By Mike Hirschfield, CEO, Assured Influence
If you are not obsessed with investing in yourself and your team, youre not really obsessed with winning! Not everyone keeps score in business, but every score undoubtably matters. What is your next level? The best companies became the best because they recruited, developed, and retained the best people. Make no mistake, the success of any business is fully dependent on the collective success of its employees. Especially its sales-makers!
When the goal is to thrive, there is nothing more important than carefully serving customers and intentionally making sales. Unfortunately, our industry has been plagued by unprecedented levels of turn-owner. Its a fact that right now the majority of all sales professionals are looking for a new job. The best hedge against this deadening attrition is effective training and development. After all, very few people quit winning teams while they themselves are winning.
It is no secret that when people get better, they do better, and when people do better, companies get better! The philosophies and methodologies of sale training programs are as varied as the weather, but the most effective training programs all incorporate the same key components that drive welcomed change and lasting results.
If results matter to you, and you want to go beyond every-day lack-luster training, ensure that your program incorporates the following key components.
#1 Foster a Desire for Mastery
The very best sales training programs begin by winning the hearts and minds of those who are being developed. This is not only the mark of an effective training program, but it is also the mark of an effective leader. People dont adapt to change and get better just because you tell them to, or just because you hold them accountable. The word accountability is drastically overused and overworked today.
Face it, the only way to get anyone to do anything is to get them to want to do it! Sure, you can force an employee to complete a series of tasks, but you cannot force them to lean-in, level-up, and really improve. For that, you need waste up engagement, which can only occur when they have a genuine desire to get better and a firm belief that they can and will get better. Effective sales training programs foster that desire and forge that belief. In turn, sales professionals naturally demand more from themselves as well as from those around them.
Do you have a culture of mastery? When people are committed to mastery, they are devoted to the never-ending pursuit of becoming the absolute best at what they do.
#2 Improve Situational Awareness
The very best training programs shine a light on what is most important, and help trainees gain and apply real practical insight. Dictionary.com defines insight as an understanding of the motivational forces behind ones actions, thoughts, or behavior. Being able to recognize these forces helps you identify potential opportunities and hidden threats before its too late, and then adjust accordingly.
Most sales that are lost today, are lost not because of a lack of product knowledge, but rather a lack of knowledge about the customer. In order to take someone where you want them to go, you have to first meet them where they are. Sadly, many training programs create tunnel vision. Whereas, effective sales training opens the eyes of sales-makers, by empowering them to ask really good questions.
Rest assured, the right questions create conversations, the right conversations create connections, the right connections create opportunity, and the right opportunities become sales. It all starts with asking the right questions! Too many sales professionals jump into the water without ever checking the direction of the waves. What is more important than understanding all the reasons why your customers would want to buy?
#3 Build Critical Thinking Skills
The very best training programs help sales-makers create a level of value that isnt found in a brochure or on a website. While some training programs actually dumb-down the sales process, the obvious goal should be to level-up individual sales ability.
Some sales training programs put a focus on scripts, but word tracks are not the answer. Nobody likes canned scripts, and professionals dont like being told what to say. Yes, word tracks can provide a framework to begin, and layout a basic path to follow, but every top producer eventually took off the training-wheels. Its not memorization but rather personalization that drives the greatest results.
Effective sales training equips sales professionals to think through the process of buying from their customers perspective, and in-turn personalize their approach and path accordingly. As a result, sales-makers are able to leverage all five levels of value and effectively stack value upon value to successfully compel their customers want to take action and buy now. Indisputably, what is personal and unique for each customer is ultimately whats most compelling.
#4 Increase Individual Influence
The best training programs help sales-makers connect with and build personal influence with their customers. I define influence as your ability to positively affect how and what others focus on, think on, and take action on.
Some training programs focus on getting customers to make a decision by asking for their business. In contrast, effective sales training enables sales professionals to affect their customers decision by helping them become a person that their customers want to engage with, connect with, and then listen to. Everyone communicates, but few connect.
There is nothing more imperative than how you treat each customer and how you communicate your value. In order for sales-makers to be effective they have to be able to pivot their communication style so that their message is welcomed and truly resonates. We all know that customers are more likely to buy from and refer business to those individuals whom they know, like, and trust.
Effective sales training empowers sales-makers to align with their customers and become real influencers in their customers lives.
The Greatest ROI
Nothing will give you greater returns than investments in yourself and your people with real effective sales training! Every business has untapped potential, and that potential lies in the hands of its people.
By integrating the four critical components above, you can experience exponential returns. Whether you are crafting and delivering your own program, or soliciting the help of a professional, be sure to foster the desire for mastery, improve situational awareness, build critical thinking skills, and increase individual influence. When you make the right investments into how your customers are treated and how your value is communicated, sales increase!
About the Author
Mike Hirschfield is on a mission to empower, equip, and exalt sales and finance teams everywhere! Mike has served in both franchise and independent dealer groups, leading teams as large as 80+ to reach new heights of achievement. He teaches how to build personal influence, become trusted advisors and leverage personal solutions that are aligned with a customers most powerful buying motives. Mike empowers teams by developing their ability to build connections and lead customers to take action and buy now! Email: Mike@FoundationToWin.com