Coaches these days are required to raise more money, deal with parents, work with their booster club, oversee the academic lives of dozens of athletes, work with the athletic administration and do the myriad other tasks required to build a championship program.
In each instance, sales skills will help coaches get more done and get more of what they need to succeed . Here are the three most important sales skills that every coach should learn and use.
1. Ask the Right Questions and You’ll Get the Desired Response
This is really two tactics in one because asking the right questions not only lets you know what motivates them (and therefore how to structure your pitch) but also it lets them do the talking. When your athlete, athletic director, booster president… whoever it is that you’re selling your idea to… does the talking, they feel understood. They feel like they had their chance to speak and tell you how they feel. They feel like you understand their point of view. Further, when you ask the right questions, you learn specifically what motivates them. When you learn more about them, you learn more about what they want in a solution.Here are some examples of the right questions…
- What do you think it will take to be successful?
- How do you plan to handle that?
- What has been your experience with ________ in the past?
- If you were to continue without making a change, how do you feel it will affect your success?
- If you could change one thing about ________, what would it be?
2. Get them saying “Yes” Before You Ask for What You Want
If you ask my 2, 4 or 6 year old what they want for dinner and your first two offers get rejected with a “no”, then any subsequent offer will also be a no… even if it’s their favorite food. Apparently we never grow out of this because when you get a grown-up saying “no” they tend to be in a “no” mindset. Conversely, when you get them saying “yes” they tend to be in a “yes” mindset. For example, if you want your booster president to approve an expense for purchasing a new piece of equipment you might ask him or her a series of “yes” questions like…
- Raising money is hard work, right? (Yes)
- Why do you work so hard at it? Is it because you know that it will help the program succeed? (Yes)
- And do you feel that, if we continue to improve as a program because of the resources that you provide to the team, then this booster club is successful? (Yes)
And now for the pitch…
“If we are to purchase the new Super-Duper All-in-One Sports Widget Machine, then our athletes will be (bigger, stronger, faster, healthier, happier) which, as you know, is a big part of success. What do you think?” (Now, be quiet and let them talk.)
3. Have a Genuine Respect for the Other Party and They’ll Return the Favor
If you show the other party that you have a genuine respect for their point-of-view and their position, you’re more likely to have success. Everyone wants to be respected. That phrase is so important that I’ll repeat it… EVERYONE wants to be respected. You show respect by looking them in the eye, using their name (the most beautiful sound to someone is their own name), and using phrases like “I’d feel the same way if I were you.” Show them respect and you’re chances of success sky rocket!
Want to apply these new found skills to your program today? (YES!)
Want to raise more money, more easily? (YES!)
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