Sales Management must spend 50% of their time coaching salespeople. Here's a coaching example for you.
An enormous part of developing salespeople these days is helping them to differentiate themselves from your competitors. Effectively applying a consultative sales process helps to accomplish this.
Executed correctly, the salesperson has a conversation with a decision maker that is unlike any conversation the competition has had. It uncovers the compelling reasons for spending money, changing vendors, buying a product or service and, as important, buying it from you. That creates urgency, and an incentive for a prospect to self-qualify. The end-result should be a prospect that is willing to spend more to do business with you, and a sales cycle that is not based on winning the price war.
A salesperson told me he met with a customer that had taken their business to a competitor because of price. It sounded like they were getting what they were paying for:
The salesperson accomplished enough to uncover some issues and while these aren’t compelling reasons, additional questions would lead us there. To keep the story short and get to my point, let’s assume that the salesperson did enough correctly to continue moving the opportunity forward.
The Salesperson Comes to You Having Said This to the Former Customer
“If you had access to local delivery, through a distributor, and the price was competitive, would you consider looking into this?”
Coaching – Step 1
Forget for a minute that the call to action was horrible; “Look into this” instead of “Pay a little more for my help solving this problem”.
That wasn’t the worst of it.
The horror of the salesperson’s question was that he introduced an unnecessary criterion - competitive pricing - for doing business with him.
Coaching Step 2 - What’s wrong with that?
Coaching Step 3 – What’s the Root Cause?
The salesperson was afraid to ask the customer to pay more so there are 4 potential weaknesses at play, as well as the possibility that he hadn’t remembered the correct way to ask the question.
Coaching Step 4 – Can You Role Play the Solution?
Salesperson: “How important is it to have continued availability of quality, local inventory?”
Customer: “Extremely important”.
Salesperson: “Tell me how that would affect your business.
Customer: “I’ll have control over costs and availability.”
Salesperson: “Peace of Mind?”
Salesperson: “And, in order to solve this problem, get local, as needed, quality inventory, eliminate your enormous freight costs, and restore peace of mind, are you willing to pay a little more for my help and solve this problem once and for all?”
Coaching Step 5 – Lessons Learned
I hear an awful lot of salespeople complaining that they can’t sell in their business unless they have the best price. The reality is that there are only four reasons why price becomes an issue:
What did you learn? Please feel free to leave a comment!
Dave Kurlan is a top-rated speaker, best-selling author, successful entrepreneur, and sales development industry pioneer. The founder and CEO of the Objective Management Group, the leading developer of sales assessment tools, headquartered in Westboro, Massachusetts. He is also the CEO of Kurlan & Associates, a leading salesforce development firm. He has 3 decades of experience in all facets of sales development, including consulting, training, coaching, selection, strategy, systems, processes, and metrics.
Dave is also the creator of the Membrain Baseline Selling Edition, a pre-configured Membrain with Baseline Selling built-in, including Dave's sales enablement content. This Edition will help your salespeople to make your way of selling into a competitive advantage.
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