mentorA mentor can be defined as someone who imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced colleague. In my 20+ years in telecommunications sales and sales management I’ve had the privilege of many fine mentors.

In my first telecom sales job, my product training consisted of reading a double sided product handout. If I had questions, I was told just to read it again. I found a mentor early and with his technical background he taught me how and why things work. It was my job to figure out why someone would pay good money for that product.

Later as a manager I had the opportunity to be mentored by many who taught me what I consider to be my core principles. They are:

  • Even though you are paid by your employer, your goal is to serve the customer. Unless they buy, nobody makes money.
  • Don’t ask those who you support why their performance can’t be better. Instead ask what you can do to help them achieve your shared goals.
  • Any complaint is a valid complaint. Don’t think that logic will trump emotion. 
  • Under promise and over deliver

With January as National Mentoring Month, remember those who have helped make you who you are today. More importantly think of those you can help to be who you think they could be. Enjoy the rest of the month.

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