Imagine a national sales meeting where there is no pre-conference agenda, no planned speakers or breakouts, yet there are several pertinent presentations and everyone's needs are met. Does this sound like a riddle? It's not. It's an "Un-Conference", a forum where every participant has an opportunity to share and gain in a collaborative, efficient, real time, dynamic and even organized setting.
Much like the days of starting with the “product pitch” are long gone, so are the days of starting client conversations with a firing line of questions. Yet, it happens every day. Well-intentioned salespeople use a myriad of questions to uncover needs designed so they can position value. On the other side of the table – frustration, impatience and perceived irrelevance to the client’s business situation.
19 members of the Sandvik Coromant sales departments from eight countries and nine different time zones were awarded Consultative Sales Certification (CSC) in a virtual graduation ceremony on May 16th, 2014. "This was not just an online meeting, but an actual graduation ceremony with presentations from students, faculty and awarding of diplomas," said Jeff Arnold, Executive Director of The Sales Association who delivered the commencement address during the event.
Five members of the Sales Association were awarded Consultative Sales Certification™ (CSC) at the Sales Association National Sales Conference held in Denver, CO. The Sales Association's mission is to connect the professional sales community, providing its members powerful and strategic means to grow professionally and drive profits.
If salespeople focus strictly on product knowledge and sales techniques, they have a one in sixty four chance of connecting with the customer. There are four basic components of an effective sales skills equation. Take away any piece of the equation and you lose a quarter of your sales advantage.
Sales process? You just get out there and sell, right? It’s true that top salespeople make it seem that easy. Yet, if you dissect their game plan, you would likely find that they have a clearly defined process, one that helps guide their strategy and behavior.
Skepticism and doubt require proof. Make sure you are providing the right proof for the specific type of concern.
If you embrace consultative selling, or a similar approach, then defining what that means should encourage your people to embrace the word "sales" as well. Salespeople who use a consultative approach are collaborative and agile, adjusting to the needs of the customer and their specific circumstances.
If you are too busy developing business in current accounts to find time for new business development, here are suggestions for balancing both. Work all "A" business the same whether current or potential.
Salespeople have to be very careful not to become their own obstacles to gaining commitments. Assume the sale and make it easy for customers to say yes.
If your customers are beating you up on price, they are really saying that they see no difference in buying from you versus any other source. Quantify value for each customer by selling the "product of your product" - which is what the customer really gains from buying from you.
The bottom line about customer information is that it’s only valuable to keep if you will use it in the future to either build sales or relationships. If you decide that information is worthwhile keeping, the next question to ask yourself is, “where will I look for the information when I need it?” If you can answer that question, you’re in good shape!
Consultative selling is somewhat of a well-timed dance. Dancers that are in-tune to each other seem to glide, anticipating every turn and movement. Ideally, customer interactions should feel the same way.
Sales meetings are great venues for developing skills and sharing best practices. Use quick and concise exercises to concentrate on one key area at a time and encourage integration. Here are some quick tips for skill building during sales meetings. Contact us for more ideas, sales meeting agendas and coaching guides.
In this day of technology, there is no excuse for “Cold Calling”. No, I am not suggesting that you stop initiating new contacts. Online resources, such as LinkedIn bring a whole new level of “intelligence” to pre-call planning. Reading between the lines on individual profiles provides valuable insights for what and how to prepare for any new interaction.
DVR Learning offers the most comprehensive training programs available. Their training materials are detailed for the instructor and make learning fun for the participant. Most importantly, I have seen results both in attitude and sales performance.
Deb M., Hydrite Chemical Co.
The class really made me evaluate my service skills, and today I have been very mindful of how I talk with customers, especially on the phone. I used to be afraid to make recommendations and referrals to customers but I find them coming naturally as I am aware of more opportunities. Knowledge of other areas within the bank has helped me gain confidence to make referrals. I have exceeded my referral goals three months in a row now! Thank you!
Jenny B., Teller