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The Secret to Asking for Feedback

The job of a salesperson is full of ups and downs, pride and disappointment, joy and frustration.  We all know that the downs can at least equal the ups on a fairly regular basis. The remedy to staying positive, confident and energized through the downs? Coaching.

But not every salesperson gets the coaching they need from their manager on a regular basis. What should you do if you are not getting it? The answer is simple:  ask for it.

No matter how effective you are in the selling role or how much experience you may have, you can always benefit from a little coaching–particularly from your immediate manager.  Everybody, and we mean everybody, needs to be praised for the things they do well and informed of what they could do better.  Nobody is as good as they can be.  There is always room for improvement.  And if this isn’t brought to your attention, it is quite likely that you won’t improve as much as you could.

You have the right to ask.  Always.  Your manager is expected to provide you with feedback.  After all, helping employees grow is in his or her job description.  And if they aren’t doing that, you have the right to ask.

But before you ask for feedback, which could be seen as a bit controversial, you may want to ask yourself why you aren’t receiving any. Of course, some managers don’t give feedback voluntarily because it simply isn’t their style.  But there’s also a possibility that you, the employee, bear some responsibility for that lack of feedback.

After all, some people get defensive when they get coached.  Others reference their past successes and insist that they don’t need coaching.  Still others simply don’t listen, which makes the manager reluctant to keep trying.

So before you ask for feedback, ask yourself if you are coachable.  Are you sending signals to your manager that makes him or her hesitant to coach you?  If you do, you will need to take responsibility for that when you ask for the coaching session.

When the feedback comes, know how to react to it:

  • Listen intently.
  • Be open-minded.
  • Take to heart what the manager is suggesting.
  • Let him or her know you appreciate it.
  • Demonstrate your coachability.
  • Make it a good experience for both of you.

Remember that you don’t have to agree with everything your manager says, but you do have to listen and hopefully find some value in what he or she has to offer.

Sometimes in life you have to ask for what you want.  This is a great example of doing just that.  Trust us–it will be worth the effort.

Have you ever had to ask for feedback from a boss who wasn’t giving you any? Share with us the approach you used in the comments below!