Archive for the ‘Sales Coaching’ Category
Well, it seems like everyone is now a coach, be it sales coaching, business coaching or even executive coaching. From local Small Business Development Centers to recently unemployed executives, there continues to be a plethora of “coaches” ready to solve their clients’ problems and fill their own bank accounts.
Yet most have just swapped consulting for coaching and therein lies the problem.
Coaching is not consulting or even mentoring. Let me repeat that critical statement:
Coaching is not consulting or mentoring!
Coaching in its original intent is about having the client find the answers to her or his own issues. Consulting and mentoring is when the answers are provided by the consultant or mentor.
One of the best definitions regarding the role of for those engaged in sales coaching, business coaching or executive coaching is from Resource Associates Corporation:
“The role of your coach is not to provide answers or solutions. It is to help you develop the potential that lies within you so that your increase your capability to overcome all obstacles and achieve all of your goals…it is to help you discover for yourself where you are today and where you want to be in the future.” (Reprinted with permission)
I share this definition with all clients so that they understand our respective roles.
Great coaches also have employ a process for self discovery supported by proven tools. The tools in many instances are not the latest and greatest technology applications, but rather tried and proven tools that have been employed for decades if not centuries.
No, not everyone is a coach. No, a coach does not have to be certified through some coaching organization.
If you are thinking of hiring a sales coach, business coach or executive coach ask about his or her process. Ask about the results that have been achieved and most importantly are those results sustainable? If possible talk to some of his or her past clients, hear from their mouths what results they achieved.
Want to discuss sales coaching with Leanne Hoagland-Smith? Ask about your process for self-discovery. Click here to schedule a free 30 minute session.
P.S. If you want someone else to find your answers, then hire a consultant not a coach.Share on Facebook
Today there is incredible emphasis on sales numbers. CRMs churn millions of bits of data each day for sales managers to pour over with the hope to discover what is missing in their goal to increase sales.
A past article published by Harvard Business Review entitled “Know Your Customers Jobs to be Done,” examined the gap between data gathering and improved business results. What created this gap was this two-fold simple question:
- Why did the customer buy from you or your organization?
- Did the customer gain progress in working toward his or her goal?
People buy from people they know and trust because they are seeking forward progress, seeking to achieve a goal or goals. This seeking is determined by a variety of factors both external (driven by others) and internal (driven by the buying individual).
What is interesting to note in this article is the indirect reference to purpose. When people put purpose behind data collection and data analysis (number crunching), they lose sight of the “why” people buy. Believe it or not there is a direct correlation between one’s purpose and why people buy from that person or organization.
For example, my purpose is to be a trailblazer. This purpose attracts forward thinking people who are experiencing repetitive problems as they blaze their own trails. My ideal customer profile is geared toward these individuals yet many of my clients do not meet this ideal profile. And that is Okay.
Personally I believe in sales numbers. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
However sales numbers should never take a front seat to why you do what you do. You do what you do because purpose as it relates to people is one of our three primary motivational drivers (Theory of Self Determination) as noted by Deci and Ryan in their research.
Remember people buy from people they know and trust. When you remember that sales axiom, you will be ahead of the business and sales flow.Share on Facebook
Over the course of nearly 40 plus years in business, I have been fortunate to meet many much smarter people than myself. One of those individuals is Ray Overdorff who recently shared three (3) simple actions to change one’s sales results.
#1 – Commitment to be a Better Communicator
Sales regardless of all the hype by so called experts is 100% about people buying from other people. To buy from you, you must talk to your sales prospect. Communication both verbally and written is the key in making that happen unless of course you are telepathic.
What this means is no sales pitches during the first to even third conversations. People must buy you first, before they can buy your company and your solution.
#2 – Look for Ways to Get People More Involved
Remember the old adage, “no one wants to be sold but everyone wants to buy.” Getting people involved in your sales process is a significant key to improved sales results. To be more involved returns to the #1 action, being a better communicator.
