Sales Coaching Tip – Sales Mistake 1

Sales Coaching Tip – Sales Mistake 1

A few weeks ago, my hard drive crashed. And to make matters worse, I was in the middle of my first major book launch when it happened.

I think I totally shocked Don, the “geek” selling me a solution to my computer woes. Though I love my computer and what it allows me to do, the internal workings of a computer have no interest to me. Yet, they have a great deal of interest for my husband, Tom.

As Don was diagnosing the problem and helping me decide what I was going to buy to solve my computer challenges, I was highly emotionally engaged. I wanted and needed my computer for my book launch. Because of my emotional engagement, I’m sure it seemed like I was the decision maker.

What Don did next changed the sales conversation. He switched to “geek” talk. Tom, who was standing nearby, perked up. And my engagement went down. Don, I’m sure, sensed he was losing me. He changed his approach. He moved in and spoke more directly to me in even more “geek” talk. Again, my interest dropped another notch.

Don then leaned in further and in hushed tones said the magic “geek” words, “Solid State Drive.” I went totally blank and leaned back from the counter. Yet, Tom’s super hearing picked up the magic words. I could tell Tom was sold.

I said to Don, “I don’t know what to choose. Let Tom decide.”

Don’s decision maker changed in an instant.

Don almost lost the sale because he wasn’t clear who his buyer was. And his actions actually caused the decision-maker to switch.

Are any of your team members acting like Don and loosing sales because of it?

See if these questions remind you of any of your salespeople:

  • Which of your team members have longer sales cycles than others?
  • Which of them have lower conversion ratios than their team members?
  • Which of them consistently have a much higher ratio of prospects to clients than the rest of the team?

If any of these questions describe any of your salespeople, they are most likely committing the sales mistake, not being clear who’s buying. When your salespeople don’t clearly determine who the buyer is, they slow down, and sometimes halt, their sales processes.

When you’re coaching these team members, focus on asking them sales coaching questions to help them:

  • Clarify the decision maker in their sales conversations
  • Determine who else was involved in the buying decision
  • Isolate prospects’ next steps in their buying process
  • Identify the buying criteria prospects are using for their decision

As you ask these kinds of sales coaching questions, your perpetrating team members will become more aware of what to watch and listen for in their sales conversations to gain greater clarity of who’s really buying. If Don had received that kind of sales coaching, he would have been able to sell me (actually Tom) on a solution sooner. This could have opened up more time for Don to help more clients in that day.

To help prevent your team members from forgetting why people buy, use the Chapter 2 exercise from my new book, Sell More with Sales Coaching. You can get a free copy of the exercise by going to the “Resources” section of our site.

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