NZSALES APRIL 2011 / Issue 49
Sales Secret In house Sales Training ‘So, who are you?’ ‘Who makes the decision round here?’
NZ’s e-mag for sales leaders
CONTENTS APRIL / Issue 49
THIS WEEK'S MUST READ The simple sales secret And the day I really got it.
In house sales training Is it working for you.
SALES TRAINING DIRECTORY
TWO MINUTE TOP-UP 'so who are you?' Slow down to make your introduction
RESOURCE CORNER Never Fly Solo: Lead with Courage, Build Trusting Partnerships, and Reach New Heights in Business
Quick Fix It’s not what you sell, it’s how you sell.
MID STRENGTH FULL FLAVOUR FULL LIFE
From the Editor
find one of the qualities of people who are at the top of their field is that they know that they don’t know it all. They are always open to learning and willing to listen to the experiences of others. They have the self awareness to know when things are not right, the ability to find what they need to change, and the courage to implement it. In our lead article, ‘The simple sales secret – and the day I really got it’, Ian
ABOUT / Short and sharp, New Zealand Sales Manager is a free e-magazine delivering thought provoking and enlightening articles, and industry news and information to forwardthinking sales managers, business owners and sales professionals. EDITOR / Paul Newsom ART DIRECTOR / Jodi Olsson GROUP EDITOR / Trudi Caffell
Segail gives a revealing account of self awareness, change and courage in a
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sales situation. This from one of Australia’s leading experts in sales and sales
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management. Not only is this a revealing admission from Ian, the lesson of the
simple sales secret is one that I encourage you to read and reflect on, and if
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appropriate, have the courage to make changes in your own sales approach. It is encouraging to hear of some reports this year that there is more activity
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with sales training than there has been in the past couple of years. Maybe this
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is an indication of positive signs in the recovery of the economy, or maybe the
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pressure of achieving results is demanding upskilling the sales team. Whatever the reason, you will know I am an advocate for investment in developing sales capability. Liam Ventnors article questioning the effectiveness of ad-hoc in house sales training gives a timely reminder to ensure training is bringing the desired results, and if not, then we need to have the courage the change something. Happy Selling
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TH I S W EE K ’ S M UST R E A D Ian Segail is a leading authority on sales strategy and sales management, and works as a Strategic Sales Performance Coach with both novice and experienced sales managers across a wide variety of industries and selling disciplines. Find out more at www.iansegail.com
And the day I really got it By Ian Segail
here is a simple sales secret that removes the stress of selling, and recently I really and truly got it! There is a single natural sales approach that all sales greats and great marketers get instinctively. It's what makes them so good. It’s what gives them their edge. This one instinctive and in many cases totally unconscious selling method is what all too often separates the great from the good. I can give you the secret in one quick sentence. You and your people probably already know what it is, but are you doing it? As Stephen Covey observed in his bestselling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, ‘To know and not to do is to not yet know.’ This powerful and yet simple concept smashed me over the head and I have finally got it! I mean really got it! It’s all about them! For years, I, like many sales people, have been taught that when you sell if you really want to be effective, you must be genuinely interested in helping customers solve their problems and do what makes best sense for them. You have to be customer centric in your
NZSM / april 2011 / 6
approach. Dale Carnegie (Author of How To Win Friends And Influence People) taught us way back in the early 1930’s that you should be more interested than interesting. And whilst I have always understood the concept intellectually and even taught the power of seeing things from the customer’s perspective, I have never really understood it viscerally before now. The biggest sale of my career I had been working on what may potentially be the biggest sale of my career. For a whole bunch of reasons, I had become obsessed with my need to bring this sale home. Ever had that feeling? Ever put everything else on hold and obsessively focused on closing a particular sales opportunity? Sure you have. If you’ve been in sales for longer than six months then you’ll know what I am talking about. I had become guilty of single sales obsession!
