Is your energy being invested in negative learned behaviour?

Many times, during my sales career I have been coached on, or have helped coach, sales improvement plans.  I thought I would share some of the areas that I have discussed with sales team members. Objective observation of what people “actually do” compared to what they say they will do can be very enlightening. Why is there a gap and how wide is it?

Here are some characteristics that may explain certain behaviours. A person may be dominated by one of these or have a mixture fighting each other or complementing each other. Dudley and Goodson explored the following…


Do you take a few risks and generally expect the worst?


Do you over-analyse and are slow to act or underact?


Do you over-emphasize your image and credibility to mask gaps in ability or knowledge

Stage Fright

Do you avoid group presentations?

Role Rejection

Do you secretly feel guilt or shame about being a “sales” person?


Do you fear as being seen as “too pushy” and therefore have trouble asking for the order?

Social Self-Conscious

Are you intimidated by “up-market” clients, or holding your own with Directors and C-Level contacts?


Do you avoid prospecting people you know or are friends?


Do you avoid prospecting to family members?

Referral Aversion

Do you have issues with asking for referrals?


Phone prospecting causes you stress and distress?

Oppositional Reflex

Are you combative, un-coachable and refuse to be managed or coached?


Do you doubt your accomplishments and have a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a fraud?

Other behaviours can be interesting and challenging and provide barriers to coaching Sales Performance.

Personal Freedom

Someone who continues to do irresponsible things and calls it personal freedom

Individual Space

Someone who builds a defensive wall and calls it “depth” and “individual space”


Someone who remains an aloof observer, never a participant in the coaching session


Someone who rigidly insists that change is impossible or not needed. It’s not their fault. It is their prerogative to withhold important information.

Never Work

Someone who continuously dwells on past defeats.

I am a Doer, not a Thinker

Someone who uses a” lack of bigger picture understanding” to build a scenario of confusion as a way of not having to try and understand the coaching.

Pity Party

Someone who prefers to associate with people who reinforce their self-defeating behaviours.


Someone who is deliberately argumentative so that there is insufficient time for really important issues.


Someone who pretends to feel unwell, or too tired from doing the job. Too tired to learn anything new today and slips into “have sympathy for me as I am your hardest worker”. Then continue to bring up things which are interesting but safely irrelevant.

Born salesman (not)…selling is what I do …leave me alone. Don’t waste my selling time. I am too busy for all this classroom stuff. I am a born salesperson. I have the gift of the gab…. I don’t need courses.

Thick Skinned

Someone who denies that coaching has hit home even though it has hit a nerve.

I could easily get carried away and describe so many other areas that become barriers to increased performance and positive coaching. Perhaps a further blog as I need to re-enter the positive World of smashing targets and feeling good about self- enlightenment. Remember even if you know what’s coming you are never really fully prepared for how it feels!!

Sometimes you have to give up on people. Not because you don’t care, but because they don’t……or do they?