When you’re experiencing a business problem and you need a professional for assistance, who do you refer to? A coach? A consultant? A mentor? Or an advisor?

The BusinessCoPilot sheds some light to this dilemma:

As a coach I would help you to define the problem, work with you to develop possible solutions, help you to decide which solution you want to take and then work with you to make it happen. It doesn’t really matter that I have sales experience (which I have), it is more important that I have coaching experience.

As a consultant I would work with you to determine the problem, define a solution and then implement all or part of the solution.

As a mentor I would help you to define the problem, then using my experience in managing complex sales teams, I would suggest ways ahead, obstacles that could be faced and how to get around them.

As a sales advisor, I would offer advice as to how to go about solving the dilemma, but would not get involved with the implementation.

So long as the problem is about sales these answers above are relevant. But not in all situations. If the problem was about the impact on the balance sheet; or a certain course of action; or about the best way of implementing a tax efficient benefits package, I could coach, but not act in any other capacity.

The answer to the question which professional do you need then might be:

“I want to sort it out myself with some support” – you need a coach.

“I want to get someone else to sort it out but want it to be right” – you need a consultant.

“I want to be shown how to do it by someone who has been there before” – you need a mentor.

“I want to understand what is required to sort it and will do the rest myself” – you need an advisor.

In the event you decide that you need a coach or a mentor, please visit IAPC&M’s directory of accredited coaches and mentors who are properly trained, and professionally accredited, and passionate about supporting you to find the solutions to your business’s problems.

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