A good indicator for any Sales Professional is where their production ranks in each of the above categories. You have probably run across your share of over confident or bragging sales people during your career. The self proclaimed “rain makers” who aren’t even the most productive within their own company. These are the sales people that are satisfied with shining on occasion but never seem to put together a solid 4 quarters. This article is not for them.
This article is for you. The game changers. The sales professionals whom are never satisfied with the most recent record production. The person who is constantly learning and always looking for innovative ways to drive increase and impact. The one’s who recognize the self proclaimed “rain makers” for who they are and see right through their BS while you let your numbers do the talking.
The bottom line is that no one has “arrived.” You may be phenomenal at what you do or you may be on your way up, working the hours necessary to gain market share and create a superior reputation for yourself in the marketplace. Wherever you are in your journey, there is always room for growth and improvement.
Key areas of focus that should be on your developmental list should include:
- Market intelligence
- Product/service knowledge
- Go to market strategies
- Industry trends and analytic information
- Competitor knowledge
- Deliverable platforms and execution
- Pricing variables and negotiations
- Organizational impact both short and long term for your clients and your company
- Presentation methods and consultative closing
Today, we are solely going to focus on the final bullet point, presentation methods and consultative closing and some ways that you may improve this aspect of your overall approach.
At some point in your life, and I may be dating myself a bit here, you have probably been present when someone hears themselves talking on tape and then says “is that really what I sound like?” Have you thought about applying that same approach and logic and to your sales presentation or are you apprehensive to discover what you might find?
I rarely meet a sales professional that is excited to volunteer for participation in a role play activity when I have conducted trainings. I have seen some cocky “over talkers” that volunteered in the past, only to fall flat on their faces during the exercise. This is because this exercise is about discovering the angles and approach of a consultative close, not a sales pitch.
While these type of training methods aren’t the most popular, when handled appropriately, they can absolutely be the most effective. The key for the participant is to go into the process with a sense of humility and willingness to improve, knowing that everyone has room for improvement. The key for the facilitator is to have a well orchestrated process and acute sense of objectives.
Without giving away the farm, since we conduct these training tactics through my company Business Resource Center, Inc. (www.biz-rc.com), we will review some of the processes that will allow you to improve your presentation extensively, better service your prospective clients and improve close ratios.
This method requires a minimum of 2 participants. The first participant will act as the “client”, the second as the “BDM.” This could also be done by the Sales Manager and their staff individually. The “client” will write a brief synopsis on their “company”, outlining some of the basic information that would normally be gathered during the sales persons pre-meeting due diligence. They will then provide the “BDM” with that information. The client will also write down a plethora of information on their company, pain points, reasons for buying, needs, objectives, preferred end results of the relationship, etc. The more the better. However, you will not show this portion to the BDM. Do make sure that the detailed list information is in line with the brief synopsis you will provide to the BDM. It is their responsibility to uncover this additional information during your fictitious meeting.
When you begin the mock sales call, set an audio recording to capture the call from start to finish. Do not break character, give tips, or try to correct an error during the process. It is key that the ebb and flow of the call proceeds as naturally as possible. As you go through the mock call, the client should mark off the areas where the BDM uncovered, addressed or solved the outlined issues on the client sheet. Once the meeting is complete, feel free to consult and advise one another as needed.
What we have found over time is that people retain information better when they “self discover,” for lack of a better term, than when we teach. Therefore, we have provided a guiding method to help the BDM’s learn the necessary information to grow as a sales professional.
A solid way to achieve this is for the person or Sales Manager acting as the client during the call, to create a PowerPoint presentation with their recommendations from the mock sales call. You can easily apply the audio from the call to the PowerPoint and have the presentation pages automatically progress so that the information contained in the presentation aligns with the audio of the call.
Providing the BDM now has the full client fact sheet to review so they may identify what they uncovered and what they missed, they can now listen to their presentation. The PowerPoint should consist of bullet point suggestions and snippets of advice which are corresponding with the audio timing of the call. The BDM will be able to reflect and hear how the call went, now knowing everything they could have uncovered, and are provided guidance to improve strategy and recognize buying signals and/or opportunities to improve the meeting. The reflecting nature of this training will create a platform where the BDM can discover for themselves where they could have improved on the call and it is these “aha moments” that resonate more deeply than a trainer instructing through theoretical circumstances.
This simple approach, while uncomfortable for many, will yield phenomenal dividends in your sales career. We hope this brief outline approach will help you in your sales career to become the best you possibly can be. If you are interested in learning more about how we help Sales Professionals reach the next level, feel free to visit our website at www.biz-rc.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are not Training Professionals by career path. We are now, or have been, the top tier Business Development Professionals and Executives in our respective industries with the production to prove it. It is with this background of knowledge and track record of success that we feel compelled to share our insight for the benefit of our clientele and their careers.