The Problem With “Sales Coaches”

by Paul Castain on May 11, 2015

Is that that that way too many people who have no business coaching others.

Sadly, most people don’t realize they hired the wrong coach until after they’ve signed a contract and sunk mucho dollars into their program.

So I thought I’d share a few tips on how to select someone who can truly help you get to that next level.

Oh, and as a bonus, I created a really cool, FREE eBook to help you find your very own “Mr Miyagi”!

Experience

How many years have they been a sales professional?

I don’t think that every sales coach needs a kazillion years of experience to be an effective coach, but I do want to warn you that there are some people out there with little to no actual sales experience. Check out their LinkedIn profile and see for yourself how much selling experience they have. They’re not on LinkedIn? I would consider that a major “Red Flag”. Kind of hard for someone to teach you modern selling methods when they’re stuck in 1998, huh?

What was their track record as a sales rep?

Although I’ve always been a Top 20 performer, I don’t think you have to be the top dog in order to coach others to do it but I do believe you need to know a thing or two about performing consistently.

What is their level of experience in the areas where you wish to improve?

When I say “level of experience” I don’t mean just coaching others, or I read an article about this once . . . I mean actual, hands on, “I did this and/or are doing this myself” type of experience.

Are they still involved in actual selling?

The business world is moving at the speed of light these days. What was relevant, appropriate and spot on a few years ago, might be outdated and antiquated today.

If you want sales coaching that is up to date and relevant . . . you’ll want to hire someone who is still actively in the trenches!

What products or services have they sold?

While good sales skills can apply to numerous industries, it’s important that this component aligns with what you wish to accomplish.

For example: If you’re selling a big ticket item, with a lengthy sales cycle, a sales coach who was involved in transactional type sales probably won’t be a good fit.

What types of things challenged them as a sales professional?

I don’t care how good someone claims to be, there has to be something, at some point, that challenged them.

Since part of your time with this coach will be spent discussing your challenges, wouldn’t it be interesting to see how they handled their own sales challenges?

As a bonus, it might be refreshing to know that they’re human enough to have struggled!

In what ways do they dedicate themselves to continued and never ending improvement?

I think its not only important that a coach is dedicated to continually improving, I think it’s the best way to lead by (or perhaps even coach by) example.

Bonus points if they believe enough in the coaching mindset that they have their own coach!

What prompted them to become a coach?

If you ever want to know how passionate someone is about their livelihood, ask them point blank what made them decide to do what they do.

General Sales Philosophy

It’s critical that your philosophies align with those of your coach’s or you will quickly find yourself in a situation where you aren’t being true to yourself.

There are actually people out there coaching philosophies such as “buyers are liars” or approaches that are over the top aggressive . . . run away, very fast dude!

Additionally, you’ll need to know where they stand on traditional selling methods vs. the newer “Social Selling” methodologies.

Let me put this another way; there are some who feel the cold call is dead and believe generating business through Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc is the way to go while there are others who believe in “smiling and dialing”.

It’s my humble opinion that all these cool things can live quite nicely together and that it should never be an “either or” choice!

Note: Make every effort to ensure that your potential coach is “living” their sales philosophies and not just talking about them.

Coaching Program

How long is each session?

How many times per month do we have sessions?

Do they offer before or after hours scheduling options?

What does a typical session look like?

Important: There are some coaches who believe in leading you on a path of self discovery by asking you questions and offering zero guidance. You need to decide if that’s good enough or if you would prefer someone who will offer you some gems of wisdom as well!

Are there action items and is there accountability?

No coaching session is complete without getting “the action verbs going” otherwise you have no opportunity to try your new distinctions on for size!

What happens between sessions and are you available to me during this time should I have questions?

Let’s face it, sometimes things come up that are too pressing to wait for the next session. Will your coach be available or are they only available when the meter is running?

Fees?

This may sound like an obvious question to ask, but there are many coaches who don’t charge per session, they charge you upfront for the entire program.

Contracts?

Do you need to sign a contract and if so, how do you call it a day for any reason, at any time?

So there you have it, several tips to help you select the sales coach that’s right for you.

Would you like a FREE copy of my eBook How To Hire Your Next Sales Coach?

Get My Free How To Hire A Sales Coach eBook

 

I help sales reps, sales leaders and business owners sell more! For more information, click HERE

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stand_out1

What I’m about to share with you ISN’T an innovative “I’ve never heard that before” sales tip but;

Whether you’re hearing something for the first time or you’ve heard something a million times and you’re NOT doing it, then it really doesn’t matter, right?

With that in mind, here goes . . .

Whether you have alerts set up for potential clients or you still manually search potential clients one at a time watch for “icebreakers” Note: You obviously need to watch for other things too but today, we’re focusing on “icebreakers”.

