FISH your way out of a sales slump

There’s an old saying. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you lose him for the whole weekend.

Seriously, fishing is the most popular sport in the UK, carried out by millions of men and it’s also a very useful coaching tool to help get to the cause of a problem.

The problem I want to explore here is the low performance of a salesperson. A poor performer, someone who is not achieving their sales targets or metrics.

The answer to resolving their poor performance is to do something different to help them. But we shouldn’t even attempt intervening until we know what’s causing the downturn in performance. FISH can help you coach your seller to reveal the issues.

Let me explain how.

Just like all good alcoholics, they have to recognise there’s a problem before conquering their addiction. Likewise a poor performer must realise that there’s a problem, it’s not a blip or just temporary, there is an issue and we need to sort this out.

  • The F – focusing on the problem will allow you, the coach, to ask questions to help them realise what the problem is. Produce metrics, trends, exception reports, evidence if you need to but your seller has to realise themselves what the problem is first.
  • Next is the reason for the sales slump. The cause. Ask questions to find out what’s caused the slump, don’t impose your own thoughts on the cause, they have to see it. That’s the I – identify the cause.
  • S is for solving it…quickly. This may not be possible of course; it may require a long drawn out solution over months involving training, coaching, motivation, prospecting or whatever. But what we want here are some early victories, some quick wins to patch things over.
  • H is for how to move forward long term, what’s the master plan, what’s the goal or series of goals we need to achieve. Get your GROW out at this point and start GROWing their new goals to help them get out of their sales slump…and perhaps take up fishing, millions of others have.