Yesterday I spoke with a client about the difference between trainable and coachable. In simple terms a trainable person has enough motivation and incentive to improve. A coachable salesperson will accept constructive criticism without pushing back or worse, giving you lip service and ignoring you.
When I interview salespeople I spend time on whether the candidate is open-minded, introspective and honest. They seem to consistently struggle with opening up and talking about where they can improve. When I ask why, they really can’t give me a good answer. I commonly hear their fear of showing any weakness and how this will be perceived by the interviewer.
I certainly hope we haven’t reached a point where hiring managers expect perfection and negatively judge candidates who are willing to discuss where they can improve.
We are creatures of habit and when we struggle in one situation we usually face similar challenges in another. So if salespeople and sales managers don’t want to acknowledge their limitations how does this affect their ability to create high value trusted advisor status? It’s not that we need to over emphasize our problems; it’s that we need to create more trust and respect and our human side has a great impact on this.
Our prospects and sometime our clients have trouble trusting us. If we don’t show our human side, will others trust us and find us credible?