Today's blog post is by Keith Rosen, CEO of Profit Builders, a globally recognized authority on sales and leadership and the pioneer of management coach training. Keith has written several best sellers on time management, cold calling and closing the sale, including the globally acclaimed Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions, winner of Five International Best Book Awards and rated the #1 book on sales coaching.
Keith Rosen recently wrote an interesting blog post, "Coaching Questions that Work in Any Conversation." One of the points he makes is that sales managers frequently express concern that coaching takes time. In some cases, they fear that taking time to stop and coach the rep might actually endanger the deal. In other cases, managers might feel overwhelmed by management tasks in general. With all the other things on their plate, why add a laborious coaching conversation to the list?
Whatever the cause, many sales managers simply take the route of telling reps what to do rather than taking time out for a coaching conversation. The instinct to issue directives is natural, but counterproductive. In the end, taking time to coach will actually reap more positive benefits for you and your sales reps. As Rosen says:
In every conversation where something needs to be resolved, especially with your customers and direct reports, you always need to know at least three things.
1. What's going on?
2. Why is this happening? (Assess in order to uncover and identify the root cause rather than treat symptoms, which leads to repetitive conversations.)
3. How can you create a new outcome/possibility?
These three questions provide you with the bare-bone basic facts you need to understand any situation before moving into problem solving mode.
I recommend you read Rosen's expert list of coaching questions -- these can help guide you through almost any type of coaching conversation with reps so you can co-create success together.