Startups should seek out trusted advisors who will guide them on the path to success, show them their areas of growth, and how to avoid potential pitfalls.
In our latest interview, LinkedIn/personal branding expert and Vengreso co-founder Viveka Von Rosen and I discuss how to find a mentor in sales and what not to do when seeking mentorship.
1. Know Yourself First
2. Ask For Help
If you know you’re not hiring a full team for at least a year, don’t waste the mentor’s time discussing hiring practices. Know what you need help with in the now.
3. Ask More Than One Person
Everyone has different life experiences and viewpoints. The more viewpoints you have, the more options and opportunities you have to solve the immediate problems you’re facing.
4. Identify Mentors In Different Areas of Business
You probably need help in a variety of business areas; one person can’t have all the answers to everything. The mentor with whom you discuss best practices on how to close a sale most likely won’t be the same mentor that can advise you on how to hire your first employee. Go where the expertise lies.
5. Asking Someone To Be Your Mentor
Be respectful of your mentor’s time and set expectations from the get-go. Time is the most valuable asset, and if someone is kind enough to offer their time to you then you need to manage it wisely.
6. Do Your Research
Read your prospective mentor’s blog if they have one, review their LinkedIn profile, and/or set up a Google Alert with their name to capture the latest news about them. Don’t go into a phone call expecting the first half of the call to be them telling you about themselves. Mentoring is getting advice, not just listening to a life story.
7. Make It As Easy As Possible
This is where the research comes in. Go into your meetings ready to ask about specific parts of their careers as they relate to your problem at hand. Pro tip: with the Nimble Mobile App, you can prep for meetings anytime, anywhere with detailed and socially enriched dossiers on all of your key prospects.
8. Don’t Talk About Your Family And Pets For An Hour
Building rapport involves sharing some personal stories. Mentoring is about getting advice to solve a problem, not finding someone’s favorite restaurant. Focus on discussing the problem at hand.
9. Get Right To The Questions
The right questions are the ones that create opportunities for you to create solutions and build your business faster than you could alone.
10. The Gift of Mentorship
Viveka says “You need that guidance. You need someone to light the path for you. In this day and age, we shouldn’t have to recreate the wheel all on our own every time we want to do something.”