Getting more people involved is also the essence of a high performance sales culture. It is not just the salespeople responsibility to increase sales. Everyone in your SMB must be 100% committed to both external customers (paying customers) and internal ones (other employees). If your salespeople cannot secure the involvement of the order department to the delivery department, then the external customer ultimately suffers.
#3 – Get a Coach (Results Driven, Ethical)
When salespeople get a good coach who is results driven and highly ethical, then they will see improved sales results. Depending upon the industry and the limitations facing the salesperson, these results may materialize as quickly as 24-48 hours or may take longer.
Not all sales coaches, executive coaches or business coaches are cut from the same cloth. One suggestion is to ask about how the coach, coaches, his or her process. Read the reviews and if possible talk to one or two of the coach’s clients.
Yes just by taking these three (3) simple actions, you can change your sales results.
P.S. Always remember to give credit to whom it is due.
If you are considering hiring a sales coach, schedule a complimentary session with Leanne Hoagland-Smith by clicking here.
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What sales maxim do you hold to be most true? This past week I had the opportunity to personally witness how the violation of this code of sales behavior turned me away from one vendor to another. Let me explain.
Believing in adopting a rescued dog from the local animal shelter, I stopped by and looked at the available dogs. The executive director told me there were a couple of 3 month old puppies at a national pet chain store. This national pet chain store works with local human societies and allows them space to showcase dogs and cats for adoption.
So I decided to stop by and saw a puppy that appeared to met our breed and size criteria. I went to the car to call my husband to see if he approved and was met by another human society just outside of the store. Their puppies were an acceptable breed and I was almost ready to pick one up when one volunteer said “We are the better human society.” I smiled and continued to my car where I called my husband. He said “It’s up to you” and I went back in and adopted the 3 month old puppy.
Years ago my father shared this sales maxim with me “Never, never knock the competition, no matter what you know.” Dad went on to explain his reasoning with “By engaging in this sales behavior, you as a salesperson will begin to establish distrust and turn potential customers or clients away.”
Then I had the opportunity to visit a local veterinarian as one of the technicians had a dog kennel for sale. I asked her what made this clinic different? She responded very positively with “All our vets are men and we spend more time with each patient.” We then talked a little more about a vaccine against rattlesnake bite and she presented me with a card for a free visit. What this wise lady did was to be positive and not knock the competition. She earned my first visit.
Knocking the competition is a dangerous behavior and one that should be avoided at all costs. Let others fail to heed this sales maxim as plenty do. Be above the fray. Remember the Socrates Three Filters if you are ever in a discussion about your competitors:
- Is what you say kind?
- Is what you say truthful?
- Is what you say necessary?
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What would happen to your ability to increase sales results if you just remembered three (3) words in all your interactions with sales prospects, sales leads, colleagues and clients? Do you possibly think you could change your sales results?
Sales Coaching Tip: Feel
When you meet with someone because people buy from people they know and trust, what do you what them to feel because trust begins with an emotion, a feeling. Trust does not begin from a point of logic. Knowledge, facts or logic support the building of trust.
People are human beings who are emotional creatures first and foremost. Our feelings are innate within us. People buy on emotion first, justified by logic. So why wouldn’t you think about this word “feel.” What do you want others to feel about you?
Sales Coaching Tip: Know
Once the feelings are in place, then what do you want the other person to know about you, your company and if you have enough time your solution. This “knowing” continues to build the relationship that came from the feelings. Remember your first to third meetings may just expand your buyer knowing about you and continuing those positive feelings of trust.
Sales Coaching Tip: Do
Finally before you conclude the sales conversation, what do you want the person to do? A call to action from a simple “Let’s get together for coffee” or “Let’s connect on LinkedIn” allows you to continue making contact with the individual. Given most sales are earned after 4 contacts, then possibly the reason your sales results are languishing is because you aren’t making enough contacts?
Remember these three words are not just about your sales leads, your prospects, but are equally about you.
What do you feel when meeting a new person?
