Yesterday we discussed how there are things that will often masquerade as laziness when it comes to the activity level of sales people.
Lack of Motivation
Lack of Skill
But more importantly, we discussed my Granny West 🙂Read Post
Today I want to visit with you about how to identify the difference between laziness and these three masqueraders – and how to coach someone through their struggles.
First, to distinguish between laziness and other factors – look for inconsistencies in their work history. When you interviewed them, did you call and verify their references. What did you find out about their previous work record? Did they qualify for any type of service award in their previous positions? Are they active in social, civic, or church groups which require volunteer efforts?
If you find evidence of their work ethic being perfectly fine in other environments or previous positions, then take a closer look in three key areas. Have a heart-to-heart discussion with them and ask some great questions.
Lack of Motivation
- What do you want to accomplish over the next 1-5 years in your career?
- Where do you see yourself five years from now in your personal and professional life?
- What are you willing to fight for?
Diagnosis: If they have no answers, or only vague generalities to questions of this type, there challenge may very well be a lack of motivation.
Treatment: Coach them into setting some specific goals in their career and family life. Help them to see that their success in their career directly impacts their life outside of work. Help them find their “why” – an emotional touchstone that they will see is something worth fighting for.
Lack of Skill
- What activities do you think you have mastered at this point?
- What areas do you still think you need the most work?
- What do you have on your calendar tomorrow?
Diagnosis: Some people will be honest and let you know exactly where they need to have more skill development. Others will not – often because they are embarrassed by their lack of mastery. Either way – there are many people who would rather not make calls than to make those same calls poorly.
Treatment: Drill the skill. Give them coaching and classroom education. But then observe them in live selling situations so that you may coach their skill set in action. Encourage them that making the calls is actually part of the learning process and there is no way to master the skill completely in a classroom or office setting. Zig Ziglar said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can do it well.” Their life will be much richer – as well as their bank accounts if they are willing to learn in action rather than waiting until perfection arrives in a classroom.
- How do you physically feel when you initiate contact with your prospect?
- What do you like most about the sales process?
- How do you feel about sales people in general?
Diagnosis: Fear is an emotion, so I think emotional phrases (feel, like, happy, sad, etc.) in questions help you draw the real answers out. Hesitancy about your sales process or about the selling profession are usually pretty good indicators that fear may be involved.
Treatment: Action cures fear – so get them taking action. Spend extra time with them in live selling situations or have a veteran sales person do the same. Fear seems to be less of an issue in teams of two. The only thing that will truly cure fear is acknowledging that it is a physiological response to an imagined event. Their stomach feels “funny” based on what they think is going to happen. Breathing exercises can help. But then you have to get them into action or you will lose them.
Find their motivation. Drill, coach and observe their skill sets in live selling situations. Then get them into action.
Sales leaders – sometimes time out of the field can bring back some of your fears. Do you have areas of fear in your sales process?