How To Be A Mentor. Adding Value to People & Businesses
Giving your team or your clients better skills and connections is easily overlooked. Below are some insights from EuroLink Managing Director, Joe Mannion:
To be an excellent business consultant you need to not only impart knowledge and access to your network, but also to coach the client’s team members. No matter what stage those staff may be at in their career, your added value is to bring them up the mountain with you. Show them how it’s done, step by step. My goal is always to bring my clients sustainable and profitable business. If I have done a good job, then their team is left better prepared to keep growing the business locally and internationally.
If everything was working well, then your value would be less to the company ownership. But let’s be honest, sometimes their team is just not in good shape when you come along.
The international sales role may have been added on as an afterthought. The individual picked for this key function may have been given the role as a reward for domestic/local success, or even as a supposed perk! Or a young inexperienced staff member is thrown in at the deep end, with little or no training or supervision. Time to roll up your sleeves and get ready for some mentoring.
Many of my clients have had industrial and engineering activities. Their offering is often technical and targeted at niche applications, such as healthcare, electronics, transportation, for example. The international approach failing them can be one led by the mentality of this is what we produce or how we produce and deliver it here, so make it work there. Some well-intentioned engineer is thrown out for a few international market forays. But the sales do not come as hoped. And things begin to stall or fester. What a shame, what a waste of investment and time. What a colossal loss of business opportunity!
I have mentored and trained international sales staff at my clients many times. They can be young and inexperienced, but malleable and willing & eager to learn. Others have been seasoned executives, just stuck in a rut or simply out of their depth in a new and international territory or business sector. I have trained up in-house engineers, logistics managers, and yes even accountants, to learn and embrace the excitement of international business development. With a structured approach success really can be on the side of failure to them. All they need is the right guidance!
So the next time you want a client to succeed in the long term, which must be your objective, teach them and leave them with the right set of tools to adapt, thrive and grow internationally.
Joe Mannion is Managing Director of EuroLink International Business Development which offers global technical sales and marketing expertise, with full multilingual capabilities.