It’s no secret that mentors and coaches can be the extra push that gets us to the top. But how can we go about finding great mentors? In today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Donald is joined by Gabrielle Blackwell (GB), co-founder of Women in Sales Club (which focuses on empowering and enabling women to succeed in sales), to discuss her tactics and strategy when finding and interacting with a potential mentor.
The problem: There’s a need for mentors.
- When GB got into sales, she wanted to be the best. However, she needed to learn more first.
- After suffering a concussion from a car accident, she needed to revitalize her efforts and get back on her sales feet. So, GB talked to people to evaluate if she was moving in the right direction.
- Sales reps and leaders need to acknowledge that you don’t have to know everything.
- Admitting you don’t know something requires an environment where you feel comfortable. And, upon noticing the discrepancy between what you know and what you need to know, you can ask for help.
People either want to change or have to change.
- “I don’t know” needs to be normalized.
- And before management can care about meeting expectations, they need to show you how to meet those expectations. It’s their job to teach you. Part of advocating for yourself involves recognizing when you need to advocate for yourself.
- A mentor is not going to fall in your lap.
- Sandler’s You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar discusses the Dummy Curve. (When you first start something, you ask questions. But as you learn more, you regurgitate what you know rather than listen to what’s happening around you.)
You don’t need to let people know how much you know.
- If someone asked me to be a mentor, what is it you’re trying to accomplish? What is it about me that makes you uniquely qualified to be a mentor?
- Who are subject matter experts at what you’re trying to get better at?
- Once you target those people, consume their content—research what they’re doing. Approach them with questions and comments about their content and their work. Show the drive.
It’s such a show of strength to ask for help. If you know what you need help with, that’s great. But if you don’t know what you don’t know, that’s also great. For more great content from GB, sign up for the Women in Sales Club Newsletter and connect with her on LinkedIn.
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