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Monday, 31 October 2011

The true secrets of Sales Coaching for Success


Traditionally Pre-call Questions:

"What are your goals for the call,"
"Do you have stretch goals,"
"What is the worst thing that might happen in the call, how do you plan to handle it?"
"What's the value the customer will get from this call?"


After the call, your Sales Manager might ask:

"Did you accomplish all your objectives,"
"Is there anything more that you might have accomplished,"
"Is there anything you would do differently?"

call-to-action EUN figure

Many of us were coached this way, therefore some of us Coach others this way too. There is not a lot of empirical evidence to support any style of Sales Coaching. So, we have no rules, no right way or wrong way, just the ways we know of, or the ways we experienced as Salespeople.


Let me ask you a question:

Would you use the same methods to Coach Children to read and write,
as your School Teacher used to Coach you?”


I have been blest by having been coached in Golf by three of Golf’s Top Coaches,
David Leadbetter, Butch Harman and Dave Pelz.
Each Coach in their own way is unique and very special.

Dave Pelz

is Golf’s “Scientist” he has produced more empirical evidence on the behaviour of the Golf Ball on the Putting Surface and in the air than anybody! His expertise in the short game is encyclopaedic. He “Demonstrates”, using a perfect Putting Machine called “Perfy” which can repeat the same perfect putt as often as you like!

Butch Harman

is, along with Tom Watson, just one of Golf’s Gentlemen, great company and you could listen to their discourse on the Great Game forever. Butch’s approach is “feel “and “shot making”, you will use clubs in new ways and play great shots as never before. His success in Golf Coaching is unsurpassed.

David Leadbetter

is a golfing phenomenon, he is sometimes called “The Swing Mechanic”, but if that makes you think of the guy who services your car, DON’T. Think of the “mechanic” who tunes the Ferraris to racing perfection before a F1 Gran Prix.
The DL Golf Academy’s proud boast is that they can help ANYONE to play better golf.

Three completely different approaches, three different styles YET they all coach the SAME WAY.

The True Secrets of Coaching are:

Analyse, Demonstrate, Prompt, Release, Four Stages,
repeated over and over until the Golfer Learns and Improves.


They ask you to show them how you currently play the shot,
you show them maybe three of four times.
They see your “problem”.



They “Demonstrate” the right way, to play the shot.
Then YOU attempt to make changes while they give you “Prompts”,
little changes to increase the chances of a good shot.

Then when you have reached a reasonable level,
they “Release” you to practice on the range or apply it on the course.

Before you leave they set expectations of “good performance”
so that you can analyse for yourself in the future.




Is there empirical evidence that this works, you bet!

I unhesitatingly recommend all three Golf Coaches.

For about fifteen years now I have used the same Analyse, Demonstrate, Prompt, and then Release approach to both Sales Skills Coaching and to Sales Strategy Coaching, with empirical success.

What Golf Coaches don’t do is:

Pre-Shot Questions:
"What are your goals for this golf shot,"
"Do you have stretch goals, for the shot"
"What is the worst thing that might happen in the shot, how do you plan to handle it?"
"What's the value your game will get from this shot?"

Nor do they ask you post shot:
”Did you accomplish all your objectives,"
"Is there anything more that you might have accomplished,"
"Is there anything you would do differently?"

They already knew the answers to all these questions,
and they want to change your behaviour using a simple process Analyse, Demonstrate, Prompt and then Release.

Sales Coaching for Skills are best done with a Customer Visit, and then three more visits.
More on:

Coaching for Sales Strategy is best done in the office, or on SKYPE, NOT the Customer’s Office

Coaching 2

Is there empirical evidence that this works,  you bet!


Being a Sales Coach is great fun,

it’s really rewarding and it brings great results.


But, Coaching demands we learn
how to Coach effectively,

and that WE should be “coached” in Coaching.

But, like Golf, Coaching, after you learn how ‘to play well’ it’s a lifelong friend.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Advanced Selling Skills in 30 minutes, the long version.


How long does it take to learn Advanced Selling?

Recently, I was asked what could be done in 30 minutes?



A One Minute Message:
Advanced Selling Skills are competences
which only the top 5% of sales people have.

The 3 Minute Message:
Advanced Selling Skills which are held by less than 5% of Sales people are Interactive Skills ,
composed of 20 Verbal Behaviours.
Interactively Competent Salespeople, Practitioners of Advanced Selling Skills, know the Behavioural Effect of the 20 different Verbal Behaviours.
They are able to use Behavioural Modification (BMod.), on themselves in order to increase significantly successful outcomes in interactions with Prospects and Customers.




The 9 Minute message

include details of the 20 Verbal Behaviours, how B. Mod changes other people’s verbal behaviour,
e.g. How to double the chances of a Prospect agreeing to your offer.
It is supported by 9 slides using Beyond Bullet points to tell the Story.

