Here is a proven formula for a successful sales conversation.  Let’s set the stage:  You are in front of prospects who have known problems that they want to solve:


  1. Ask them to share about their desired situation. What do they want?  Listen deeply and ask questions predicated upon their last answer.  Get beyond the superficial details, facts and opinions, and discover the real meaning of what they want and how it will make a difference in their life. (Core Competency #7 Evoking Awareness)
  2. Do not start coaching. This is the biggest bugaboo for coaches. At this point, they start coaching, and the whole sales conversation goes sideways.
  3. Once you have allowed your prospects to express their desired results, ask what has limited them from experiencing these results in the pastCoax them to go beyond a superficial answer. Listen deeply to what they perceive has kept them from having their desired result. Do not start coaching.  Listen empathically.  Do your best to refrain from telling any stories about how you relate or how you have helped others.
  4. Ask them, “What if nothing changes?” This is the most crucial question. This is where you will find out if they are serious about  solving their problem.  If nothing will change, this is not a prospective client right now. Timing is everything.  They may come back to you when they are ready.  If they are vulnerable and honest and ready to make a change, you’ll hear some real answers. You want to be so open that they will share with you what is at stake, i.e., “I will not achieve my goals” or “I could lose my job.”  This is a powerful question. Keep your coaching presence (Core Competency #5) of being fully conscious and confident as they share. 
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5. Ask them, “What is your sense of urgency?” This is a tremendously important question.  They may say, “I need to immediately take action,”  or they may say, “I have other priorities, and this is probably something I need to look at next quarter.”  Now you know.

6. Ask your final question, “What is the next step?” (Core Competency #8 Facilitate Growth) Realize you are following a formula to find out if this client is ready and willing to engage in your services.  Caution:  Most coaches start telling right here. Please refrain from this activity. This is time for  your prospective client to tell you what they think/feel the next step is for them.  If you did an outstanding job, they may well say “Let’s get started!” or “How much do you charge?”  or “Please send me a proposal.”  Be ready for these questions:  Roleplay your answers repeatedly.  If they do ask you for a proposal, please email me for a checklist of things you must find out before you send a proposal.  What is your next step to monetize your expertise?

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Connie Kadansky, MCC

Connie Kadansky, MCC  is a top sales coach, skilled in the sales process and global mindset. She’s a Certified Mentor Coach and served as ICF Arizona’s 2020 President and  chairs the Advisory Board Chair for the Global Chamber of Commerce Phoenix Chapter. Connie is a faculty member      at ICE.