Field Coaching, Part 2

Filed Under (OP Sales Training) by Don on 16-06-2009

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In the previous post we discussed some things to do prior to spending the day field coaching your sales reps.  Unlike the fellow in the image above shouting and finger pointing doesn’t accomplish anything.  Items such as listening on your part as a coach is very important.  Prior to walking through the customer/prospects door you have agreed to what your role is and laid the ground rules so each of you are on the same page.  You should have discussed the customers’ present status such as: problems or issues, current purchasing habits, needs, wants, decision makers, account stability, etc.  You should watch the body language of the rep and the customer and listen closely to their verbal exchanges for later discussion.  No matter what the outcome be willing to sacrifice the sales and let the rep leave without the order.  Even if you’re confident you could have gotten the order and saved the call there is more at stake than just the order.  The rep will resent your presence and the customer will think less of your company and your rep if you intervene.  Use your time after the call to demonstrate to the rep what ideally should take place and how to handle the issues next time.  Building self confidence in your rep is more valuable than the sale.  This strategy has a long term effect and will strengthen the relationship with your reps.

Some things I suggest you avoid, such as talking to much with the customer (being chatty) which makes your rep feel inferior.  Unless the rep asks you in the presence of the customer, never correct them in front of a customer.  Don’t offer any concessions to deal with problems unless you have been dispatched for that purpose.  Even then, let your rep save the account and you tag along for support.  You want to avoid taking sides for any reason which can turn a situation ugly quickly.  Don’t take notes, it’s rude and inconsiderate.  Don’t let your body language give away your personal discomfort if the rep is making a mess of the call.  Always make the rep and the customer the center of attention.  Don’t become distracted with looking outside and watching the television in the waiting room for the latest news blurb.  Never, ever do anything that could or would embarrass your rep.

I love to watch old movies, especially from the 1930′s and 1940′s.  People displayed a high degree of class and integrity.  They had high moral values and were not intimidated, or afraid of offending others to mention God or Jesus or their faith either at work or at play.  Things that we consider socially acceptable now were taboo then.  Women were treated with respect and men always, always demonstrated manners and proper etiquette.  Clothing was revealing enough to make you wonder, but no so to make you wonder how much.  We have strayed far from treating people with the same dignity, respect and purposely practicing good etiquette in today’s environment.  There is a time and place for everything and now is the time to be gracious, kind, polite and well mannered.  Take a moment to open the door for others, chew your food with your mouth closed and don’t talk with your mouth full, say a kind word and be complimentary toward others.  It’s the little things that bring big rewards down the road to success.  People will remember a kind word and deed longer than they will today’s special “deal”.

On the next post we’ll discuss a few things to ask yourself when evaluating your rep for the after call discussion.  Have you an interesting coaching story to tell?

The last word: “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.”– William Arthur Ward

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