The 3 Coaching Questions

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 Coach Jodyand 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. 

Possible responses: 

“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!

xo,

Jody

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Vatican and Marc Chagall

On the same, soaking rainy day, Kingsley and I toured the Vatican and the Marc Chagall: Love and Life exhibit. The striking juxtaposition of the content, the spirit, the environment, and the accessibility of the artwork was to my American and lapsed Catholic’s sensibility, ironic.

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The Vatican was breathtaking. From the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square to the hushed hypnotic viewing of the Pietaunnamed (2), every room, hallway, courtyard held treasures. Our tour guide was a Vatican employee (unlike other independent tour guides) who was highly knowledgeable and respectful of the history and majesty – withoutunnamed (3)unnamed (1)   unnamed (4) sharing inside stories, true or false. From the monumental (St Peter’s Throne and the Brunelleschi altar) to the familiar (Sistine Chapel) to the surprising collection of contemporary art (the textile hanging by Matisse), it was a feast of art and architecture and the history of one of most influential institutions in the history of the    world…and it did not disappoint. 

Featured at the Chiostro del Bramante, a fine contemporary art museum a few steps from the Piazza Navona, was a retrospective of Marc Chagall.  The exhibit was significant (and unfortunately, poorly executed – it was difficult to follow the sequence of work, even with numbers and a headset) with 140 works that highlighted the 3 cultures to which he belonged: Jewish, Russian, and the Western tradition of painting – from Rembrandt to the avant garde. It began with his life and the love of his life – his wife and muse, author Bella Rosenfeld – and completed with his paintings and etchings inspired by the Bible. Chagall believed the Bible to be “the most beautiful poem ever written”. He was a painter with a perspective without judgement, a painter whose truth was his own religion, his love of country and his expression as a painter. 

I was overwhelmed by so much visual stimulation and world class art, and took the edge off with a mid-afternoon cappuccino break in the cafe, to rest feet and eyes and let the day wash over me. 

It is important to fill the well…even sometimes to the point of spilling over.

xo

Jody

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COMMUNICATION: THE 4 C’s – COMMITMENT

For sales professionals – everywhere.

This is the last installment in the series on Communication. The first 3: Clarity, Courage and Compassion are archived for you to read if you missed them…or to forward to someone you think might be inspired by reading them so that they will take the necessary actions to achieve new results. Thanks in advance for doing that.

There is a common misconception out there, even among sales professionals that you have to be pushy in order to be successful.  I have always found that pushy is a behavior found among poor salespeople whose sole agenda is their own benefit and not the benefit of the customer/buyer. commitment

Commitment is not about being pushy. Commitment is about being Clear about what you want, being Courageous to take the actions needed to get it, and being Committed to produce results NO MATTER WHAT or HOW.  If you are committed to producing a sales result, you might need to produce the interim result of an appointment to forward the process to the sale. If you are committed to producing a sale, you will ask the questions that are difficult for you to ask because you believe they will make a difference in getting the sale. If you are committed to producing a sale, you will take other actions that salespeople with less commitment are unwilling to take – they’re too hard, take too much time, don’t guarantee success, not enough return on investment – because you know that incremental improvement gains huge rewards.

There is a ‘distinction’ in the Self Expression and Leadership Program at Landmark: Attachment versus Commitment. If you are ‘attached’, then it has to happen a particular way in order for it to happen…like it has to be easy, or the customer has to be nice to work with, or some other condition that needs to be present or met. If you are ‘committed’, then you will do what you need to do in order to get it done, mindful of the other person and their behavior as elements of the process, but not as specific requirements.  If you are an independent designer committed to making it easy for clients to buy from you, you might take several methods of payment…versus being attached and only accepting checks. 

Commitment shows up when it gets difficult. When you are committed to a monogamous relationship, it’s easy to do…until someone who catches your attention shows interest. Look for yourself. Look at where you are committed and where you might be attached. It’s good to notice because it might be in a ‘blind spot’ that you don’t know about until you look there…and there …and there.

And of course, if you get confused or stuck, give me a call. This is a great exploration that is often more fun with someone else.

Now, go sell something!

xo,

Jody

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