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I Want to be a Rock Star: Sales Coaching Tips from Nashville's Music Industry

Sales coaching is filled with lessons from the world of sports. We decided it was time for some new insights, so we went to an unlikely source to gain new perspective on how to coach to sales conversation success….the music industry. We interviewed Michael Martin, a music executive who’s spent his career coaching hit songwriters, to learn his top tips.

Focus on the Coachable

With an abundant supply of people wanting to make a career of songwriting, Martin has learned to focus his efforts, “I look for certain qualities in their life—integrity, character, and coachability.”

Sales Application: From your experience, identify what makes a rep most coachable. Be sure this is included in your hiring.

Provide the Opportunity to Fail

In every career, there are aspirational goals. For a songwriter, these can quite literally be fame. Martin’s organization provides opportunities for songwriters to play their songs for critique. "They will say, ‘I gotta get my music played, man. I want to be a rock star.’ And, sometimes they are not good. But, you give them examples of what others have done before them and suggestions to try. If they don’t follow your advice, that is the filter.” Sales Application: Give your team members the opportunity to showcase their ability with the safety of knowing you will give them advice and options to help them achieve their goal.

Speak as clearly to your team

“People generally hear what they want to hear instead of what you're saying. And so you have to make your message clear. You have to repeat what is important. It may take numerous times. That is what sets the best apart…They're all ages…they're all at different places in their writing career. But, they listen.” Sales Application: You can’t expect your team to deliver a clear message to a prospect if your message in coaching is muddled.

Let Them Know You Care

“How are songwriters motivated? This is the biggest thing they want first…to know that you care. And what does that look like? There's must be some type of relationship.” Sales Application: If you are coaching to numbers but failing to know your team, the likelihood of them adopting real behavior change is slim.

Trust Them

Once a songwriter is motived by all of the above, Martin takes a step back, “At this point, what’s most important is the trust to give them the freedom to go do what they feel is important.” Sales Application: A regular cadence of meetings and coaching is important, but continue to demonstrate a growing level of trust to help grow leaders.

Sales Plays

Creating Focus Through Sales Plays

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