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“I always found a sales call is no different from a coaching conversation. The similarities are very stark to ignore.” – Balaji Sogathur 

Is sales and coaching-related in any way? Think about it. At the first glance, sales and coaching might not seem to share a common ground. 

Sales is not about selling, but about building trust and educating. On the other hand, Coaching is much about being available to your clients. The essence of coaching is in raising consciousness in order to maximise performance and unleash the true potential. 

But are they related?? Hmmmm.. Confusing! Let’s find out.

Coaching and Sales: Are They Related?

What happens in a sales call? At its most basic level, a sales call is a conversation between a salesperson and a prospect about the purchase of a product or service.

This conversation navigates through a process where a salesperson  

  •       Understand the needs of the prospect
  •       Help them relate to the solution being offered through their own product/service.
  •       Overcome their objections
  •       Finally agree on the purchase

The key underlying factors that help in the success of this process is how well the prospect opens up and shares their needs/concerns which in turn means how good is the salesperson in helping raise awareness about the prospects’ own situation/needs and stimulate thinking. The Prospect’s willingness to open up and respond to the salesperson’s questions depend on the extent to which the salesperson built their trust with them in the interactions preceding the sales call.

Building trust, raising awareness, helping make a discovery, sounds similar?

Coaching: A Way To Do Authentic Selling

Once in a sales meeting, I had given my everything. The pitch was great, I had the hook but suddenly, I don’t know what happened but the client gave me a cold shoulder and refused to accept my proposal. That incident taught me the value of being good while sitting across the table from a client. In that instance, I learned that one must master the art of the client/prospect discussion to be exceptionally effective as a salesperson.

Sales is just not selling the product, it is about making the people happy. The ultimate secret of sales is to change the conversation away from a standard sales strategy and toward a process that blends the structure of consultative selling with the art of a coaching conversation. The basic goal of a successful salesperson is to add value to the buyers’ life by making them happy.

A coaching approach to sales is establishing a connection between a sales expert and a potential customer that fosters respect, safety, challenge, and accountability. This relationship pushes everyone involved to find the best solutions and co-create successful and profitable outcomes for both the sales professional and the prospect wherever possible. These beneficial outcomes frequently have a positive impact on both company and life.

The crucial yard in sales is the symbolic three feet distance between you and your potential client. The inexplicable distance between you and the prospect will determine whether you make a sale or receive nothing in return for your efforts. Salespeople are constantly attempting to bridge that crucial yard. Highly effective salespeople have mastered the art of crossing that crucial yard with ease and consistency. Others are still irritated by their inability to cross the yard.

Coaching: A Way To Build Trust

Coaching is a way to build trust. Trust forms the foundation of any relationship. Be it in a coaching conversation or a sales call, the root of coaching lies in the coach’s ability to build a relationship of trust. Think, about what will happen if a coachee is unable to share anything with the coach because he thinks that the coach is untrustworthy. Will the process help him? The answer is quite vivid.

Why do you think Maggi still rules the market even though there are so many competitors. Or why do people prefer buying mama earth products over others? The secret is that these popular brands like Maggi and mama earth are now using the key factor of trust.

Even in sales, clients buy better if the salesperson is able to establish the trust factor. Ask yourself, will you buy a product from an untrustworthy individual? Well, you know the answer. So if you want to learn how coaching is a way to build trust and do authentic selling join us at the International Coaching Week 2022 and explore ways way to add some twists to your coaching mantra. Register Now.

About The Speaker

Balaji Sogathur is a passionate trainer, facilitator, and certified coach (PCC from ICF). His coaching specialties are in the areas of sales coaching, personal coaching, relationship coaching, and performance coaching. Balaji comes with a rich experience of over 20 years in distribution of saving, investment, and loans products. In his last assignment, Balaji was working in the capacity of Vice-President managing the agency business across south, west, and central India at IDBI Federal Life Insurance. 

Prior to this, Balaji set up a very successful distribution for AMP Sanmar life insurance company with 22 offices and 5000 advisors across AP and managed over 50 offices across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala, before the company was bought over by Reliance life Insurance. At Reliance he managed over 100 offices across AP and Karnataka with an annual turnover in excess of Rs 200 crores.

Earlier, he worked with ICICI capital services as their centre manager for Hyderabad. Balaji spent a large part of his career at Integrated Enterprises India ltd., where he started as a financial planning consultant and ended up as their Regional Manager for North. He set up a successful electronic registry business for the company. Balaji was also responsible for setting up the Personal Financial Services distribution for ICICI products while at Integrated Enterprises, making them one of the leading distributors for home loans, car loans, and personal loans.

Balaji is a graduate in science and a fellow in Organisational HR from Carlton Advanced Management Institute. He has completed Post Graduate Certificate Program in management from IIM Kozhikode and a one-year leadership program for senior management from IIM Kolkata.

Join this session this ICW 2022 and develop a coaching style that can help you elevate your critical yard abilities and have a significant impact on your performance and results. Come, Reimagine The Future at the International Coaching Week- on 18th May. Register Now.