Sales Coaching Tip – “Here”

Sales Coaching Tip – “Here”

That was the exact and only word the salesperson used in response to my inquiry about audio recorders. He just said, “Here” and pointed. He wasn’t rude, angry or curt. His choice of words just felt very very odd.

The “here” he was referring to was a series of audio recorders on display.

Then I asked about a particular type of light and again he said, “Here” and nothing else.

Needless to say, I went elsewhere to buy the much needed devices. I wonder how his sales manager would feel about his salesperson’s speech habit of responding to questions with “here.” (I noticed that he used the same phrase with two other customers. I hung around a bit because I was curious to discover if it was just specific to me or a speech habit. His behavior confirmed that it was a speech habit.)

Like this salesperson’s choice of words, some speech habits can get in the way of the sale. With this in mind, when you listen to your team members selling, be aware of what negative speech habits they have and coach them to find more effective alternatives.

Everyone has speech habits. It can be a simple as an “ummm” or an “ah.” Or it can be as odd as “here.”

You probably recognize others’ speech habits. But we often don’t notice our own.

You can help transform your team members’ poor speech habits into more sales conducive behaviors by following a basic three step structure in your coaching:

  1. Discover their awareness of their speech habit
  2. Help them increase their awareness of their speech habit
  3. Coach them to develop alternative phrasing to their speech habit

You do each of these by asking questions during your coaching conversations. These might include some of the following:

  1. 1. I noticed you used a certain phrase several times during your conversation. Are you aware that you do that? Do you know what the phrase is?
  2. 2. I made note of each time you used the phrase. How many times do you remember saying it during the call? Do you want me to tell you the number of times I have written down? When did you remember saying first? Second? Third?
  3. 3. Instead of saying your phrase, what could you say instead? What else could you say? Would you like to brainstorm some other options together? Which phrasing do you think will work best for you?

It’s important that your coaching include alternatives for your team members to use. You want to help them find more effective words to replace their poor speech habits.

For example, the “here” salesperson might have instead said:

“You have a couple of options. Are you looking for any particular features?”

“We have several choices for you…. one with a USB built in at 4 MB, one with a USB cord to transfer files at 2 MB and another with a memory stick at 1 MB.”

“Actually we have three for you to choose from. What would interest you greater … more memory or ease of use?”

Any one of these options would have engaged me and potentially have led to me buying. And, his sales manager would have been so proud.

What are the speech habits of each of your team members?

Which team members have speech habits that get in the way of their sales?

What are you going to do to help them shift their speech habits into more sales-conducive ones?

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