The challenge is that many sales managers and business owners do not ask the right type of questions that lead to productive conversations with your sales team.
What would you say is the biggest underlying fear that salespeople have about meeting with their sales manager or business owner?
Here is my candid answer: The manager/owner, armed with a sales revenue spreadsheet, demands more sales production, but offers little or no guidance in how to achieve more sales.
The manager/ owner is rich in statements about what to do, but not in how to do it.
Therefore, we begin this series of brief trainings about how to engage your bottom 1/3 salespeople in career-changing dialog about their selling challenges.
So this first question is for YOU:
Are you asking the TYPE of questions that lead to meaningful, career-changing conversations with your sales people?
To effectively mentor your sales team to increase sales revenues, you must employ many of the same persuasion strategies that your sales team uses to make a sale. The first two are:
1) Establish and maintain rapport
It is difficult for salespeople to discuss their selling challenges with a sales manager or owner they do not like or trust. (Trust and likability are the basis of rapport. This topic is extensively discussed in Chapter 6 of When Buyers Say No)
2) Ask open ended questions
If you want to encourage in-depth dialog, begin by asking open-ended questions that begin with:
In contrast, asking close-ended questions will lead to brief YES/NO answers that discourage meaningful conversation:
Are you beginning to realize that both you and your sales team are selling?
Your sales team has external customers to whom they sell products and services. You have internal customers, which include your sales team. You are selling each salesperson to
You don't close by asking each salesperson to sign an agreement and collect funds, but your selling (persuasion, influence) is just as real.
How good are your selling skills? Your sales management selling efforts are measured by your sales team's increasing or decreasing sales revenues and profit margins.
Did you catch that? Sales revenues and profit margins indicate both your sales team's selling skills and your sales mentoring skills!
In summary, if you want to...
... then remember to ask open ended questions.
Remember to remain relaxed. If you are tense, then your salesperson will also tense up.
Take a deep breath. Assume a professional and pleasant smile.
Why? Because people who are in rapport tend to trade nonverbal behaviors.
So if you have established rapport with the salesperson, they will tend to follow some of your nonverbal behaviors. If you are tense, they will often become tense and not know why.
Tense meetings are not usually filled with transparent conversation that is the foundation for a mentoring relationship.
Features the world's first complete model of persuasion that enables you to never become "lost in the sale" again. You will learn how to: