As a recap from Part One, “Do I Coach
Them or Train Them?” when coaching someone,
The Gap is the space that exists between where the client or coachee is today
and where they want or need to be. It’s the void that exists between the person
and their goal. As a coach, it’s your responsibility to identify and fill in
this gap. The question is, what exactly do you use to fill in this gap – do you
coach them, train then, advise them or flat out just give them the answer?
Here’s the third installment of the
three part series. These three blogs detail how you can handle some common training
and coaching scenarios that many managers find themselves in and the most
appropriate approach to take in these situations as it relates to how you can
best support your people in a way that achieves the results you want and need.
Situation: Bob, a successful,
established and well seasoned insurance salesperson had been a long time top
producer for his company. Since the company merger, restructuring, policy
changes and compensation plan revisions, Bob needed to start generating new
clients to fill up his sales funnel again. While Bob used to spend half his
days cold calling, he hasn’t done it in a while, relying more on referrals and
the income he generated from renewal business. Yes, Bob was great on the phone
and generated a significant amount of new prospects as a result of his recent
cold calling efforts.
However, it seems that Bob was not able
to close these prospects the way he would a referral or an existing client. He
was used to people saying, “Yes” without even asking for the sale.
Objections? The only one Bob was used to hearing amongst his clientele was
whether or not they should write him a check or hand him their credit card.
Now, it seems that every time Bob met
with one of these new prospects, he was walking out with a time to follow up
with them rather than a sale. Bob wasn’t
used to hearing, “Thanks, let us think about it,” or “You’re the
first person we’ve spoken with regarding a policy,” and he was especially
not used to hearing, “Wow, that sounds awfully expensive.” While Bob
did his best to try and convince these people to buy from him, he felt his
rebuttals were falling upon deaf ears. To make matters worse, Bob forgot how to
actually ask for the sale.
The Gap: Have you noticed The Gap here?
The Gap in this situation is in Bob’s closing technique and in his attitude or
philosophy towards closing. Bob is holding on to some limiting beliefs. More
so, his tactical selling approach and natural selling acumen needs to be
polished to address the new selling situations that he has not had to face in a
Training and Coaching Solution: This is
a coaching and training issue. We’ve identified that there are some limiting
beliefs getting in his way of taking action. Specifically, salespeople don’t
overcome objections, prospects do. Rather than convince someone, which it sounds
like Bob was attempting to do, he needs to respond with questions rather than
statements so that the prospect can overcome their concern. As such, the coach
needs to use well crafted questions and a process of inquiry to explore deeper
into his perception of closing and asking for the sale. Does closing mean
dumping more information? Is he not asking for the sale for fear of rejection?
Finally, Bob needs some hands on tactical responses ready the next time he
hears these objections. The training will take care of this, providing Bob with
the dialogue and the steps to defusing objections that will turn more of his
prospects into customers.
As you’ve probably encountered yourself,
handling employee issues typically requires more of a hybrid approach to
management. That is, the utilization of all the disciplines we’ve discussed
over the last three blogs, including coaching, training and consulting.
This eclectic blend of philosophy and
strategy is what today’s leaders need to embrace when developing tomorrow’s