How to Mentor Direct Sales Team Members

By Belinda Ellsworth

To build your direct sales team, you need to become an active mentor. Mentoring is becoming a more commonly used term, and more of a familiar relationship. Mentoring is an incredibly powerful tool and creates an incredibly effective relationship. In fact, no matter where you are in life, you should have a mentor and also be a mentor.

Mentoring doesn’t mean “teaching” someone the ropes, nor is it simply being encouraging while redirecting efforts. Mentoring means working alongside someone, allowing them to gain from observing a more seasoned professional.

Being a good mentor requires you to be accessible and vulnerable, willing to share the mistakes you’ve made as well as what’s worked. The goal isn’t to seem like the all-wise expert, but rather to let them know that you have been where they are, and then show them how to get to where you are now.

Mentoring does require an investment of time. You might allow a representative you’re mentoring to listen while you make calls and watch your parties. And you should watch their parties.

You can mentor team members who don’t live nearby, too, even for phone calls. Simply utilize three-way calling or video conferencing. Simple introductions so that the third party understands what is happening will make everyone more comfortable. Skype is a common video-conferencing program. It’s easy to use, and most computers and tablets have the capability to run it.

Some other ways to mentor include having team members work alongside you at trade shows or sit in to observe you doing an interview.

As your relationship with those you mentor grows, you’ll discover more and more joy in helping others achieve their goals. Some you mentor will grow quickly and may reach the same level in the business as you in no time. Others will take much longer. And yes, there will be some who simply decide that now isn’t the right time for them to pursue the business or mentoring relationship with you.

You should get a mentor, too, if you don’t have one. Your mentor should be someone who is where you want to be professionally. Often, it’s a good idea to choose someone who is at least two levels above you.

Sometimes your personality may not click with others on your team. Selecting accountability partners on your team can be a great way for them to find similarities and work with a personality more like their own.