Sales Coaching Tip – Help Prospects Sooner

Sales Coaching Tip – Help Prospects Buy Sooner


“Watch this. Let’s see if the salesperson gets in the way of the sale.”

My husband says this as we go into a technology shop. He’s done his research and he knows which product he wants. He has 99.9 percent of his buying decision done. He has just one question which he assures me will only take 2 minutes to get answered and then we can get on with our day.

Before I share what happens, keep in mind that it’s Saturday and the shop is packed. The salesperson has a long list of people to help.

My husband, Tom, picks his salesperson, Edward. And we wait. When we finally speak with Edward, Tom asks his one question, “I plan to buy this computer and I need it as soon as possible. How long will it take to transfer my files the new computer?”

Edward doesn’t answer Tom’s question and starts to ask questions about the specs Tom wants in a computer.

Edward got in the way of the sale and committed one of the biggest sales mistakes in today’s marketplace. He acted as if my husband had not made a buying decision and that Edward’s role was to convince Tom of the accolades of another product (based on the amount of time Tom spent researching about the computers the company offered, Tom didn’t need to do any more review of the products the shop offered).

This little sales blunder lengthened our sales conversation from what Tom expected to be 2 minutes to well over 20 minutes. And Tom decided not to buy from their shop because of how inefficient Edward was.

Salespeople often make the mistake of trying to convince prospects rather than helping them with their buying decisions. When it comes to helping your team sell better and sooner in today’s marketplace, start by helping your salespeople update their definition of selling.

This involves asking each of your team members some targeted questions and listening to their thinking so you know which knowledge gaps to fill based on their answers. You might ask questions like:

“How would you define selling?”

“What’s the goal of selling?”

“How do you start a sales conversation?”

“What’s your goal at the beginning of a sales conversation?”

“What kind of research does a prospect typically do before they speak with you?”

“What do you ask to discover what added information they need to help them with their buying decision?”

“What do you do to discover where they are in their buying decision?”

“What do you do to discover what your prospects need to make their buying decisions?”

By asking these kinds of questions of your team members, you quickly discover which of your salespeople are not integrating decision making into their sales conversations. You can then coach your salespeople to fill the gap in their interactions with prospects so they include prospects’ previous decision making (based on their research).

Who on your team is taking longer to sell than your other team members?

Which of the above questions might you use during a discussion with these team members?

What other questions could you ask to help your team members update their definition of selling so they are helping prospects with their buying decisions?

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