solutions for critical sales enablement challenges


Next level thoughts.

Why Don’t They Listen to Me? Calling For Help.

Every parent knows this place well; where we tell our kids to do something they don’t want to do or try to teach them a new skill. For the non-parents out there, think back to a time when your own parents asked you to do something and you were feeling less than compliant about it. It’s a gritty place for sure and not all that fun to hang out in.

It’s been a long time since my kids were learning to swim, but I remember it like it was yesterday. It’s simple, right? Explain it clearly, then show them how to perform a certain sequence of actions, maybe add some reinforcement and practice into the mix, and they’ll be able to do it on their own in no time at all. Sounds reasonable, but I could not have been more wrong.

So why did trying to teach my kids to swim turn into tears, frustration, and failure? I had the basic skills to teach them and knew all the components, but I came to realize that I couldn’t teach them as effectively as a professional swim instructor. What started out as a seemingly straightforward, “Can I do this?” turned into a deeper question of, “Should I be the one doing this?”

What makes the swim instructor a better teacher than even the most dedicated parent? The parent, after all, is intrinsically motivated  and probably more well versed in things like the temperament, ability, and learning style of the child. This counts for something, right? Maybe so, but if your end goal is getting to the result as efficiently and effectively as possible (and with fewer tears and possible yelling along the way), calling in the experts is exactly what needs to happen.

If you play out this parent/child relationship in the sales world, let’s look at the manager/rep interaction. Sales leaders ask us all the time why their reps don’t consistently act on their coaching advice and why they struggle to replicate the hard won learnings from planning sessions, but when someone else works with them they start to flourish.

There are 3 primary reasons why this happens:

  1. The Power of Outside Perspective

    • When you bring in an outside perspective, language changes and different approaches are used. Think of it as a do-over or a reboot. You also level the political playing field and provide a clean slate on old patterns. When people are in this environment, they learn more effectively.

  2. Variety is the Spice of Life

    • The same stuff gets boring and often tuned out over time, but sometimes the right seasoning or a variation on a familiar theme is what’s needed to re-engage someone. Coaches and consultants spend their time implementing and continuously validating a wide range of options, tools, processes, and approaches in different scenarios. We don’t get bogged down by day to day challenges internal to the team. Drawing on this experience, we are able to quickly assess what is called for in a specific situation to drive the desired result; we know which spices create the right flavors for this meal.

  3. There is No Pause Button

    • If there is one constant in the sales world, it’s the lack of time to get everything done. As a sales leader, you probably have the experience and the desire to truly engage and develop your team, but the reality is that there are endless competing priorities grabbing at your time. In the absence of a pause button for life, you are left with doing the best you can with the time you have. Sometimes the solution to this time problem comes in the form of creating a multiplier for yourself, by bringing in someone to work with your team. By bringing in someone who is laser focused on creating solutions for specific problems, you have essentially created more time while driving business outcomes.

Scaling a sales organization is hard work. In addition to making sure the numbers are where they need to be, you’re also responsible for a never ending cycle of things like: building skill sets, honing processes, coaching, creating up to date resources, hiring, forecasting, client meetings, internal meetings, managing up, managing down, etc.

If you need a pause button for yourself, we can help. Level213 works with organizations to provide that outside perspective to accelerate growth and productivity. If you’re looking to take your revenue-generating teams to their next level, contact us for a complimentary assessment or check out our website for more details.

Oh, and the kids… They were swimming across the pool by themselves in less than a week once I admitted that I was the one who needed help. Lesson learned.


Amanda Ambrose, Co-Founder & Chief Coaching Officer at Level213


Amanda Ambrose