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.”

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Motivational Quote: Hiring Employees

“People are not organizations best assets, the RIGHT PEOPLE are.”
-Jim Collins

How to Lead via their Ego

It amazes me how much our ego plays in our day to day decisions.

One tip on leading people is to look for the win for them personally if they act the way we want them to act.

The reality is that your employees will only act the way you want to act while you are watching, if the only reason you give them for acting that way is, “Because I say so.”

However, if they see how it will make their life easier, reduce personal stress or make them more money, by acting the way you want them to, then their will be no need to police them. They will simply act that way because it will produce personal benefits for them.

Educate them on those benefits and they will be motivated to act that way, whether you are watching or not.

This is how you get them to do what you want to do, because they (and their ego) want to do it.

The Key to Reducing Employee Turnover

Employee turnover is crippling many organizations.

Here are some thoughts on this subject from Leigh Branham, Author of the book titled: Keeping the People who Keep you in Business. http://www.keepingthepeople.com/ (excellent book)

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Which is more expensive, the cost of doing the things necessary to retain your most valuable people, or the cost of losing and replacing those people?

The companies that achieve dramatic reductions in turnover are often the ones at which the top executive or owner makes the commitment to do something about it.

When the CEO is committed, the organization usually falls in line.

If your CEO is not committed enough to retaining the right people as a long-term business strategy, it may be only because he or she has not yet realized the cost implications and long-term business consequences of continuing turnover. If you run the numbers, most CEO’s and CFO’s, of course will pay attention to them.

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In my experience, I have found this to be true, because as I often say,

“The number one sport in business is watching the boss.”

And when the boss see something as important, the employees take it a lot more seriously.

What was the best career advice for me?

Guustaff Vocking, a partner at SARV & AIMS International a Management Consulting and Coaching firm in the Netherlands recently asked this question on LinkedIn:

What was the best career advice for you?

Here is what I wrote:

Hi Gustaff,

The Best career advice ever is to never stop learning.
And in my learning I have picked up a few other gems, such as:

1. The key to business is personal relationships.
2. Give more value for your work than the money you are paid. That way you will be viewed as an Investment and not a Cost.
3. “You can get anything you want in life, as long as you help enough other people get what they want.” -Zig Ziglar

I hope this helps.

Making a difference,

Richard Elmes CSP
The Sales Dating Guy
www.RichardElmes.com

Does Self Motivation Exist? Or is it just another HR Term?

This question was posted on LindedIN.

A fellow poster, Arie Versluis gave this answer:

The only kind of motivation which exists is self-motivation.

Ask yourself if you can motivate a person and the honest answer will be no.

The only thing you can do is create conditions in which a person has an option to motivate him/herself and then hope they will motivate themselves.Creating conditions in which a lot of people seem to be motivated is however no guarantee that all are motivated. It is always an individual choice.

And don’t forget that motivation is not a general state of mind. Motivation is always related to specific subject. For example, people can be motivated to interact with colleagues but not be motivated to deliver a high quality of service. In this situation are they motivated or are they not?”

I agree with Arie’s point of view, when he said that the only kind of motivation is self-motivation. And we can only adjust the environment, so someone else can choose to take action. 

Communicating to an employee (or customer) how it would be in their best interest (and how they win personally) will increase the odds of them choosing your desired action.