How to set your new Sales Rep up for failure

Imagine you are a new salesperson and on your first day after a brief orientation, your Sales Manager gives you a little pep talk that goes something like this:

“The customers are out there… all you need to do is go out and find them.”

Then after he loads you up with product literature and business cards, he finishes his pep talk with,

“Go get ’em tiger.”

Getting your new Sales Rep ready for battle

Sounds silly doesn’t it.

Unfortunately, many companies orientation program for new sales reps is not much different.

Sure they may spend a little time on product knowledge training. And maybe a little on how to write up and enter an order into the company’s computer system. But for many companies a formal sales training program designed to help their sales professionals succeed is not existent.

Or worse, it is so old and boring that nobody uses it.

The number one concern organizations have when investing in sales training is the cost. They think that developing a new program or revamping an existing one is going to be expensive.

What they don’t consider is the cost of having an untrained salesperson in the field.

  • The high cost of the negative marketing: The negative impression that the customer has of not only the sales representative, but your company. Untrained sales person tends to make a lot of mistakes and often a fool of them self, because they don’t know what they are doing or talking about.
  • The high cost of turnover: Salespeople will only struggle so long, getting rejected over and over again, before they will seek out easier challenges. Turnover costs can range anywhere from 30-150% of an employees annual compensation.
  • The high cost of loss sales: The difference between winning and losing in business (especially sales) can be extremely small, but the compensation is significant. An untrained sales person will lose out to the trained professional more often than not. This can be the difference between sales growth or sales decline. Between having a positive cash flow or going into debt. Between having a to expand, or laying off employees.

Effective sales training can be help your organization bridge that gap by:

  • Improving Credibility with your customer base: Customers love to work with professionals who are trying to help them succeed, not amateurs who are looking at them as a car payment.
  • Reducing Turnover of staff: Long-term employees have the opportunity to build a relationship and get to know what they need. This is attractive to customers who like to buy from people they trust.

Trust = Credibility  and Credibility = Sales

  • Improving Sales: Increasing the credibility of your sales professionals (and your company) will open the door for more opportunities, which will lead to more sales, which will lead to more revenue.

Just think of difference it would make to a new sales professional, when they enter the field confident that they know what they are doing, what they are talking about and how they can help their customers.

Armed with this knowledge and skills skill you will be motivated and prepared for success.

Then you really will be able to; “Go get’em tiger.”

Motivational Quote: Connecting with others

Connecting with other peopleThere’s an order and a process to connecting with others: First you establish trust with the basic instincts, then you establish rapport with the personality. What results is a relationship, and with every relationship holds almost infinite possibilities.”

Nicholas Boothman, Author of How to Connect in Business in 90 seconds or Less and several other books.

Starting your talk with a startling statistic – 3 examples [Video]

I found the follow post that was written by Craig Hadden,  an instructional designer (training developer) living in Sydney (Australia).

Surprised Audience Members

You’ve likely heard it said that opening your talk with a startling statistic helps to grab people’s attention. But what exactly does that technique look and sound like?

In this post, you’ll see 3 clear examples on video, and I’ll discuss key takeaways from each. So you’ll come away with solid tips you can use in your own talks.

Ultimately, I hope these examples inspire you to use some startling statistics yourself.

For easy reference, here’s what he said:

“Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat,
four Americans that are alive will be dead –
through the food that they eat.” [25 words]

Key takeaways – video 1

Jamie made his opening line personal… in 3 specific ways

I love that Jamie made his opening line personal – by tailoring it to his audience in 3 specific ways:

  • By scaling the death rate to “the next 18 minutes”, he matched his statistic to the audience’s current moment (instead of quoting a less tangible annual figure).
  • Rather than using words like “my talk” (which would in effect ignore his audience), he included people (and set the scene as an informal 2-way conversation) by saying “our chat”.
  • As his talk was in the US, he made his statistic specific to “Americans” (rather than “people” or “Britons”, even though he’s clearly British).

Did you also notice how subdued he was during his opening? So don’t feel you need to start your talk with great passion – that’s hard to do (because of nerves). Let yourself gradually get into your flow, and your passion will come through more as you progress.

Also, by building momentum during your talk, you let the audience warm up to what you’re saying, and you add interest through more vocal variety. After all, as former World Champion public speaker Craig Valentine says:

“If you are always dynamic,
you are no longer dynamic”

So don’t feel you need to start with great passion – or have the same level throughout your talk. In many ways, using a subdued manner when citing a startling statistic makes it stand out, through contrast.

 

Check out the rest of the blog post, including the 2nd and 3rd video examples by clicking here

How to handle your Customer’s 911 calls

A customer calls and leaves a message. There is an issue with what you sold them and they are definitely NOT happy.

What do you do?

  1. Do you ignore the call and hope the situation solves itself?
  2. Do wait a few hours for them to cool off before you return the call?
  3. Do you pick up the phone and call the customer immediately?
Firefighter in action
“In times of trouble, there are those who run away from the fire, and there are those run toward the fire to put it out.” – Richard Elmes
.
If you work in any customer service or sales role, the best answer would be number 3.
It is when your customer has an issue, that they need you the most.
  1.  If you run away, the customer will come to the realization that you only care about your commissions from the sale and not the “solution” you sold them on. When you deal with the issue head on, you are communicating that you are there to help. You care about their success. And you want to make things better.
  2. Delaying making contact tells the customer that they are not your priority. And all customers want to feel like a priority.
    If you are tied up in a meeting or with another customer, sending a quick email or text message acknowledging that you received their message and that you will get back to them later (and state the time) will signal to your angry customer that help is on its way. This will help calm them down a bit. But this feeling only lasts a short time, and disappears completely if you fail to call them at the time you stated.
  3. When you run into the fire, by getting back to them quickly, that response time tells your customers that you care. This is the first step in handling Customer 911 calls. Yes, they may yell, scream or jump up and down, but they will still appreciate your efforts, when you prove to them that you will support your solution, and put out the fire and ultimately removing their stress.
Remember, when a customer calls us to complain about an issue, they are giving us a gift.
They are giving us the gift of fixing the issue.
They are giving us the gift of a second chance to make things right (And possibly earn the next sale).

Motivatonal Quote: Confidence

Whale Watch_Kayak

“When facing a difficult task, act as if you cannot fail. When going after Moby Dick, take along the Tarter Sauce.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Succeeding with the Bottom 10%

I found a great article on how to succeed with the bottom 10% of your employees.

This was written by Dan Rockwell on his blog titled: Leadership Freak

Every organization has a bottom 10% of employees, leaders, and managers who perform poorly.

Your goal, if you can’t remove the bottom 10% is to maximize the situation.

Distributing poor performers throughout your organization.png

7 reasons for poor performance:

  1. Negative environments where managers are dictatorial, disconnected, or incompetent.
  2. Leadership that tolerates poor performers.
  3. No honor for high performers. Organizations that give across the board raises encourage poor performance.
  4. Lack of connection with colleagues.
  5. Lack of commitment to do well.
  6. Talent or skill deficit.
  7. Distraction because of personal issues.

Succeeding with the bottom 10%:

  1. Address it; don’t ignore it. In many ways, leaders get what they tolerate. Successful leaders address issues others ignore.
  2. Commit to building an environment that promotes and honors high achievement.