An “icebreaker” is anything you can use to warm up an interaction, start a conversation and on a much grander scheme, STAND OUT!

Examples

Someone who was just promoted

Someone who just joined a company

Expansion

A New Contract Won

Work Anniversaries

Birthdays

Product Launches

A Cool Write Up About Your Prospect or Their Company

Once you find the “icebreaker” do the following . . .

1) Send them a card (I use a branded “blank card”. If you’d like for me to send you one, email your mailing address to me and I’ll mail you one paul@yoursalesplaybook.com ) Make sure you include a handwritten note and don’t you dare use this as an excuse to include a “SALESY” message.

2) Schedule your next two touches in your CRM. Not being a wise ass but this requires a little bit of thinking, thinking that most of us fail to do when we just react to the alert without premeditating the “touch”

Let me give you an actual example of how I mapped my communication with a potential client.

I’m reading an industry publication and I see that Mary Jones is now the new VP of Sales at ABC Widgets

Here’s what I mapped.

Touch 1  Send one of my blank cards with a handwritten congratulatory note.

Touch 2 (1-2 days) after she received the note, I send an email congratulating her again and mentioning that I will be calling her in the next few days as I have a few things for her (no strings attached) that I’m confident she will find useful. I offer some scheduling options.

Note: This one comes with an “If/Then” clause meaning If Mary responds, then I simply execute my the phone call I’ve planned. If she doesn’t then I go to a different 3rd touch.

In this case, Mary responded with a really cool “Thank you for that card Paul and I’d be happy to chat with you”

As we all know, many times, it WON’T play out this way and that’s when we create a map for our next 3 “touches” with an all caps NOTE TO SELF to change up the types of “touches”.

Here’s The Long Winded Point

The handwritten card serves as a major part of this “Communication Map” My guess, is that counting my handwritten card, Mary received only one of these!

At the very least, I’ve become memorable enough to avoided the dreaded “Paul who?” when I pick up the phone to introduce myself.

How To Initiate 500 Of These Without Really Trying

Send out two of these cards, each day. It doesn’t take long and you can write them out before or after hours, in your hotel room or on your next flight.

Do this and inside of a week, you’ll have set yourself apart with 10 potential clients.

Inside of a month, you’ll have expanded your reach to 40 potential clients.

At the end of a year, 500.

You’re welcome!

I help sales reps, sales leaders and business owners sell more! To learn how, click HERE or click on the handy/dandy banner below! We should be working together!

castainbanner2

 

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Have You Given Yourself A Stay Of Execution?

by Paul Castain on May 6, 2015

stay of execution

Over the last 16 years I have conducted a bit of an informal survey with approximately 10,000 sales and sales leadership professionals who have been through my training program.

I ask “What are the qualities of a rock star?” Now, I might tweak the question a bit depending on the crowd. For example “What are the qualities of a rock star leader?” “What are the qualities of a rock star entrepreneur?” and my favorite “What are the qualities of a rock star sales rep?”

One quality I hear time and time again is “They execute!”

Then I hit them with the not so cool follow up question “How do you rate yourself with regard to that quality?”

Needless to say the answers aren’t so promising and quite frankly, most of us have either been there, done that, will be there or are kidding ourselves into thinking we haven’t given ourselves a “Stay of Execution”.

To that end, here are a few thoughts to help you Execute!

1)    Beware of the Knowledge Trap: This is a training industry phrase that describes a very common condition. The “Knowledge Trap” occurs when you fill your head with all kinds of data such as books, internet research, podcasts etc and then you do nothing with it. You have basically confused knowledge with execution.  Now I must warn you that the “Knowledge Trap” has an evil cousin.

2)    The “Sales 101” Trap: This can reach epidemic proportions amongst aspiring rock stars. It happens when you dismiss something as “Sales 101” or basic and meanwhile, you don’t do the very thing you dismissed. Remedy: The Sales 101 Gut Check: Ask yourself “Is this Sales 101 and I do this or is it Sales 101 and I need to Execute?” For improved results tell your ego to go wait in the car!

3)    You’re Probably Scared! According to a study conducted by Dr Piers Steel on procrastination, fear is at the core of our need to keep putting something off. Remedy: Ask yourself “Why do I keep putting this off?” “What is it about this task that scares me?” Just make sure you ego is still in the car.

4)    Action Verbs Dude, Action Verbs!I worked for someone who never let us leave a meeting without saying “Alright, let’s get the action verbs going folks” This was our cue toEXECUTE! Note: I have attended some incredible brain storming sessions where there were no shortage of cool ideas. Some of those meetings ended with no action or accountability and now the world will never know what would have happened if we embraced our action verbs!

