I have posted recently about how to deal with a low sales performer, so be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2.

If what you see in the low-performer is a lack of ability to do the job, the question comes down to whether or not they know what to do and how to do it.

One of the best methods I’ve found to develop skills of people is the following 4-step method.

4-Step Coaching:

Employee:                                       Sales Manager/Leader:

  1. Try                                           Support
  2. Learn                                      Reinforce
  3. Accomplish                            Praise
  4. Master                                    Support

Try:  Allow the person being coached to try. Your role as the coach is to support them with the training that will equip them to complete the task.

Learn:  By doing the activity, the person will learn from it. Their learning will in turn help them complete it better next time.  Your role as the coach is to reinforce what they learned and guide them accordingly where necessary.

Accomplish:  By learning from what they do and having the reinforcement from the coach, the person will now be able to do it more successfully.   At this point, the role of the coach moves from reinforcing to providing praise.

Master:  In time the person will be able to master the activity, and at this point, the coach’s role moves to not only praise, but also providing support to ensure they stay on task.

Too many times when a person masters something, they begin to take shortcuts and their overall performance declines.  A coach who is engaged and involved will see this happen and address it quickly.

It is your job as the leader to know how you will do each of the four steps listed above.

As the manager, become comfortable using these steps.  The more you use them, the more the person you’re developing will also become familiar with them.

These four steps are not only valuable as a coaching tool, but also as a personal development tool.

The key to making this process work is to break down the total list of activities the low-performer you’re coaching is responsible for and only coach on a couple at a time.

Don’t over train/coach by having them work on too many things at one time.  Your guide as to when to move on is getting the person to level 3.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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