“You need to build trust by making strong recommendations” – Garin Hess in today’s Tip 931
How to coach effectively?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Garin Hess. Garin is the founder and CEO of Consensus, an intelligent demo automation software. Consensus helps sales engineering teams use interactive video demos to scale productivity by reducing wasted time doing repetitive unqualified demos so they can do more of what they do best: solution consulting. Here he is:
Garin Hess: Hi everybody. So core to the buyer enablement framework called Deep Sea. The Deep Sea Framework to enable your buyers to more effectively make purchases and make them more quickly is coaching your champion. So the framework is basically discover, engage, equip, personalize and coach. And throughout the entire process, you are coaching the buyer because you know the process, the buying process way better than your buyer does. Counter to what you might think, you need to own the buying process. And strangely enough, your buyer owns the selling.
Why? Because they have to go and sell to all the other stakeholders that get involved. Recent research from Gartner says that there were up to 13 to 14 buyers in IT purchases, for example. That’s a lot of stakeholders that have to get involved. And the buyers probably don’t even realize what personas they are and when they need to get engaged and so on. But as the buying coach, you do because you’ve led them many buyers to this process before.
So my tip today is about how to coach effectively. So a little framework for coaching that I like to use, which is recommend, commit and then facilitate. So too often sales reps or sales engineers. And they’ll make a recommendation, but they don’t do the commitment. They’ll say, “Hey, I really think that it would be helpful if you did X, Y or Z.” And even worse, actually, sometimes you hear the sales rep say, “Mr. Buyer or Mrs. Buyer, what do you think is the next best step? Where do you want to go next with this?” Well, the buyer has no idea. So you’re the leader. You’re the coach. If you want to take an analogy to basketball, you’re the coach on the sidelines. You can’t make any baskets, but your buyer is the point guard. Or maybe you think of them as a team captain. In a case the all the other stakeholders on their team. You’ve got to help them know how to lead that team to make the baskets to win.
So in the case of B2B buying, it is coaching your champion to sell effectively to all the other stakeholders. And the way that you do this is you recommend and then you commit and then you facilitate.
So what is recommending look like?
So here are some key phrases. In my experience, working with other companies, trying to solve this challenge. I found such and such. I strongly recommend such and such. As we’ve worked with other firms going through this purchasing process we’ve seen X for that reason. Here’s what I’d like to propose. Too many salespeople are passive and don’t make strong recommendations. Buyers want leadership. They want to be led. They don’t know what they’re doing. And at the core of this buying process, they’re afraid they’re going to fail. You need to build trust by making strong recommendations and then you want to commit them. So how do you commit?
Some of my favorite ways to commit are simply saying, will you do X? Would you be willing to do? That’s probably my favorite one, because it feels a little bit more gentle but is still direct. Would you be willing to take this collateral to your boss? Would you be willing to take this special deck I’ve put together and share it with your boss? Would you be willing to take this interactive video demo and share it with your peers or your counterparts in marketing or sales or wherever it might be, wherever you’re these other stakeholders reside?
One little side note is, how do you know if you have a good champion? Well, if you recommend and invite them to commit and they do commit well and they don’t follow through, you don’t have a good champion. And I could give a separate tip on that. But I think these are some really excellent ways to invite your champion to do those things will actually get traction in the purchasing process. Remember, your role as a buying coach, as a buyer enablement coach is to remove the friction or add the grease, you might say, to the track that you’re buyers’ on to help them move along faster through their tasks. If you do that, everything is going to be easier.
A couple of other things to mention are what do you do when the buyer doesn’t commit? So let’s say you say, would you be willing to do this, take this next step? And they said, “I don’t think so.” Or they hesitate. Well, then you want to ask additional questions. Could you tell me more about that? What would it take to be able to get that done? Why don’t you think that’s the most effective course of action right now? Right. I think this is the moment of truth when you’re asking the buyer to do something, because if they’re willing to do it, you’re going to get traction. If they’re not, then you get more information. Either way, it’s a win.
So remember to recommend, commit, invite them to commit, and then you need to facilitate helping them do it. And if they’re not willing to, then you try to resolve their concerns by asking all these extra questions to understand what’s really going on. And it helps you get to the bottom of things.
Once you’ve done that, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!