For sales and design professionals everywhere Recently, I had a lovely conversation with John Hutson, a designer at Sheffield Furniture and Interiors in Rockville, MD. We were discussing finding out WHY a client begins to take action steps. What is their … Continue reading
For Sales Managers and Sales Coaches
It breaks my heart to hear a salesperson/ designer tell me that they spent 2 hours on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon with a customer/client and didn’t get either a sale or an appointment. BREAKS MY HEART. Then they feel frustrated, angry, that they are not a contributing member of the team, upset that they couldn’t get free to work with someone else, and helpless as they watched other salespeople sell LOTS of opportunities as they were STUCK with theirs.
On busy traffic days, their job is to Sell it today or to Schedule a time to meet the customer/client again if there is more to do than can be done on a busy day. To make this happen, your antennae needs to be up and looking for specific actions and results. You need to know how long each of your team members is working with their opportunities and when to insert yourself to check things out. You may need to break in and ask how things are going?…what have they selected?….do they need help in completing the transaction?…and listen to what happens. If you ask the salesperson if they’re okay, they might say Yes, thinking that they are getting it done today. But if they are still together 30 minutes later, something has come up or isn’t moving, so you will need to step in again.
Your sales team is doing the best that they can at any point in time. In some cases, they don’t know what they don’t know, so they may think they have it covered, only to get in far deeper than they can manage. YOU need to know if they’re in trouble so that you can help them to close it today or to schedule it, walk the customer/client to the door, and have the salesperson/designer get back in rotation.
When salespeople/designers get stuck, it is up the the SALES MANAGER to get them unstuck and back on track. If that means you need to sharpen YOUR selling skills so that you can do that, then sharpen your selling skills. Your team depends on you to do that.
And if one of your salespeople tells me that they spent 2 hours on a Saturday or Sunday and didn’t get the sale or an appointment, I will be calling YOU. With love in my heart, of course. :)
Now, go help them to sell something.
For Sales Managers and Sales Coaches
As Sales Managers, you need to find ways to keep your job / role simple and focused. It’s easy to get distracted by operational things and to pay attention to business that is ALREADY IN the system rather than your primary role, which is to PUT business in the system…and your salespeople and designers are the vehicle for doing that. Your role is to support, direct and redirect their behavior and performance to sell or schedule each and every opportunity…and to evaluate at the end of an opportunity what happened and what didn’t happen. To keep the coaching discussion focused on actions and results, I have made it simple for you. Ask:
1. “Did you Sell it or Schedule it?”
Either one or the other result needs to happen.
“Yes.” They produced a sale or scheduled an appointment. Either can be briefly discussed now as to how they did that so that they can repeat that action or skill.
“No.” You can let that response sit as a complete sentence or your can ask: “May I ask you a couple of questions about that?” If they say “No” again, ask “Can we rev
iew this a little later then?” If they say “No” again, you will need to start having ANOTHER kind of conversation about coaching – the process and the relationship. If they say “Yes” proceed to Coaching Question #2.
“I tried to…..”. Ask “May I ask you a couple of questions about that?” and they say “Yes”, proceed to Coaching Question #2.
2. “How did your customer/client ANSWER the BADAS Questions?”
Notice that the question is not if THEY ASKED the BADAS Questions…but HOW the customer answered them. You will need to KNOW these questions and the subsequent questions that support each one in order to help. If they got ‘non-answers’ such as “As little as possible” to the Budget question, then you’ll need to dig deeper to find out what they did with that discussion from there. We want them to get ANSWERS that they can use to determine if this is a sale today or an appointment – the ONLY reason we ask the 5 Key Area Questions – aka BADAD Questions.
Go through EACH of the BADAS Questions…or better yet, have THEM to through them so that you can see if they missed any or don’t know them.
3. “How did you ASK for a COMMITMENT?”
The commitment can be a Sale or an Appointment, so how did they direct the customer/client to do that?
If they were going toward an appointment, did they use Seivert’s Six Step Strategy to Secure Appointments? Again, YOU need to know each of these steps and what they are meant to accomplish. If they didn’t use them, discuss why not. Do they know them? Did they use a couple but not all? DIG.
If they asked for the sale, what happened? Was there pushback? Was there an objection they were unable to overcome? What got in the way?
Clearly, you can see that the salespersons/designers role is to direct the sales conversation with questions, and your role is to do the same. Coaching isn’t TELLING them what to do, it’s helping them to DISCOVER the solution by asking questions, and knowing what you need to know so that you can ask questions that will find that out.
If you get stuck on any of this, CALL ME. This is a big job and your sales team will always need your help to consistently produce results. If you help them to do that, you will have a job for as long as you want one!
Now, go help them to sell something!