It’s time to hand over the reins of the Spring business coaching blog to Roy Carter, who is MD and non-exec Director of several UK businesses. He’s going to highlight how coaching helped deliver a profitable return for him. Over to you Roy and many thanks.
Who – gained the benefit from coaching?
Wholesale teams have a challenge on their hands daily. Small moments of client contact, in which to build relationships and ultimately close deals.
I was running teams in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia for Brandaroma www.brandaroma.com – including employed wholesalers and agents. They were marketing scent branding to hotels, casinos, and the leisure industry.
What – happened that was unusual?
The team needed to up their skills and ability to develop the business. I chose to blend a mixture of workshop, Skype, and face-to-face coaching using Spring.
My sales team had never experienced coaching, let alone ‘live’ 1:1 work whilst visiting their clients – so it was positioned carefully upfront. I didn’t target them with specifics around what I wanted, but simply that I expected them to learn all they could and experiment with the way they grew the business.
All the key Account Managers and Director of the Asia region had coaching time. On one occasion, Luke Thomas (owner of Spring) was with one of the team whilst visiting a hotel General Manager in Hong Kong.
Luke used a process called BREATHER™ that he had personally developed. It meant that the Account Manager quite literally came up for air during a client meeting – in order to take stock, assess the situation, and decide how to proceed.
It resulted in the customer doubling their order, gaining new recognition from their Head Office for better branding, and my Account Manager gaining priceless new experience. Satisfying to say the least!
Why – is the example powerful?
The challenge facing us during this development was an incredibly powerful mindset of ‘there’s a global downturn – business is hard to come by’.
My people simply couldn’t see the opportunities staring them in the face, and were talking themselves out of straightforward deals without realising it. A dangerous place to be.
I knew from my experience that a traditional training skills approach just wouldn’t be enough – you really need to get under the skin of how someone’s thinking and behaving.
Where – did the transformation happen?
The main shifts were within individuals. The leverage came from Skype calls from the UK before and after week-long visits on site in Hong Kong, and also day coaching sessions in London.
What happened, though, was that we started a cultural shift – in that everyone knew they were involved together, which developed some competition and also comfort that they were all in it together. A common language began to grow.
How – were the results measured?
The sales figures speak for themselves, and confirm to me that I chose the right approach. Just one of the interventions with a hotel client doubled their annual account value, which not only paid off the whole training budget that year, but also half of the following year, too!
It’s also important to notice the intangible effects.
If I have a sales team which are looking at their customers in new ways, trying new things, and believing that double digit growth is easily possible – that’s hard to measure, yet has an impact on all that they do.