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!




Quantity versus Quality – More on the Money Conversation

For all Sales Leaders and Specialists everywhere


Whether retail or to the trade, the Quantity versus Quality comparison remains high on the list of binary choices for the buyer to make.

For retail purchases, there is so much out there of lesser to medium grade quality – allowing the buyer to purchase more items and often items that are in stock – so it’s a tough ‘Time and Money” conversation to Quality-imagecompete with.  If you are selling high quality at retail, you need to be prepared to raise and discuss this issue as part of the selection process….and it’s always better to be the one who initiates this discussion. Someone once said: “If you bring it up first, it’s a reason. If you respond to it later, it’s an excuse.” True enough.

For trade purchases, it’s similar but a bit different in that the buyers expect to spend more for high quality. And they may purchase fewer items in order to stay within their budget and still have fine quality merchandise.  But with higher prices and higher quality comes a level of negotiation not seen at mid to lower price ranges. So again, be prepared for how to discuss the money of bigger ticket products before the buyer brings it up as an objection.

Try this: Make a list of your most common objections and concerns. Time and money will be on the list.  Create 1-3 ‘standard responses’ to those objections, so that you can bring them up first (in the ‘anticipate and avoid’ method) or so that you can manage them smoothly when they come up, rather than be surprised and then try to excuse, explain, or convince the objections away.

Or ask: “Tell me, if you had to choose between quality and quantity when purchasing, which would you choose?”  Listen to their response and ask them to tell you more about that decision.  The rest will get easier from there.

Call if you get stuck …. I LOVE these conversations!

Now, go sell something.



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An “A” Doesn’t Come Easy!

Evaluating B-A-D-A-S Questions to determine outcome – A=Ability to Buy
For home furnishings showroom sales professionals and sales leaders everywhere


This is a tough question to ask as a qualifying question. It’s not the same as ‘check or wire transfer?’ that you would ask as a closing question.   

Budget is about expectation of what it will cost.  Ability to buy is about what they are able to spend, as in cash or creditwhat-you-can-afford worthiness.  Both questions are about the money, but this one is about what they have to spend to get what they want.

So, how do you find this out as a qualifying question? I find it’s helpful to glove it with other services: “What we do here at X Gallery is……” and then itemize your services: design services, delivery and installation services, CAD services…and include financing services or terms of payment. Then ask if they would like to learn more about any of those.

At this time of year (March/April), retail customers are anticipating tax returns which may serve to fund the majority of the purchase…so they may not be able to buy until they receive their returns.  For designer end-users, this may be the same. Or it may be about access to funds or wire transfer fees. For trade showroom salespeople, it may be to understand how the designer purchases and puts deposits down (checks from clients that need to clear the account before they can purchase or if they have an ‘escrow’ account with the client from which to write deposits). In any case, it’s up to the seller to determine how they are going to finance the purchase, as it’s one of the BADAS questions that determine whether or not a sale can happen TODAY.

Or it may be a good idea to link the Budget and the Ability to Buy questions together to talk about all aspects of the money – expectation, available assets, financing, deposit amounts and timeframes, COD amounts, shipping and installation, product protection costs….all of it.

Because they believe that the sofa is worth $7500 doesn’t mean that they HAVE that to spend on the sofa.

I would love to hear how you address this. Or how you avoid it. Or how you manage it when it comes up if you haven’t brought it up. Or anything else you would like to share about this (or any of the other BADAS questions) that have helped you to determine if the buyer can buy NOW.


Now, go sell something!

Love, love, love,