Coffee is for Closers….and Coaches

Good day everyone

Welcome back to the Café

Here is a piece of training I shared with a student this week.

I hope you find it helpful.

Coffee is for Closers….and Coaches

You’ve likely watched the iconic scene from David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross where Blake, a young hotshot from downtown with an $100,000 BMW and a holier-than-thou attitude, browbeats a room full of downtrodden salesman. He threatens them, insults their sales skills, and questions their manhood. His only advice?

“Always be closing.”

While that makes for award-winning drama, it’s not what we deem effective coaching.

Blake’s biggest flaw as a coach – but certainly not his only one – is that he only addresses the problems without analyzing the causes. He says a lot about what to do and nothing about how to do it.

Unfortunately, a lot of terrible coaching happens in many sales organizations because so many managers are like Blake: they might be able to make things work for themselves, but they have no idea how to teach someone else. Nor do they analyze what “is” going on versus what “ought to be” going on. They’re just repeating advice like “Always be closing.”

This happens for many reasons: managers don’t have time to coach or have too many competing priorities. More often than not, sales managers were good salespeople, and the assumption is made that they will also be good coaches. But as Glengarry Glen Ross shows us, a great salesman isn’t necessarily a great coach.

Sophisticated sales organizations develop a model of what “excellent” sales behavior looks like based on what has proven to be successful. They train their people to observe actual performance against this template of excellent behavior and give solid, professional feedback about the gaps between the right way to do things and what’s currently happening.

It is not enough just to say “Accomplish X” – it’s far more relevant and beneficial to teach the skills that will accomplish X. Good sales coaches know the skills that correlate with success and act as diagnosticians rather than dictators.

For a good sales manager, it’s not “Always be closing,” it’s “Always be Coaching.”

Thank you for stopping by the Café. Would you please share it with someone who could benefit from it if you found this helpful? For more tips and resources, visit the website at Please also feel free to buy me a cup of coffee.

Published by cafeboss2503

I am a Retail manager with over 30 years of experience and stories. I started as a shift manager and worked my way up to Regional Management positions. I also enjoy a good cup of Coffee.

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