The big issue, when one has so much invested in making a particular sale, is that it’s very hard to be empathetic and truly consider the opportunity unselfishly from the prospects point of view. If we are really truly honest with ourselves our focus is very much ‘ME’ centric. It becomes all about our own need to make the sale. What accomplishing the sale will mean for us, our sales goals, our sales career etc. We very often lose sight of what the customer/prospect wants. The short-list presentation I had been short listed out of a number of highly respected, local and international sales development companies to present my sales management coaching solution to a large multinational sales organization based here in Sydney, Australia. My prospect had set up a selection panel of seven key executives, and I, along with two other top flight candidate organizations
The big issue, when one has so much invested in making a particular sale, is that it’s very hard to be empathetic and truly consider the opportunity unselfishly from the prospects point of view.
were chosen to formally present our recommendations for turning around their lagging sales.
to recognize that I am a walking disaster and I am about to blow a great opportunity.
I had been working and tweaking and re-tweaking my sales presentation for days. I had rehearsed and practiced and I was as ready as I was ever going to be. I don’t mind admitting publicly that I was as nervous as a kitten. I hadn’t been this anxious about presenting in years. So I am driving to the prospect's offices and I am mentally rehearsing, (for the 1000th time) and doing the old, if they ask me this, I’ll say that, thing.
The epiphany So I ask myself, how come when I am coaching or training or facilitating a workshop I am always completely resourceful and un-stressed? It always amazes me that no matter how challenging the problem faced by my clients, or how pressurizing the environment, I always seems to have the ability to think fast and creatively on my feet. I always seem to either ask the right question or provide the client with the most creative answer; just what they needed, at just the right time. And yet there I was, driving to present to a panel of selectors, which I’ve done many times before, stressed out of my head. Like a schoolboy going on his first date. What was the major difference?
Suddenly I become aware of my thinking and my stress levels. I was off the charts, highly strung with tension and apprehension. Now I have been training sales people and sales management long enough now
7 / april 2011 / NZSM
If you will get the answer that came to me, not just intellectually, but emotionally, it will transform the way you or your sales people sell forever. You see, when I am coaching my focus is all about the coachee. When I am running a workshop or presenting a keynote speech, my attention is on my audience. It’s always about them and what’s genuinely best for them. This is lesson 101 in public speaking. Yet here I was as a salesperson with my focus set firmly on me. My focus was dialled in on what I wanted. I wanted the prospect to pick me and my solution.
So I asked myself, if I was coaching this prospect what outcome would I really want for them? • •
The answer I came up with wasn’t any of the above. As a coach, my focused outcome would certainly have been: •
I got that it was about me supporting my group of prospects to make the best possible decision for their business.
Would I want them to pick me? Would I want them not to ask me any curly questions or hit me with objections or concerns that I had no answers for? Would I want them to buy me for my expertise or my solution? Would I want to close the sale?
How can I support this prospect to make the best possible decision for themselves? How can I support them to choose what will work best for their business, in their circumstances? What would make best sense for them, whether it be to select me, or choose one of my competitors or even none of the above? What would be in their very best interests? (Even if it meant selecting someone else or canning the whole project completely) Was there even a better and more profitable way to solve their problem?
It was very clear to me that as their coach, my goal would be to help them facilitate the best decision for themselves. My coaching would never have been about ‘choose me!’ it would have only have been about ‘choose right!’
it was about me supporting my group of prospects to make the best possible decision for their business. That was the moment that all of my stress went out of the window. I instantly calmed down completely and my whole focus shifted from me to them.
Choose what’s right for you, not what’s right for me! Eureka! Talk about putting a pin to the balloon. The moment I truly got that my presentation wasn’t about me and my credentials as the super strategic sales management coach. The moment that I got that it wasn’t about how I could outperform my competitors. It wasn’t about having all the answers. As I drove on my way to the presentation, I got that
I changed the introduction to my presentation from: “Here are the 3 things I want to cover with you today” to “Having seen and read my proposal and having sat through presentations presented by my esteemed industry colleagues, what do you need to hear, see or get a sense of from me today that will help you to make the best possible decision for your business?” And then I shut up and listened.
NZSM / april 2011 / 8
Now I didn’t know if I would get the contract or not. But here’s what I did know…. I knew that: • • •
• • •
• • • • •
I never presented ‘at them’. I presented a strong consultative sale. I never ran out of time and never had to cut short the Q&A which is often typical with these sorts of presentations. There was a whole lot of engagement and questions from the panel of decision makers. I got more ‘show and tell time’ than my competitors I showed them only those PowerPoint slides that were meaningful, so there was very limited ‘fluff n puff’. I was given no objections to handle. The presentation atmosphere was relaxed and jovial and I was completely spontaneous and creative. I had no stress. My motives were clear to me and to the decision making team. I maximized my chances for success.
