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Mentor experience

Has anyone ever sought a mentor in the industry you work in? I've had two mentors throughout my professional life, and both were great opportunities not only for leads, but also to learn. I know that in certain industries, salespeople like to keep leads to themselves and might view mentoring as a threat to this. However, it can also enable them to extend their network as well in the long run.

Just wondering if anyone has had a mentoring experience. - by Coda1108
My sponsor in Coastal Vacations is a diligent, professional mentor.

I searched for a sponsor like her ever since I have been trying to build a home business.

She has enjoyed great success in this business over the past 18 months, has formulated a system that's easy to follow, and she is just very focused about teaching her folks how to get into profit as quickly as possible. And that includes providing leads, free world class web sites and the best conference calls and 3-way sponsor calls I've ever participated in.

I like my team players to have a professional, to-the-point, no fluff and nonsense presentation when I invite my prospects to get to know the people in my organization and my sponsor (who is also our Team Leader) is all that with a super freindly personality.

I'm really happy with my mentor - I think I'll keep her;sm - by Karen Sargent
I have had a couple of sales managers give me pointers but nobody has ever taken me under their wing. How do you get someone to mentor you? What is in it for them usually? - by Thomas
I have a great mentor in the carsales business. We just hit it off real well when I started, and he has helped me in many ways. From product knowledge to following up, sending newsletters and has even included me on his deals just to help me learn. Now we mainly help eachother out when he's not here he sends his customers to me and when I'm not here I send them to him. We have become best friends in the 9 months I've been in the business and I dont see that changing. Everyone here at the dealership has made jokes about it because he is old enough to be my dad, but its all in fun. Couldnt ask for a better friend or teacher. :thu - by RyanJ
I wouldn't mind something like that - someone to show you the ropes and wants to see you win. - by Thomas
I wouldn't mind something like that - someone to show you the ropes and wants to see you win.
Ever thought about advertising for one? People love to be appreciated for their expertise and that's a reward in itself.

Retired people volunteer as business counsellors for an agency
I consulted in Chattanooga, TN many years ago. So I know there
are retired professionals in all areas who would love to have something worthwhile to do with their free time. - by Karen Sargent
I would love to have a mentor. My District Manager seems to be overworked with little time to spare so she wouldn't be a good mentor. I keep intending to contact the woman who was once my Avon Lady years ago. I thought she was very good and I could learn from her. I just need to make that call! - by ozzie
I have had a couple of sales managers give me pointers but nobody has ever taken me under their wing. How do you get someone to mentor you? What is in it for them usually?
You'd be amazingly surprised how agreeable people are to mentoring. The best way to start such a process is to find someone you admire and let him or her know that you appreciate how they operate and would they mind if you bought them a cup of coffee once in a while to "pick their brains." Don't become a stalker, and certainly don't give such an impression. Your first encounter with the person should include specific reasons why you feel the way you do, such as.... "I read about the office lease you closed for XYZ Company a few months ago."

If the two of you don't feel a connection, you'll know it right away, and no harm's been done. - by Coda1108
I'm definitely going to try that after the Holidays. It sounds like a wonderful way to get good tips and ideas from someone you trust. - by ozzie
If you can find a mentor, it's definetley a good idea. I have someone who I mentored still call me for advice when he has a deal that's stuck, or a big presentation to make. It always helps to have a new set of eyes look at you situation.

Susan - by susana
Ever thought about advertising for one? People love to be appreciated for their expertise and that's a reward in itself.
How do you advertise for a mentor? :cu - by Thomas
Has anyone looked into the SCORE office in there area. I have found 2 pople in my office that were able to help me out with both start up and ongoing sales. They both are retired and come form diffent backgound but they both bring a different point of view to my operations. - by n1i1c2k5
Good suggestion n1i1c2k5. ;co - by AZBroker
I have many mentors since I started different kind of jobs. Unfortunately, I heard common comments from them and that's being a hard-headed lady. I admit it's 50% correct. Actually, I'm a vocal person. If I don't like the idea given, I used to give comments. I just don't like to approve all the time without thinking. I sometimes feel pity to my mentors. But now I'm better. - by shinningstar
Honest, I 've tried many times helping new staff, giving them hints, explaining why people buy, what motivates them, what should motivate you, and to be frank it was all a waste of time and energy. In short:

[Tune Can't help loving dat Man of Mine, from Old Man River, Rodgers and Hammerstien]

Fish learn to Swim,
Birds learn to Fly,
But some people will never be
Salesmen till the Day that they Die,
My Time -------- is gonna be spent --by-Myself.

