The Baseball Experience That Continues to Generate a 28% Increases in Sales

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Feb 09, 2021 @ 19:02 PM

32 years ago, back in the winter of 1989, I experienced one of the most memorable weeks of my life.  I attended Red Sox Fantasy Camp where campers like me, all greater than 30 years old and most a LOT older than that, were treated to an incredible baseball experience. The way we were treated, what we experienced, the uniforms we wore, the schedules we kept, the baseball games we played, the coaching, the practicing, the work, the game against the former Red Sox players, and the off hours camaraderie were all supposed to mirror the life of a professional ballplayer.  The fact that we were not professional baseball players, and some weren't baseball players at all, made it even more enjoyable. Relationships were forged, unforgettable memories were made, and the week was a source for endless, hilarious stories!  And this was fifteen years before I wrote the best-selling book Baseline Selling!

My regular readers are probably thinking, "Huh - a baseball post about Dave instead of Dave's son!"

I brought up the Fantasy Camp experience because it's not all that different from what participants experience when they attend my Sales Leadership Intensive (SLI).  For example, last week I led a private SLI for a company with around a dozen sales leaders.  In their follow-up comments they used words like, "enjoyable," "challenging," "informative," "great sessions," "looking forward to more," "enjoyed tremendously," "lot to absorb," "great content," "good investment," "great examples," "great techniques to adopt," and "very valuable."  Those comments were extracted from their very first sentences and they all had trouble limiting their takeaways to just the ten I requested.

The enthusiasm for the training was not unusual because I used my own Fantasy Camp experience as the model for content creation.  I wondered, "Why can't sales and sales leadership training be just as enjoyable, stimulating, challenging and memorable as my camp experience was?"

The comments I shared were their post-training comments.  The challenge isn't whether or not they'll enjoy and benefit greatly from the training.  The challenge is getting sales leaders to attend the training!  There's a little matter of ego.  Most successful sales leaders have fairly large egos and while their egos helped spur them on to their current roles, now that they're in their current roles, their egos sometimes obstruct their ability to improve, ask for help, and bring professional training into their companies.  The voice in their head whispers thoughts like:

  • "They hired me to do this"
  • "I should be able to do this myself"
  • "I'll look weak if I bring in help"

Many sales leaders also possess a false sense of knowledge. They mistakenly believe they are already doing everything correctly, know everything there is to know about how to optimize their sales process, get salespeople to change, motivate and coach up their salespeople, hold their salespeople accountable, and grow revenue. 

Sales leaders don't always have the proper sense for how much effective training should cost, often worrying that it might be too expensive while often discounting the benefits. Those who attend our Sales Leadership Intensives report an average increase in sales of 28% after applying the strategies and tactics they learn.

As one attendee from last week wrote, "TOP 10 (11) TAKE-AWAYS (other than coaching, then more coaching, then coaching again…):"

I can't promise that you'll enjoy a Fantasy Camp experience as much as I did 32 years ago, but I can promise that if you can overcome your skepticism, ego and fear, you'll love my Sales Leadership Intensive.  I offer one public SLI each year and the next one is a three-day virtual coaching extravaganza on May 19-21.  You can learn more here and register here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Baseline Selling, sales leadership, sales management training, sales leadership training, coaching salespeople, Baseball, fantasy camp

An Easier Way to Coach Salespeople - For a While

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 30, 2019 @ 17:01 PM

 easy

One of the challenges that sales managers have is their trepidation around transitioning from very little coaching to daily coaching; and at the same time, moving from coaching light (ineffective coaching) to coaching pro (effective coaching).  Why?  They aren't masters of role-playing and role-playing is one of the primary tools to demonstrate best practices and how effective sales conversations should sound.

As I suggested to a pair of sales managers today, there is an intermediate step they can take.  You can use the following approach to coach to any selling competency but this example helps your salespeople who need to take a more consultative approach.

This is easy - you can do this.

After a salesperson completes a sales call ask, "On a zero to ten scale, with ten being a very consultative conversation and zero being a very transactional conversation, how would you rate your performance?"

They won't say zero because they're supposed to be taking a consultative approach. They won't say ten because they didn't actually take that consultative approach.  They'll respond with a number between four and six.  You're off and running! 

Next you can ask, "Why did you rate yourself a five?"  This causes them to be somewhat introspective about their conversation. "Because I didn't do everything I could have done."

Ask, "What could you have done better?"

Assuming that they answer and identify something they believe would be more consultative, you can ask why they didn't do that.  This is when you'll probably hear something about being uncomfortable and discomfort is where the real coaching takes place.  

"I was afraid to ask that because I was worried they wouldn't like me" (Needing to be Liked is a component of Sales DNA)

"I was uncomfortable asking that because it's not polite to ask about money" (Conditioning that Talking about money is not polite is a component of Sales DNA)

"I was uncomfortable pushing back because I understood their objection" (Understanding means there is a self-limiting belief - a component of Sales DNA)

"I was uncomfortable challenging their outdated thinking because I was worried about how they might respond" (worry means they were emotional - a component of Sales DNA)

In order for you to coach up your salespeople, you'll need to help them push through their discomfort and overcome weaknesses in their Sales DNA.  You should encourage them, give them permission to fail, remind them every day that it's OK if something bad happens, and when they do that which is uncomfortable, praise them and point out that they survived.  Never reprimand for doing something they were uncomfortable with when it yields a negative result.

