How to SMARTen up your feedback

I have a rule in my life. To only receive feedback if I’ve asked for it or given permission for it to happen. Otherwise you just get inundated. In the same way, we need to get permission from our salespeople before we offer them feedback, or at least to sell it to them or contract that it’s part of your job to make them better at their job.

We’re all familiar with SMART when setting objectives, have you ever considered using the same for giving feedback.  It makes it so simple.

  • S for specific.  Ensure the feedback is exact and too the point, don’t ramble on or apologise. Give just one piece of feedback
  • M for measurable. Can you measure the impact when the feedback is acted upon, a delighted customer, a sales stat or metric improving.
  • A for attainable. Can the salesperson actually do what you suggest they do, is it achievable?  Are they capable, do they need some extra training, some shadowing from someone, some more coaching?
  • R is for relevant.  Is the feedback directly related to their job.  Not generic and a nice to do. Will the feedback make a difference?  The most important to them at that time. The one of many.  The highest priority to make an impact on the seller’s performance.
  • T is for timely. The feedback has to be given at the right time, immediately after an event hopefully.  Straight after live observation, in the meeting, on that afternoon.  Feedback goes off like a fresh vegetable.

So next time you’re wanting to improve your team’s performance with coaching, remember to sell it to them, or seek permission before you give the feedback.  Then deliver it in a SMART fashion.