What do you know about yourself and know about that person?
What do you want to do regarding this sales conversation or sales appointment?
Yes Feel, Know and Do are three action verbs that can truly improve your sales results.
If I asked what what do you do well, what would you tell me. Here are 78-core-talents-self-eval-dl. Identify your first one and then take this special opportunity to confirm your own beliefs. What I have learned is over 98% of the salespeople and executives I have assessed, do not know what they do well. Then two questions are:
“How many sales opportunities have you lost?”
Can you continue to lose sales opportunities?Share on Facebook
Once again I heard, “Your price is too high. I can get sales coaching for a much cheaper cost.” Possibly you have also heard a similar sales objection to your price?
My direct reply to this sales objection was:
“Then that other coach may be a better solution fit for you. My fees that you believe are too high are the result of 19 years as an executive, business and sales coach with a proven track record.
There are only two problems in any SMB – people or process.
Many executive coaches, business coaches and sales coaches lack a process. This is why I have personally coached numerous executive, business and sales coaches who did not have a process. Effective coaching be it for executive, small business owners or sales professionals is 100% about continuous improvement. How can anyone engage in sustainable continuous improvement without an initial process?”
Sales Coaching Tip: Not everyone is the best fit as a sales coaching client. I already had a sense this was not my ideal customer because forward thinking people do not bring price up at the beginning or sometimes never at all.
In speaking with my colleagues on the East and West Coast as well as with some of my clients, my coaching fees are way too reasonable for the proven results I deliver. However a SMB owner one must be cognizant of the market place. Also having separate fees for different geographical areas just seems unethical to me.
If you are thinking about hiring a sales coach, then the first question should not be about price, but rather about process. What process does the coach employ?
The second question should be directed to what are the results generated by the process? Results must be quantitative (measurable) not just some feel good qualitative results. This may require you speaking with the clients of the coach you are considering hiring.
As to the third and final question, is how do your clients get those results? Here is where the rubber meets the road for those engaged in executive, business or sales coaching.
Click HERE to schedule your time to learn of my answer to that third question.Share on Facebook
Sales coaching continues to grow from internal coaches, sales managers to the hiring of external coaches. Yet quite often this unintentional result happens as I was reminded by this statement made by a respected colleague:
Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.
How can any professional coach worth his or her weight prescribe a solution without using a proven diagnostic tool is counter intuitive. To take this Captain Wing It action lessens the overall proven effectiveness of sales coaching, executive coaching, leadership coaching or business coaching. This statement is also true for workplace culture consulting to talent management.
Imagine for a moment going to the doctor with a headache. The doctor listens to your complaint and says “you need immediate brain surgery.” No tests had been ordered. Not even a thorough examination was undertaken. He listened and then prescribed. Probably you would have walked or even ran out of his office seeking a second opinion.
When speaking with sales leads who are seeking sales coaching, I explain my coaching process and how it always begins with an assessment to better diagnosis the real problems and not the symptoms many others solve. Sometimes the sales lead does not want the assessment and that is okay because his or her refusal tells me he or she is not a right fit for my coaching approach.
Without the use of a proven diagnostic tool such as a psychometric assessment, the coach is assuming what he or she is hearing is accurate. Additionally the lack of a diagnostic tool weakens or totally eliminates the coaching plan and supporting process. This lack of clarity dooms the desired results for both the coachee and the coach.
Read about how many diagnostic tools (psychometric assessments) are not proven in this LinkedIn Pulse Posting.
For example, one of the questions I ask any coaching sales lead is “If you were being interviewed for a job and asked to share your strongest talent, what would you say?” I wait for the response and then ask this second question “How do you truly know you do that well because my experience is 98.7% of the people I have coached do not know what they do well?”
The second question is the one that justifies why my sales coaching process is different from many others. So if you are considering hiring a coach internally or externally, it just may make sense to begin with a proven diagnostic (psychometric assessment) to ensure your coach is not committing malpractice.