The 27 minute message

gives examples of Gaining Agreement, avoiding Disagreement and Managing Successful Interactions.
It identifies 5 “deadly” behaviours and 3 “Golden Behaviours”
It is supported by 25 slides (Beyond Bullet points) to tell the story.

The 40 minute Presentation

“Why Advanced Selling Skills?” is an interactive version of all 4 of the above Messages,
it has a reduced Pack of 14 slides, requires two flip charts and a 3M post-it pad and a medium point Felt tip for each person.


If YOU still want to do ‘something’ in 30 minutes then.
I suggest that YOU:

Spend the 30 minutes “interactively” establishing (by them) how important it is to have Advanced Selling Skills.  You can do this by asking THEM to list the implications of NOT having Advanced Selling Skills and the Value of having better Selling Skills than 95% of their Competitors.

If your Salespeople have written long lists in both columns,
then run a 2 hour Interactive session with "Desert Survival" from the Copyright holder Human Synergistics, Inc.
(Don’t use a plagiarised copy, it is probably wrong anyway!)

While the Delegates solve the Survival Problem in groups of up to 8,
YOU use Behavioural Analysis (Observation and Categorisation) to identify the Behaviours they currently use (pretty basic).

You then present a Benchmark Model Behavioural Analysis of Advanced Sales Behaviours, together with the EVIDENCE that previous delegates, with Advanced Selling Skills achieved substantially better results at the exercise, than they did. My, BMAC Consultants, Behavioural Bench mark has n=1500 approx., but the copyright holders have a substantially larger one, for all kinds of people.


so use them!


The real answer is;
Advanced Selling Skills is a 3 day learning event,
it takes 3-9 months of coaching to “internalise” the skills and
about 2 years for the Salesperson to be a “Confident Practitioner”.



Imagine, your Cardiologist telling you,
just before he carries out the by-pass,

“I learned this off of a 30 minute YouTube video”


…good luck!



Send me a request for the 5 “deadly” behaviours and 3 “Golden Behaviours” to

Or, ask me to send you a copy of the 1, 3, 27 or 40 minute messages.



Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A Major Problem in Selling has been identified

A major problem in Selling has been identified by the CSO 2011 Sales Training /Sales Effectiveness key trends Survey.

It is the following simple statistic:
65% of Sales Managers are actively involved in Sales Training delivery and development and 35% of the Sales Managers act as Sales Training Instructors!

Let me use a simple metaphor:
driving lessonWhat would happen to the standard of driving if 65% of parents were actively involved in the development and 35% in the delivery of driving instruction?
Further if there was no driving test to measure Competence, Driving Skill, traffic awareness, decision making and attitudes to other road users.... then I guess we would never know the impact!

I carried out an Assessment of 350 Sales people at Big Telco, to measure their Product Knowledge and Selling Skills.  We did this first by testing their product/market Knowledge, and then their Selling Skills in Sales Simulation. Before the assessment we asked their Sales Managers to “rate” their own sales people. Previously, the Sales Managers had actively taken part in the development and delivery of the Sales Training.

The Sales Mangers gave 90% of their Salespeople a pass mark. 315 passes, and 35 Fails.

After external assessment,
185 of the Salespeople FAILED to pass the Assessment (their “Driving” Test).

The Sales Managers had a 500% error in Assessment of their own people .

7 of the 35 “failures” rated by their sales managers passed the external assessment,
and 150+ who had been passed by their Sales Managers “failed” the test and/or the simulation.

30% of the Sales Managers themselves failed the Assessment first time and 10% STILL FAILED THE RE-SITS 6 WEEKS LATER.  125 ‘failed’ Salespeople passed their re-sits 6 weeks later after receiving external Sales Training (not mine!) and on-demand Product training.
They also received some coaching from some Sales Managers.

My conclusion is the skill set for a Sales Trainer is a lot more than PowerPoint Operator.


Sales Trainer skills include Validated Selling Skills and Adult Trainer Skills including training needs analysis, diagnostics, training delivery and training evaluation.


Realistically, how many Sales Managers have both
Current Selling Skills and Adult Training Skills?teacher

The truthful answer is very few.


The “Sales Skills” that Sales Managers do have are being used less and less, may be out of date and in many cases are dysfunctional (ABC, Objection Handling, Steps of the Sale etc.)

Adult Trainer Skills include, as well as subject matter knowledge, adult training techniques.
An understanding of Learner Motivation,
both how to generate it and how to maintain it. 
This is the minimum for the Sales Trainer’s Tool kit


CEO’s, VP’s Sales and CMO’s have to ask themselves two hard question:
“Is it worth saving a little money to do a poor job of Sales Training ?”
and “Can just ‘anybody’ really do Sales Training?”