Note: Tony Robbins always says (and I’m paraphrasing) “Don’t ever leave the scene of a decision without taking immediate action towards its realization”

5)    You Gotta Respect Yourself Baby! Why is it that we allow others to get on our schedule but we fail to schedule the things that are most important to us? You must get your action on a calendar (as in a day and time) or it won’t happen. So if I need to execute in the prospecting department, it needs to get on the calendar. If I want to exercise more, it goes on the calendar. Bonus points if you guard these action items with your life! Otherwise, you might be guilty of a Stay of Execution my friend!

6)    Consider An Accountability Partner: How about a weekly or bi weekly call to an accountability partner where you review the agreed upon action? Tip: No stays of execution allowed!

So here’s the short version:

Stop talking about it and Do It!

Stop reading about it and Do It!

Stop telling people you know it and ACTUALLY Do It!

Stop preparing to prepare and Do It!

Stop being scared and Do It (it aint so bad)

To your success!

CastainBanner - Copy (2)I help sales reps, sales leaders and business owners sell more! To learn how, click HERE!

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Tomorrow, We’ll Hunt Differently!

by Paul Castain on May 5, 2015

hunt differently jan 15

And it’s a good thing too because most people hunt for business ineffectively!

They cling too much to the phone and fail to complement it with other forms of outreach.

There are several things wrong with this approach

1) People aren’t answering their phones as much these days so you limit your results!

2) Everyone has their preferred venue for communication. By clinging to the phone, you limit your results to only those prospects who favor a phone call. And did I mention people aren’t answering their phones as much?

3) If all you’re doing is calling a potential client, you become predictable and in many cases boring. As a result, you condition them to conveniently let your call go to voicemail where you’ll be promptly deleted upon hearing your name.

4) Quite selfishly, we’re not wired to do just one thing as sales professionals. Changing up your outreach keeps it interesting for you which (and feel free to say “duh”) keeps you actively prospecting. Said another way

Perhaps you’re not prospecting as much because you’re sick of having a phone glued to your ear!

And don’t kid yourself into thinking that you’re changing it up simply because you’re also sending emails.

Those are two of the noisiest channels and chances are, you’re message is getting overpowered by the numerous other messages.

Oh and making more phone calls and sending more emails doesn’t serve as much of strategy!

Tomorrow, We’re Going To Hunt Differently!

There’s a whole other world of outreach available to you and it’s time for you to utilize EVERY tool at your disposal!

This is going to mean learning how to use things like LinkedIn, Twitter and the various social networks.

It means sending things through the mail and FedEx!

It means using your creativity to capture your prospect’s attention.

It means learning how to generate more referrals. You do have a referral generating strategy, right?

It means utilizing traditional networking!

It means learning how to REALLY send an email that captures a buyer’s attention.

And it means utilizing the phone as part of an overall communication plan and NOT as a stand alone type of “touch” that many of you are limiting yourself with!

Here’s the plan . . .

In Session 1, we’re going to explore 10 ideas to help you hunt for business differently. I promise that in this session alone, there will be several ideas that will make you think differently about your hunting practices!

In Session 2, we’ll discuss how you can master this thing we call “email”! I have tips that will help you with your subject lines, overall message, how to improve your response rates and a few tactics that will forever change the way you approach emails going forward!

In Session 3, I’m  going to show you exactly how I use “snail mail” (and FedEx too) to stand out and get mucho responses in the process! And no, we’re not talking about massive direct mail campaigns here gang. We’re talking about simple, inexpensive things you can do on your own without that pesky marketing department getting involved.

In Session 4, we need to have a serious heart to heart on how we can marry social networking into your overall sales efforts. I’m going to show you how to listen for important “clues”, how you can stand out and how you can transition your relationships off your computer screen without the conversation “getting weird”!

In Session 5, I’m going to show you how you can use traditional networking to create some pretty powerful relationships. I’ll share some common mistakes (and how you can avoid them) and I’ll even show you how you can jump start conversations and gracefully end the ones that are going nowhere fast!

In Session 6 we’re going to cannonball into the money pool you can create by learning how to get more referrals from your existing business. I’ll show you a system I use that can double and triple the amount of referrals you’re getting. We’ll talk about when to ask for referrals and how to condition your clients to keep giving you more in the future!

In Session 7 We’re going to talk about how you can use creativity to stand out and capture the attention of your prospects. I’ll share numerous real-life examples of what sales reps are using in the field as well as a technique you can (and really should) use with your top prospects!

In Session 8 I’m going to show you how you can work the phone into this entire process and as a bonus, warm up the “cold calls” quite a bit!

In Session 9 you’ll learn 2 absolutely lethal techniques called “mixing” and “mapping” and how you align all of the various “touches” into an effective communication plan.

Between sessions you’ll get a recap of the session.

The recording from the session (slides and all)

Worksheets

When?

We kick off this Wednesday, May 6th at 11:30 am EST.

