WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM A FRIEND – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #69

101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas

IDEA 69:


Who else can help you improve your selling?


From a training company…

A mentor is someone who exercises as low-key and informal developmental role. More than one person can be involved in the mentoring of a single individual, and while what they do is akin to some of the things a line manager should do, more typically a mentor is especially not the person’s line manager. It might be someone more senior, someone on the same level, or form elsewhere in the organization. An effective mentor can be a powerful force in your development. So how do you get yourself a mentor?

In some organization this is a regular part of ongoing development. You may be allocated one, or able to request one. In other organizations you may need to initiate a mentoring relationship. You can suggest it to your manager, or direct to someone you think might undertake the role.

What makes a good mentor? The person must have authority (this might mean they are senior, or just that they are capable and confident), suitable knowledge and experience, counselling skills, appropriate clout, and a willingness to spend some time with you (if they have mentored others, it may be positive sign). Finding that time can be a challenge, but it is generally worthwhile.

You and your mentor typically have a series of informal meetings, which together create a thread of activity alongside your work. These meetings need an agenda (albeit an informal one), nut more importantly they need to be constructive. If they are, then one thing will naturally lead to another, and various occasions can be utilized to maintain the dialogue. A meeting, followed by a brief encounter as people pass on the stairs, a project and a promise to spend a moment on feedback, an email or two passing in different directions – all may contribute.

I have been lucky enough to have someone mentoring me for many years, so I know that sometimes just a few minutes spent together can crack a problem or lead to a new initiative. Such an arrangement could well enhance your ability to sell effectively.

In practice

  • What makes this process useful is the commitment and quality of the mentor. Where such relationships can be set up, and where they work well, they may not cover every developmental issue, but they can add a powerful dimension to the ongoing cycle of development, one that it is difficult to imagine being bettered in any other way.
  • As both parties become familiar with the arrangement, and with each other, it can become highly productive.

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