (in their minds it’s second nature).

One could be tempted to accept this way of thinking before we stop to consider how we can learn something new.

People who believe they can learn new things often do.

It could be the person’s state of mind or the state of mind they put them in to learn.

The world we live in is generally hectic. People rush from meeting to meeting, receive endless notifications on their devices - reminders of their growing to-do list and the things they need to react to.

Often, we work in open offices or places where is noise, frequent interruptions generating a constant stream of stress.

All this stimulation encourages our minds stay wide awake in a high-frequency brain-state called Beta.

This is a useful state to use when:

1. We already know how to do something
2. Need to solve common problems 
3. Need to consider multiple things at once

The challenge with this state is that we are not as open to new learnings as we could be.

When we know how and take the time to slow our minds down, we can enter brainwave state called Alpha and even a deeper level Theta which enables creativity, relaxation, trance and enhanced learning.

For example:

Consider when you wake up with the answer to a problem you’ve been ruminating over.

During your sleep, your brain cycles through different brainwave states (including Theta) and helps you to develop insights and solve problems.

Being able to utilise Alpha and Theta states during you work day is a super human way of solving complex problems, being more creative and learning new things.