Why sales training is so important is an interesting topic. Some people think that the word “sales” is a bad word. However, if you think about it, we’re all involved in sales from the time that we’re born. A baby cries when it’s hungry. By doing so, it’s selling its mother the idea that it’s time to get fed. Did you ever see a child walk into a grocery store with its mother and keep saying, “I want a lollipop”? The child will keep saying that phrase until it sells the idea. Soon, the child is licking on one.
When we’re teenagers, we may sell our parents on the idea that we get to use the car to go to a dance. Couples sell each other on ideas ranging from where to live to how to manage money and where to vacation. We sell people on our idea when we start a business or sell a supervisor on the fact that we should get a raise.
Thus, some form of sales training can only help us focus more on what we want in life. In this article, I want to focus on sales training as it pertains to a product or a service. If you want to improve your success in sales, the following steps could help you gain more confidence and better results.
Why sales training is so important is clarified in an amazing book. Dale Carnegie, in the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, said that people are creatures of emotion rather than logic. And that they will do things for REASONS and not for logic. Thus, if you want to excel in sales, we have to identify an exciting reason for you to excel in sales. It’s got to be more than food, shelter, and clothing. Those things are important, but not exciting.
Napoleon Hill, in the book “Think and Grow Rich”, said: When the WHY is exciting enough, the HOW doesn’t matter. The WHY needs to be a reward, something fun you would do just for you. Not something for your spouse or for your family. Something just for you. You’ll do more for everybody when you do more for you.
If you keep putting off something you’ve wanted for a long time, after a while you get depressed. The bottom line, when we’re all honest with ourselves, is this: What’s in it for me?
Thus, I suggest you get a picture of something you want that, with some effort, you could afford in a few months. It may be a new set of golf clubs, tickets to a special event, a weekend away, a new car – whatever. Get a picture of that reward, about the size of a business card. On the other side of the card, print some positive affirmations such as:
Everything I touch prospers and succeeds. I’m a very confident, talented, and successful person. I earn at least _______ per month as a sales leader. I’m getting (whatever your reward is) and I am excited.
Whatever other traits you may want, add them in the form of an affirmation. Print out the affirmations on a card about the size of a business card. Put the picture of your reward and the affirmations back-to-back, go to Fedex Office, and have that laminated. Then, read your affirmations out loud the first thing each morning and the last things each night. And, each time, look at your picture. Don’t analyze what’s on your card. Just read your affirmations with conviction and look at your picture. Watch what wonderful things are about to happen in the next 90 days!
Why sales training is so important shows up in public speaking. To excel in sales, it’s important to gain confidence. Your ability to get up and speak in front of people is a shortcut to your greater success. That also builds great confidence. Thus, I suggest you either join a local Toastmaster group or take the Dale Carnegie Course. In both of these situations, you’ll work with other people who also want to gain confidence in front of people and they will encourage you.
In order to excel in sales, we have to realize that buying decisions are often made in the initial seconds that we meet with a buyer. Thus, we have to make every interaction with buyers count. They can tell very quickly if the salesperson is a confident person or not. These days, buyers have a lot of options and very little time.
Thus, being able to speak confidently in front of a group of people will translate to being confident in front of one person. Many years ago, while in college, I took the Dale Carnegie course. I believe that the valuable lessons I learned in that course have been responsible for my success in sales and as a professional speaker. Not only was it a great program for speaking confidently in front of others, but it was also a great course in human relations, dealing with other people, looking at things from the other person’s point of view, and becoming an exceptional listener.
Why sales training is so important means talking less. In my many years of being a speaker and trainer for sales teams, I’ve come to realize that salespeople talk too much. I find that an excessive amount of sales training, that teaches people all types of closing techniques, results in salespeople talking too much. They apply those closing techniques, hoping to use the right one to get the sale.
I have found that the person who controls the conversation is not the one whose talking. It’s the one who’s asking the questions. God gave us two ears and one mouth. Maybe we should listen twice as much as we talk. I have also found that people would rather buy than be sold. Thus, if we let them do most of the talking, they may talk themselves into buying.
A good question to begin with, in a sales situation, is: “What is your toughest challenge concerning __________?” Then, as they talk, take notes. And not electronically. If we take notes on a phone or laptop, they can’t tell if we’re really taking notes or checking our email. Take notes on a notepad. Dale Carnegie, in the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, said that the greatest honor we pay anyone is RAPT attention – complete, total attention. Taking notes on paper, when a customer talks, pays total attention to them.
Then, when presenting a specific product or service, give the basic benefits of it and then ask, “What do you like best about this?” Let that person come up with the benefits and thus persuade themselves. And, if the product is not perfectly suited for the buyer, ask them: “What could we do to improve this product or service so it would work perfectly for you?”
It’s valuable to let a buyer come up with a solution. Then, when they do, they will fight for their own ideas.
Why sales training is so important focuses on relationships. The most successful salespeople are the ones who create great relationships. I have found that those who do best in sales are genuinely interested in other people and that becomes the focus of their sales process. They’re not the ones who know the most about their product or service. In fact, they often rely on others at their company for the technical details. They are simply very good at creating great relationships and getting other people to like them. Unless price is the definitive point of purchase, I believe that people buy from people they trust and like.
The most successful salespeople realize that everybody’s favorite topic is THEM. Thus, they let the prospects talk about themselves. They know how to get conversations started by asking questions that the other person will enjoy answering. Questions such as the following:
Where are you from originally?
(If not from here) What brought you here?
(If from here) Have you lived here all your life?
Do you have a family?
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A natural way to lead into some of these questions, when meeting in a prospect’s office, is to notice family pictures and ask about the people in the pictures. And, as the prospect answers the above questions, make note of the answers so you can refer to them in the future.
Use short notes, on hand-written cards, to further create great relationships. Don’t use notes with a company logo. Just get blank cards with a design on the cover, including your business card behind the card, and they may think that you picked it up just for them. Have no return address on the back of the cards, mark the word “Personal” on the lower left corner so it will bypass gatekeepers, and use commemorative stamps. Keep a supply of these handy and use them immediately after leaving a prospect’s office.
Why sales training is so important? Because, without some specific ideas to give you an edge, you won’t achieve the success you desire from sales. The ideas above are not covered in traditional sales training programs. However, they have been proven to be highly effective and make you stand out from the crowd.
“Everything I touch prospers and succeeds. I have identified my next reward, am taking a public speaking course, am a very good listener, and I create great relationships.”
Related Article: Create a Great Sales Team and Profit
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Copyright 2017 by Boaz Rauchwerger