I tell you Mister,
sales is an heartbreaking business, by yourself,
You gotta do it, your gotta do it,
all by yourself and alone,
You gotta do it, you gotta do it all alone,
And all by yourself.

* Over here old hands used to give new starters a few orders, or go out with them and split the orders taken. The snag is very few newbies finish the week, seem interested in sales as a profession, and if you mention call sheets, leads, travel, finding addressess, commission, then waiting to be paid you get some very odd stares. - by Incidentally
I would agree w/ you that unsolicited advise from senior salesmen or business owners is often times rebuked and ignored. For those that want to better themselves they will often times seek out the more successful people around them and pick there brain. Like here at this forum. You will be hard pressed to find someone here that did not come here of there own free will to better themselves in this field. We may have a difference of opinion, but that is makes us better (or worse).

We as new birds woulld learn to fly, as fish learn to swim and salesmen would learn to sale. Unlike birds or fish we can ask for help if we want to be the Highest flyer or the strongest swimmer.

As the old saying goes:

You can lead a mule to water,
(green salesman to a sale)

But you can’t make him drink

Would the outcome be different if the mule were thirsty?
(salesman wanted help and did what they were advised to do?)

Finding that person to lead you though I would find someone whom was successful in there area of expertise, you want to spend a little time with, and someone you wouldn’t mind spending $10-$15 on every now and then.

But as my wife tells me (jokingly?)

"You"re an idiot" - by n1i1c2k5
With great experience of my own misguided kindness, I must say that helping people out is a MYTH. In theory [theory I said] you show them the blinding light of your superior knowledge [ I can be modest at times-but not today thankyou] they are truly amazed, overcome with delight and emotion, leave you with a big gawpy smile on their faces, tears running down their cheeks and intend walking through the valley of evil henceforth, selling to all and sundry your products and services, to earn big buckaroo cheques, to win friends and influence people, correct?
Sorry to spoil the story but this is what happens:

1. The next day they phone in to say the car won't start, so they can't come in.

2. They say they are on the way in but first need to do a few errands, like sit with their dying wife in hospital whilst she undergo's radical surgery - and they need to be there of course.

3. They don't phone in. You never hear from them again.

4. Their wife [girl-friend] phones in to say "he been ill all night with MALARIA he caught on Iwo Jima, when he won the Medal of Honour and the VC.

5. He shows at 9.45am, but when you say we must go to see a client 109 miles away, he asks will we be back for 2 pm, because he needs to take his wife for radical surgery. [See NUMBER 2]

6. He doesn't show, but the wages dept gets a mesage does he have any money to draw, and how much is in his holiday fund entitlement.

7. When you did go out, you shared half-your orders with him, the commission on these is $340 for being an observer, he tells you in private he does not feel up to it today, doesn't have any great faith in himself and wonders if you can both go out today and split the orders and commission - until he feels upto it.

To close when you try to help someone, you end up needing some good advice and a mentor yourself. To sell you have to learn how to knock on doors and hold strangers in rapt conversation for up to 1 hour, maybe longer. And those doors do look frightening to a lot of newbies. - by Incidentally
I do agree with you last statement. As a protégé it is up to you to do the work. You have to knock on the door, converise with a prospect, find there needs, fill those needs, and "JUST DO IT." That is their responsibly.

A mentor to me is someone that I bounce ideas of off, and we later go over those ideas to see how well they succeed or if they failed. It was up to me to do the work before the next meeting, and if I did not do the work we did not proceed. That would be a waste of his time, and he told me up font that he would help in any he could as long as I did not waste his time. I did not see my mentor again until I had taken the next step.

When I would meet with them what I would do I tell them about an new angle on my pitch, show them a new flyer that I was putting out in circulation, show them my business plan have them find some holes in it, or just ask what do you think I should do next. I would then go out and take there advise or not take it if what I thought they said was a bunch bunk(I was wrong most of the time, but that is how we learn right).

They never went out with me. They did not share any earned income, they were someone usually a litter wiser than me in their field. They helped me avoid a pitfall or two. One of them once told me the only way to avoid a trap in sales, business, or life is to do nothing. There are all kinds of traps one can fall into in sales.

I can’t
I’ll look stupid
I don’t fell well
I don’t want to interrupt someone’s day
Customers are mean
It’s raining outside (ever heard this one in the UK)
And so on.

