Learn how to redirect a call that's bombing without taking over the call.
- We've all been there, it's a sales coaching nightmare. You're in a sales call, with your rep, and the call is going south. You can feel it, but what's worse, your rep does not have a clue. You find yourself wondering, should I apologize, should I intervene. It's tempting, especially if it's a big deal. You want to jump in and save the call, but that's not the best first action. Here's what you should do first. You want to give your rep a chance to collect their thoughts.
So rather than jumping in to try and save the call, intervene in a way that gives your sales person a breather. Let's look at a typical scenario. Elizabeth, the sales rep, is rambling on and on about endless features. The customer is starting to check out. How can I, as her sales coach, interject and save this? - So that part of this is going to really effect you. So I want to get into the second product and there's 15 new features, so I think what'll be important is we go one by one, just so you get all the details.
- Wow, 15, huh. That's quite a lot. - You know, it really is a lot, so you know what I think might be more valuable is if we just look at number two. - I'd love that, let's do that. - Yeah, ya know, based on what I know about your organization, I think that of all the changes you've got coming up, I think this second point here is probably going to have the biggest impact on your people. - Fantastic. - Yeah, that's what we should really focus on. - Okay, great, yeah, thanks. - So what do you take a away from that scenario? Well, the call was probably saved. As the manager, I'd probably have really good information to share with the customer.
But, Elizabeth's self esteem is going to be really low after that call. What's worse, it eroded her relationship with the customer. Let's look at this a little bit differently. What happens when, as a sales coach, I pick and choose my words a little more carefully and I intervene in such a way that enables her to be more successful? - So that's the part that's really important in that feature. Now our second product has 15 new features and I think we should go through them one by one, just so you understand all the details.
- Wow, 15, that's kind of a lot, huh. - Right, I guess so. - You know, it is a lot. Do you mind, Elizabeth, if real quickly I ask a question? - Sure. - You know, we talked on the way over and Elizabeth told me that you all are going overseas with a lot of your operation. I was curious about the impact that that might have on the solution that we're talking about. - Yeah, well I'll tell you, it's going to impact everything. We're going through a major change, you know, everything from the ground up is really going to look completely different. - Really? - Yeah. Can you tell me a little bit more about what's going to change? - Yeah, I'd love to.
- Did you notice the difference? It's just a few sentences, but in that second scenario, the rep, Elizabeth, had a chance to take a breather. The customer started talking, not the coach, and then Elizabeth was able to come back in and own the call and it was just a few sentences. So, you probably want to talk about this in advance with your sales rep. Say something like this, you know what, this is a really big call and if I see that maybe you're getting flustered or going down the wrong path, how about if I ask a question.
Now plan it in advance. In this case, I asked about their overseas challenges. But say, how about if I ask a question just to give you a little bit of a chance to think. You want to make it clear to your sales rep, if I do that, do not let it rattle you. I am not taking over this call, but in my experience, what I've found has really helped me in high stakes situations, is if someone gives me a chance to regroup. So, I'll just ask one question. You use that time to think, where do I want to go next and then you pick up the call after that.
Are you good with that? Having that conversation with your rep will change everything. So then, instead of trying to save the call, which you can always do later if things get really bad, this scenario sets you up for your rep to learn because, remember, you can't be on every sales call with them. So, before you try to save it, just jump in in a way that gives your rep a breather.
- What sales coaching is and what it's not
- Planning for a call
- Dealing with a difficult call
- Debriefing after a big win or a loss
- Positioning yourself with the customer
- Dealing with customers who ignore your rep
- Handling abusive customers
- Planning joint calls
- Creating killer presentations and proposals
- Dealing with stalled sales processes