Look at that - you're actually coaching!

As I mentioned at the outset of this article, this is an easy way to ease into coaching, but this is not a coaching best practice by any stretch.  This is not how you coach up salespeople.  This is not powerful, impactful coaching where your salespeople can't wait for more.  This is simply a starting place.

Would you like to learn how to conduct powerful, impactful, meaningful coaching of your salespeople?  Join me for my March Sales Leadership Intensive.  You can't get better training on how to be an effective sales coach.  Watch a video testimonial.  Watch another video testimonial. Watch me talking about the event from :20 to 1:22 in this video.  Register and save $100.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management training, sales leadership training, coaching salespeople

Top Kurlan Articles on Sales Coaching

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 @ 15:12 PM

There are probably topics which I've written about more often than coaching salespeople, but none that are more important or have greater impact than coaching salespeople.  I present my Top Articles on Coaching Salespeople:

Most Salespeople Are Wrong about the Concept of Being Willing to Walk

Which Salespeople are Easier to Train - Millennials or Veteran Salespeople?

Successful Movie Franchises and the 10 Keys to Impactful Sales Coaching

7 Reasons Why Salespeople Underperform and How Sales Leaders Can Coach Them Up

What Sales Managers Do That Make Them So Ineffective

Why So Many Sales Managers are So Bad

Must Read - This Email Proves How Poorly the Bottom 74% of Salespeople Perform

Sales Coaching and the Challenges of Different Types of Salespeople

Sales Performance - Stop Worrying About the Words You Say

The Real Impact of Coaching Your Salespeople, Sales Managers

College Basketball vs. the Pros & Sales Management & Selling

Actual Coaching Call - Use it to Coach Your Salespeople to Success

20 Reasons Why Sales Managers Suck at Coaching 

How Sales Managers Should Coach Their Salespeople

This is How Sales Managers Should Coach Their Salespeople

How the Landscape Quickly Changes on Your Salespeople

Improve Your Sales Force Despite Veteran Salespeople

Sales Managers Must Make Sure That This Never Happens

Is a Lost Sale Better for Salespeople Than a Win?

Developing Top Performers - How to Turn Salespeople into A-Players

Sales Coaching Lessons from the Baseball Files

The 5 Keys to Effective Sales Coaching and Results

Gaining Sales Traction is Like Talking to Kids

10 Sales Coaching Examples

Sales Strategy and Tactics - Thoughts from the Super Bowl

13 Most Important Tools for Coaching Salespeople

5 Steps to Coaching Your Salespeople Beyond Happy Ears

Hierarchy of Sales Coaching - How to Change Behavior

Sales Coaching - The Big Differentiator 

How to Find Compelling Reasons

How to Coach a Salesperson (contains real email thread)

Sales Coaching - Between the Lines

When Coaching Salespeople Isn't Coaching

Finally!  Science Reveals the Actual Impact of Sales Coaching

How to Simplify Coaching Salespeople

Successful Movie Franchises and the 10 Keys to Impactful Sales Coaching

What Percentage of Sales Managers Have the Necessary Coaching Skills?

 

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Coaching, coaching salespeople, sales management coaching, sales mentoring

Real Live Coaching Call - Coaching a Salesperson

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Sun, Feb 07, 2010 @ 20:02 PM

Clients who receive sales management coaching, training and development come to know what an effective sales coaching conversation sounds like.  You may not be privy to that so you might find last week's episode of Meet the Sales Experts helpful.

Chris Mott was my guest and he coached a live caller for about 30 minutes.  Listen to the show for a better sense of what every coaching conversation should sound like.  The following email was received from the live caller the day after the scheduled sales call:

"I did as you and Chris suggested...In the end, he suggested his PL department start quoting [us] more broadly to see how we perform, that he would reach out to one of the VPs to coordinate a meeting where I would introduce [our] products to
his producers, and also that I profile a book of his business.  It didn't
come easy, but it did come, at 'his suggestion'...Thanks so much for the
coaching."

I've written several articles on coaching salespeople and one includes an actual email thread.  You can read them below:

5 Steps to Coaching Your Salespeople Beyond Happy Ears

When Coaching Salespeople Isn't Coaching

Coaching - 1st of the 10 Kurlan Sales Management Competencies

Sales Coaching - The Big Differeniator

How to Coach a Salesperson (contains real email thread)

Hierarchy of Sales Coaching - How to Change Behavior

Sales Coaching - Between the Lines 

10 Sales Coaching Examples

Sales Strategy and Tactics - Thoughts from the Super Bowl

Great Coaching Advice from Football's Greatest

Penn State Football Coach Just Like Dysfunctional Sales Management

 

Click here to listen to the show.  Click here to contact Chris.

If you listened to the show, what did you learn that will help you?

(c) Copyright 2010 Dave Kurlan

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Coaching, chris mott, coaching salespeople

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for nine consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave

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