Mentors helped me get out of these traps and continue on. I often times did not even know I was in one until it was pointed out to me. Like I said in the early post. Those that want to be the best will find those that can help them develop. Those that want a free buck will make up many excuses.

(my favorite excuse given to me was “I wet my pants and can’t make our meeting”, I never heard form him again)

Thoughts - by n1i1c2k5
Thank You

This is a true story, I took a liking to someone, a sales newstarter, he flattered me perhaps, I promised to go out with him and did, we had a marvellous day, we signed up 20 clients and earned about £600 GBP/ $1200 dollars, I counted the orders out, split them in half and handed him 10, I kept 10. We said goodbye, he walked away and I jumped into my car, started the engine, he turned, waved, ran about 75 yards back down the sidewalk towards me, he was shouting for me not to drive away, to stop, my heart was pumping, I was trying to figure out what the emergency was. It certainly looked very important, I wound down the car window, he ran up to me, and shouted out in an agitated voice, "Bob, you've got my pen", I had and I found it, and handed him it back, it was a free 5 cents biro pen, the sort you see eveywhere, worth 5 cents, the orders he had from me were worth $600. My aid and help was not worth 5 cents to him. So much for mentoring. - by Incidentally
sounds like a raw deal - by n1i1c2k5
So much for mentoring.
Do you feel that "mentoring" is not worthwhile? - by Jolly Roger
Do you feel that "mentoring" is not worthwhile?
This is a difficult question to answer, you need to take into acoount if the mentor is self-employed, on commission only and its he's time [he's unpaid time] he's volunteering. This was the sitution with me above -see 2 posts. I worked for 2 men who I've admired and copied, William Sharp a Market trader, who underpaid me, employed child labour [me] but formed or moulded my life. The other was a Drew McDonald, whose attitude was "We are not packing in until we sell 6 washing machines today, and every day", and all by door to door selling. From these men I acquired a VIEWPOINT ON LIFE.

Big firms, especially conglomerates could not exist without training [ another form of mentoring] they spend mega-bucks, and in private will admit its an heart breaking business. Its my view the best employees become involved, become leaders, and their main qualities are good time keeping and reliabilty. Mentoring is needed, sounds good, but can cost the mentor a great deal. - by Incidentally
It is indeed important, as a mentor, to first of all know who you're mentoring. Second, as mentor, when an incident happens, part of mentoring might be to help the "mentee" understand why his or her actions are inappropriate. Perhaps not at the moment the incident occurs, but certainly in time. Using the pen incident, you could approach the young salesperson and point out to him that you found it a bit off-putting for him to have made an issue out of a five cent pen because it seemed quite unappreciative, after you just helped him make 10 sales.

Remember, in his eyes, you making an issue over his need for a pen might seem petty. Perhaps he really needed a pen at the moment, so the issue wasn't the value of the pen (five cents), but the fact that he may not have had access to another one. He might think, or hopefully say, "Gee, what's the big deal? You're right, it is only a cheap pen, so why make a big deal out of the fact that I needed it at the moment." This is your opportunity as a mentor to explain to him that a large part of his work environment is perception, and working with others. Help him to see that the appropriate action would have been to catch up and say.... "I appreciate all your help today, and I know it's only a cheap pen, but there isn't a store nearby and I really need it to take some notes." - by Coda1108
With great experience of my own misguided kindness, I must say that helping people out is a MYTH.
Have you considered that maybe you were the problem? You've learned how to sell but have you learned how to mentor? - by AZBroker
Have you considered that maybe you were the problem? You've learned how to sell but have you learned how to mentor?
Excellent questions. Mentoring is a skill that takes understanding and practice. - by SalesGuy
I found a mentor recently. I asked my district manager if she could put me in contact with someone in my area and she did. This woman was able to submit my online order for me during the ice storm. It was a big help. I wish she lived in my town but she isn't too far away. ;sm - by ozzie
You shouldn't volunteer as a mentor if you don't want to put the 'mentee' above what's going on in your day. I had someone call me at the beach. I spent 30 minutes talking to him and he had the confidence to go into his meeting. he got the deal. Well worth taking a few vacation minutes.

Susan - by susana
You shouldn't volunteer as a mentor if you don't want to put the 'mentee' above what's going on in your day.
Like a parent-child relationship? - by Thomas
Like a parent-child relationship?
I don't know if I'd go that far, but you do have to be somewhat selfless.:in

Susan - by susana
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