Out of all of this I realized the simple truth when it comes to selling, when you focus on what’s right for the customer as opposed to what would be right for you, your odds of making the sale become infinitely increased in your favour. I knew that even if nothing came from this particular sales opportunity, I had learned a very valuable lesson. I have become a far better sales person and presenter as a result. I know now what's been missing all these years from my sales repertoire. I also know what’s missing from the repertoire of many other sales people who are failing to make the grade when they’ve come so far along the sales funnel. I know that when I don the sales persons hat as I often have to, I will wear it sparingly because I have discovered a key principle of successful salesmanship, It’s never about you…. It never was! Postscript... They are now a happy client:)
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Is your business committed to professionalism in selling? Join New Zealandâ€™s network for Sales Professionals today!
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The Rev Sales Network invites you to join us for
Auckland Rev-Up #2 Wednesday 11 May 2011 Guest Speaker Hannah Samuel RSN Rev-Up Series AUCKLAND 2011
The Topic "The Currency of Trust” With thanks to
The currency of trust is at the heart of every purchase decision. From $1 donuts to million dollar deals, the greater the amount of trust a prospective buyer has in you, and your organisation, the more likely you are to make the sale. When traditional decision-influencers such as product, price, place and promotion are largely equal, buyers will use intangibles such as reputation, integrity and trust, to guide their purchase decisions. Quite simply, the higher your ‘trust-quotient’, the more successful you’re likely to be as a sales professional. Understand: • The value, and cost, of reputation and trust • The sales professional’s role in influencing and
managing expectations • A 5-step trust-building process that will keep your
clients coming back for more, and recommending you others • Integrity-based credibility builders that will enhance your reputation and help build trust
The Presenter An award-winning speaker, columnist, and author, Hannah Samuel speaks, writes and mentors worldwide on issues around reputation, trust and integrity. Hannah’s insights are based on more than 20 years experience working in business development in the UK and New Zealand and she is the founder of online reputation service directory TRUSTcite. You can find out more about Hannah and hear what others have to say about her at www.hannahsamuel.com
The Details RSN Rev-Up Series 2011 Auckland Rev-Up #2 With Hannah Samuel 12pm—2pm, Wednesday 11 May 2011 OfficeMax Training Centre 30 Sir Woolf Fisher Drive, Highbrook, East Tamaki Auckland Rev Sales Network Members: Free Non-members: $49.95 incl gst pp Includes light lunch
How To Register To register your attendance for this event send an email with “Hannah Samuel” in the subject line and the number of tickets required to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or for more details visit us at www.rsn.co.nz Hurry! Registrations close Friday 6 May! Spaces allocated on first reserved, first served basis. Limit 80 attendees only.
Visit us at www.rsn.co.nz
Liam Ventnor is the Principal of Sales Fish Sales Training. To find out more visit www.salesfish.co.nz
In House Sales Training Is it working for you? By Liam Ventnor
NZSM / april 2011 / 12
ecently we encountered a couple of Sales Managers running their own 'ad hoc' sales training in-house. (This 'ad hoc' sales training is not to be confused with the sophisticated sales training programmes run by some of the larger corporations who employ their own in-house sales training programme directors). The questions I ask these Sales Managers are: • Do you have sales people in your team that substantially out perform the others? • Do you get frustrated that some of your sales people don't implement the advice you give them? The usual answer we hear to these two questions is “yes” and “yes”. This tells us there are shortfalls in their training methodology which means that potential sales revenue is being lost.
