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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From an ‘A’ to a ‘D’….Making Progress

Evaluating B-A-D-A-S Questions to determine outcome – D=Decision Maker

For home furnishings showroom sales professionals and sales leaders everywhere

This is a hotbed question! I find that salespeople and designers have a strong reaction to this question. Maybe it’s because in the past there was a gender bias attached to it…even though, in home furnishings and interiors  decision-making-mindset 80% of the decisions are made by the woman.  And that’s STILL not a good enough reason to not ask.  Maybe it’s because if it’s not asked with sensitivity, the buyer may feel disrespected (as if they don’t matter to this interaction).

We want to look at what the question is meant to determine – simply, is everyone here who needs to be here for us to make a decision NOW?

It’s not about who’s the boss, or whose opinion matters more. It’s about the seller determining if a sale can occur today, because it can only occur if all of the decision makers who need to be present are present. decision makers present

If you are a retail designer or salesperson, you would be asking this question directly to the buyer…and determining if all parties are present. You might ask if there is anyone else who needs to participate in the selection process and the clients says no. Double check by asking. “So, if we find what you are looking for today, can we go ahead with it?” and see what they say.  A spouse or best friend might miraculously appear!

If you are a trade showroom salesperson, you might ask a couple of questions: How do the clients make decisions on products and design? How do they take direction from the designer? The second question is a touchy one…as a designer you need to be real about what the client values in your opinion or direction.  How much does your client listen to you? When you tell them what they need to do, do they do it? If you are showing options to a design and have a personal preference, do they follow your direction? Just some things to consider in the decision making process. If you are a showroom salesperson, you need to understand when working with designers on projects, that different designers manage their clients differently.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if everyone is here – unless it matters  – like in a purchasing presentation, signing of contracts, legal decision making, as they are all actions that align with getting the business now.  It matters that YOU know who needs to be here and if they are here…or if you need to make an appointment to meet again in order to close the deal.

This is challenging but surely not impossible. And if you need help, you know I am always close by.

Now, go sell something!

Love, love, love….

Jody

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When do you give up?

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For salespeople

Resignation.

At what point in the sales process do you start to tell yourself  “It’s not gonna happen”?

It’s subtle at first.  It often starts with disappointment – maybe the buyer didn’t do something you wanted them to do.  Maybe they didn’t call you back or return an email.  Maybe they didn’t keep an appointment or cancelled without rescheduling.  Maybe they said ‘I’ll get back to you” and that didn’t occur.  That disappointment then lead to frustration and discouragement….and then you just stopped trying and took them off your list of possible sales for this month, or ever.

Whatever it was, there was a point in time that you started to think something other than YES.  And it might not have been because you got a solid NO from the buyer, but rather that the process didn’t move along as swiftly or smoothly as you wanted, expected or imagined it should.  And that resignation started to permeate all of your other opportunities as well.

The power here is not that this never has or never will happen to you.  The power here is noticing WHEN it happens and replacing resignation with another more effective action.  That may be talking to someone who doesn’t share your current perspective, or taking a walk around the building, or doing 50 jumping jacks – SOMETHING to change your state of mind before you get to neutral thinking, envision a positive outcome to the next call, and pick up the phone again and dial.  Resignation is habituated thinking that can be replaced with persistence, an amazing tool for anyone selling anything.

Now, go sell something.

Love,
Jody