Time out! Don’t forget that we deliver it live and then share the recording within 48 hours. Go at your own pace!

Where?

On your computer screen! Join us from your favorite chair!

How Much?

$695

Would You Like To Buy Now Pay Later?

 

You might be able to finance this purchase through PayPal!

Here’s how!

  • Check out with PayPal and then choose PayPal Credit.
  • Answer 2 quick questions and accept the terms.
  • You’ll know within seconds if you are approved.
  • Look for your PayPal Credit statement notification via email.

And yes, I discount for 2 or more. Email me for special pricing paul@yoursalesplaybook.com or if you’d like to discuss how I can customize this program for your team!

Register May 2015 Program

 

You don’t have to have a PayPal account to pay with PayPal. Simply select “Pay with a debit or credit card or Bill Me Later” after hitting the “Buy Now” button!

Having Difficulty Registering?

Please email me paul@yoursalesplaybook.com

I look forward to serving as your personal sales coach in the months ahead!

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You’re Going To “Get Fired” This Wednesday

by Paul Castain on May 4, 2015

I’d really like for you to mentally fire yourself for a moment (don’t worry you can rehire yourself in a minute at your old salary).

Now rehire yourself as that decision maker that you’ve been trying to do business with!

What does the world look like through their eyes?

Do you think they make and receive a bunch of phone calls?

Is it safe to say they get a bunch of voicemails?

I bet there are lots of things going on with their internal customers?

How about interruptions that keep them from concentrating on the task at hand?

Wendy Cole from Time Magazine states that we are interrupted 7 times per hour and New York City research group BASEX reports that we lose 2.1 hours per day to office interruptions.

But wait, there’s still more we can pile on…

According to FastCompany Magazine, the average person is exposed to over 3,000 advertising messages per day.

And now the really fun part . . .

All these wonderful things mean that it’s never been easier for them to;

Forget About YOU!

This Wednesday, May 6th, we have a new online program designed to  to help you;

Get noticed and . . .

Expedite your sales cycle!

Here’s the plan . . .

In Session 1, we’re going to explore 10 ideas to help you hunt for business differently. I promise that in this session alone, there will be several ideas that will make you think differently about your hunting practices!

In Session 2, we’ll discuss how you can master this thing we call “email”! I have tips that will help you with your subject lines, overall message, how to improve your response rates and a few tactics that will forever change the way you approach emails going forward!

In Session 3, I’m  going to show you exactly how I use “snail mail” (and FedEx too) to stand out and get mucho responses in the process! And no, we’re not talking about massive direct mail campaigns here gang. We’re talking about simple, inexpensive things you can do on your own without that pesky marketing department getting involved.

In Session 4, we need to have a serious heart to heart on how we can marry social networking into your overall sales efforts. I’m going to show you how to listen for important “clues”, how you can stand out and how you can transition your relationships off your computer screen without the conversation “getting weird”!

In Session 5, I’m going to show you how you can use traditional networking to create some pretty powerful relationships. I’ll share some common mistakes (and how you can avoid them) and I’ll even show you how you can jump start conversations and gracefully end the ones that are going nowhere fast!

In Session 6 we’re going to cannonball into the money pool you can create by learning how to get more referrals from your existing business. I’ll show you a system I use that can double and triple the amount of referrals you’re getting. We’ll talk about when to ask for referrals and how to condition your clients to keep giving you more in the future!

In Session 7 We’re going to talk about how you can use creativity to stand out and capture the attention of your prospects. I’ll share numerous real-life examples of what sales reps are using in the field as well as a technique you can (and really should) use with your top prospects!

In Session 8 I’m going to show you how you can work the phone into this entire process and as a bonus, warm up the “cold calls” quite a bit!

In Session 9 you’ll learn 2 absolutely lethal techniques called “mixing” and “mapping” and how you align all of the various “touches” into an effective communication plan.

Between sessions you’ll get a recap of the session.

The recording from the session (slides and all)

Worksheets  CastainBanner - Copy (2)

When?

We kick off this Wednesday, May 6th, at 11:30 am EST.

Time out! Don’t forget that we deliver it live and then share the recording within 48 hours. Go at your own pace!

Where?

On your computer screen! Join us from your favorite chair!

How Much?

$695

Running Tight On Money?

You might be able to finance this purchase through PayPal!

Here’s how!

  • Check out with PayPal and then choose PayPal Credit.
  • Answer 2 quick questions and accept the terms.
  • You’ll know within seconds if you are approved.
  • Look for your PayPal Credit statement notification via email.

And yes, I discount for 2 or more. Email me for special pricing paul@yoursalesplaybook.com or if you’d like to discuss how I can customize this program for your team!

You don’t have to have a PayPal account to pay with PayPal. Simply select “Pay with a debit or credit card or Bill Me Later” after hitting the “Buy Now” button!

 

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