Thursday, January 12, 2017

Are your salespeople truly ready for Social Selling?

If I could give salespeople training in one thing and one thing only, I would pick any one of the ten things on this list before I would train them on "social selling." GASP.. I know, I know.. Let Me Explain! That does not mean I don't believe in "social selling", because I absolutely do, but todays salespeople need to master the basics of selling before advancing to the Expert Level. Here are ten important things sales professionals need to train on in no particular order.

1. How to Set Appointments: There isn’t anything higher on this list because answering sales calls / cold calling and prospecting is what would improve most salespeople’s results faster than anything else. Phone Skills must be Great! Good will no longer suffice. Dialing for dollars says it all.

2. Overcoming Objections: No matter how good you are, without the language and experience to deal with objections, you aren’t creating a win for your customer. If you let them win, they give you an opportunity. That's a win-win! Master your craft and approach each objection in an open manner. Help your customer and they will be happy.

3. How to Differentiate Yourself From Others: I’ve never asked a salesperson what makes their company different and gotten an exact response, even when their manager believes they know. They don't. We cannot blame our sales team for not knowing, because we didn't properly train them. I think this is an easy one. Think about the things customers complain about, and do the exaxct opposite. It is okay to have fun. Be different.

4. How to Negotiate: Most salespeople crumble at the first question about price. I’d teach them to negotiate based on value. Price is what something costs, Value is the products perceived worth, and these numbers are rarely the same. I have always lived by a simple rule of thumb that works well. If the product costs ten thousand dollars, build twenty thousand dollars in value. The customer perceives it's a good deal when value exceeds price.

5. How to Understand What Makes an Opportunity: Unless your client agrees to pursue change with you, you don’t have an opportunity. We must learn to treat every opportunity with the same urgency as we treat a fresh up with a truckload of Cash!

6. How to Follow The Process: Most companies don’t follow a process, and neither do their salespeople. I’d teach them why they should follow it and how it helps them win. If they follow the process and their paycheck grows larger as a result, they will buy in.

7. How to Nurture Their Clients: Too little time, too many prospects. You have to focus on the clients for whom you create the most value. You need to nurture those relationships. Give your customers the VIP treatment, if you don't your competition will. 

8. How to Plan a Sales Call: Honestly, most salespeople don’t plan their sales calls at all. They end up winging it, and stuttering a lot. It’s a mistake to waste a client interaction. Those cost real monery, not monopoly.

9. How to Qualify a Customer: Without understanding your client’s true needs, forget wants, it’s difficult to even present your case when negotiating, and it’s even more difficult to arrive at an acceptable solution.

10. How to Gain Commitments: Most salespeople don’t know the commitments they need, and when they do, they don’t have the skill to gain those commitments. Once again, it's most always a lack of proper training. I’d teach them to close and watch them flourish.  A-B-C

I could add a couple dozen more examples to this list about where most salespeople struggle the most during the buying process. It is unfortunate, but from what I see on a daily basis, we as an industry are still not training our salespeople. They should be capable oh handling every step from answering the sales call to setting the appointment, and finally closing the deal. Yes they can!

I think it's safe to say that each thing on this list will benefit the salespeople more than "social selling". If you want to build a personal brand try being very good at what you do to gain recognition. That will get people to notice you for all of the right reasons. Add the topics you would train on in the comments. Thanks for reading. 

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