Dave’s Fables: The Coach

coachAs I sat next to a self-proclaimed top revenue producer last week and listened several times to what he called his “sales spiel”, I couldn’t help but smile.

The phone now safely back in its cradle, this up-and-coming sales hotshot turned to me, looked me in the eye and said…“I am so charming – they just can’t say no – nailed it!”

My inner dialogue was ablaze with statements that more than likely would have caused him untold years of therapy so I simply replied, “Charm is one way to put it!”

Truth be told, the reason many sales and service associates, often without trying or being privy to formal sales training, seem to get more than their fair share of new revenues is because they were blessed with an above-average likeability gene…it’s in their DNA.  In essence, they can automatically adjust their tone, speed, and delivery so they are received as a familiar (often confused as trustworthy) friend to all. 

How do I know? Well, I happen to be one of these blessed souls. (Here come the clichés)…but if I knew then what I know now – Truth be told – If I had a nickel for every deal left on the table…early in my professional sales tenure…

This is what I shared with my seat mate:

“Your “spiel” is very confident and likeable my friend. It reminds me of someone very close to me.  However, from a coaching perspective, lets breakdown your performance during the last half hour. 

  • Yes, Mr. Likeable, you do a marvelous job quickly gaining trust within the first few seconds of the call?  You now know them and they know you. “Thanks dude” he replied.
  • Do you feel you were in control of these calls?  “No way! They were all over the place. I just rolled with the flow”
  • Did you effectively identify needs, wants, past history or what was really important to them? “Nah, I knew what they wanted – I do this all the time!”
  • Did you create a customized value offering specific to those needs before quoting opportunity?  “Dude you heard me on the phone… I told them exactly what it is and how it works! They love me!”
  • Did you ask for commitment and if they had said no, do you feel you have the tools to effectively manage resistance? “I just make the assumption they will say yes…you heard me…if they are hesitant, I ask them to think about it and to call me back…seems to work pretty well!”

As your coach, I want you to know that I love your energy and your likeability.  In sales that’s known as modifying your delivery. As I said earlier, the conversational use of their name and your name was very good.  Your ability to form a relationship gives you the illusion of competency.

However, this illusion (or your current actions) is only giving this company what the customer thinks they need, not what they actually may need to have a better or more profitable solution.  If you have taken time to find out exactly what they were trying to accomplish (past or future opportunities, possibly how the decision making process works and more), what do you think the outcome would have been? “Silence”

The sales process is just that…it a process. It gives structure to ensure you discover the real needs. You really are the expert.  This knowledge is invaluable when building value in our products.  Specifically how our partnership will positively affect them personally.  This is how we develop and earn loyalty!

Mr. Spiel… you have some great natural sales behaviors to be proud of and some new opportunities, don’t you agree? Let’s start this week just working on finding out more about what’s important to the caller.  We will build from there. Let’s put together a plan for your success!

And by the way…don’t call me Dude!”



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