Techniques for Effective Sales Coaching (Part 1)

Last night, I read Carole Mahoney’s post about the ineffectiveness of sales scripts. It got me thinking and wow, is there a lot to think about. So much so, that I’ve included “Part 1” in the title because I expect a sequel.

First, let me suggest that sales scripts could be useful for new salespeople that are selling something that they haven’t sold before. It might begin to get them to understand the lingo. It might begin to get them to feel like they fit in when their prospects nod knowingly. However, I wouldn’t suggest hour long scripts or long flow charts with if/then and responses. I would suggest having a selection of one liners and an understanding of appropriate triggers or timing.
I remember my tennis coach telling me to hit the ball where they’re coming from. Now, if your opponent is not moving, this isn’t an appropriate strategy. So, even though he coached me constantly on proper positioning and placement, I still needed to recognize when to use a particular approach.
How about this? Joe considered himself a good coach. Bob was a subordinate salesman. It was funny to watch Joe debrief Bob because as soon as Bob described the situation, Joe would immediately start coaching by telling him what to say, what to ask, what to do or what he should have done. Joe was wasting his breath because Bob didn’t want the help. Coaching on real opportunities requires a pre-arranged relationship whereby Bob gives Joe permission to coach and means it. The interesting dynamic in this Bob/Joe case is that Bob was actually the better coach and Joe was the better salesman.
More to follow….
BTW, you want to feel what it’s like to be coached by me? Contact me.

One thought on “Techniques for Effective Sales Coaching (Part 1)

  1. I was talking with a chamber of commerce executive last week. We got on the subject on face to face conversations and or even phone conversations. He commented that the majority of college graduates can not have a conversation. They have become so accustomed to tech, they have no idea how to interact interpersonally. Companies are hiring for tech smarts and having to teach people smarts. So I can see how scripts might seem helpful. But it is a fine line. The ‘script’ is the guidebook, the outline to have a process and stay on track.

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