A concept we regularly repeat to owners, executives, and managers is: “Your sales representatives do not like to sell.”
Frequently, this statement is met with puzzlement, groans, and even verbal objections. Our response is to ask if their sales representatives have ever:
- Arrived for a presentation to find that no-one is home?
- Prepared for a “two-party” presentation and only one party is present?
- Been rushed through their presentation or interrupted repeatedly?
- Encountered prospects who were given misleading information about your company?
- Lost an order to a lower priced product or service?
- Had their contract turned down by the bank or finance provider?
- Had a project canceled?
- Made a sales call when it is over 100°, under 20°, or when it was raining or snowing?
- Not sold a prospect, only for another representative or “rehash” specialist to do so?
After these (and similar) scenarios are presented, we follow up by asking: “Do you believe that your representatives appreciate these circumstances? Typically, this will elicit a greater understanding as to the purpose of the original statement.
None of the above situations are enjoyable or ideal, yet they constitute a sizable portion of a sales professional’s role.
Getting an order, receiving praise for their performance, earning a sizable commission and/or a bonus or incentive, or winning a “sales contest” are the enjoyable parts of selling, yet they represent a relatively small part of a sales representative’s time and activity. Once you recognize the indisputable truth that most sales professionals do not like many tasks associated with their role, there is a greater opportunity to tailor your training and motivational techniques to meet their needs.
Remember, disciplined sales representatives usually generate higher earnings and recognition because they understand that the unenviable tasks associated with their role are necessary steps in the process that leads to greater success.
In this changing marketplace, what changes have you made in your sales training to stimulate and develop your representatives understanding of their role?