No Sales Manager likes to admit that their in-house training is falling short. (Sadly I have to admit being no exception to this comment in a previous sales management role). After all, most experienced Sales Managers are seasoned and competent professionals with excellent personal sales success records. Here are some reasons why in-house sales training, almost without exception, fails to deliver the key result of increased sales revenue: It is often viewed by the recipient as more of the same old rhetoric. Giving your sales people advice over and over the same way usually has a diminishing effect each time you tell them. While Sales Managers usually have a wealth of knowledge to share they are not necessarily
If your sales people have the knowledge, skills and processes but fail to deploy them, you can't expect sales to increase. professional trainers. Giving people the knowledge and processes and getting them to use and adopt them as habit are two different things. If your sales people have the knowledge, skills and processes but fail to deploy them, you can't expect sales to increase. It's like the old adage 'Telling ain't selling' and 'Telling certainly ain't training'. Professional sales trainers are experts at getting sales people to adopt and deploy. Often in-house training is provided as a point solution. That is, it addresses a single issue in the sales process (it might address a single aspect like negotiation or closing) rather than being delivered as part of a complete coherently structured programme.
However there is a strong case for in-house training that focuses on a specific aspect of the sales programme. It can be used to address a specific shortfall that arises in the sales process. It can be used to adjust the sales process to accommodate a change in focus, for example a shift in focus from product orientated sales to service orientated sales, and it can be used to reinforce an external sales programme. For these reasons it is also extremely important that any external sales programme is designed to integrate with your existing environment and specific market conditions.
13 / april 2011 / NZSM
Whoever delivers your sales programme will need to be cognisant of this when tailoring the sales programme for your team. This will mean that they will need to spend some time before the commencement of the delivery of the training programme surveying your market territory and getting a good understanding of your specific challenges. In-house sales training is often provided without structured follow up mechanisms or metrics to ensure that the 'student' stays on track. Taking a wait and see approach isn’t as effective as milestone-monitoring and mentoring the sales process for a period after a training workshop.
Comparing results from sales staff that have been through your current training programme with those who haven't should provide revealing metrics. If you're not measuring sustained gains in sales revenues from those staff who have been through your current training... then it's obviously not working.
This is essential in order to fine tune and adjust strategies to suit your sales staff's unique requirements and to address the inevitable adoption hurdles staff encounter. Sometimes it's hard to see the wood for the trees, or determine if you need to return to your basics, or reach out for new strategies. And of course it's also important to always critically examine what we are doing from fresh angles. Often an outside perspective can clearly spot what is missing. Professional sales trainers should also be keeping abreast of new sales and lead generation technologies that can fundamentally change sales strategies.
Obviously I have a vested interest in this topic, but it is a discussion that should take place within your organisation. I started this article by saying “recently we encountered a couple of Sales Managers running their own ad hoc sales training in-house”. The interesting thing is that we approached one of these sales managers as a result of a request from his sales staff who felt the internal sales training was very haphazard, and not tailored to their current requirements and opportunities. Comparing results from sales staff that have been through your current training programme with those who haven't should provide revealing metrics. If you're not measuring sustained gains in sales revenues from those staff who have been through your current training ... then it's obviously not working. If it's not delivering bottom line gains in profit then stop wasting your money and change something! ■
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NZSM CALENDAR APRIL-MAY 2011
7 April Cold Calling/Hot Knocking Auckland Top Achievers Sales Training www.topachieverssalestraining.co.nz 7 & 8 April Key Account Management Auckland NZIM Northern www.nzimnorthern.co.nz/wa.asp?idWebPage=16885 &idDetails=110 11 April Winning Executive Summaries Auckland Shipley NZ www.shipleywins.co.nz/training/ 13 April Foundations for Sales Success 45d Mt Wellington Highway Auckland Zealmark Group www.zealmarkgroup.co.nz/profile_Foundations_of_ sales_Success.php 19 April Overcoming Objections Auckland Top Achievers Sales Training www.topachieverssalestraining.co.nz 21 April Sales Process Auckland Top Achievers Sales Training www.topachieverssalestraining.co.nz
2 May Advanced Presentation Masterclass Wellington Effective Speaking www.effectivespeaking.co.nz/presentationmasterclass.html 5 May Cold Calling/Hot Knocking Auckland Top Achievers Sales Training www.topachieverssalestraining.co.nz 5 & 6 May Consultative Sales Skills Auckland NZIM Northern www.nzimnorthern.co.nz/wa.asp?idWebPage=16885 &idDetails=108 5 & 6 May Professional TeleSelling Skills Auckland AchieveGlobal www.achieveglobal.co.nz/calendar 9 May Directors' Forum Auckland Shipley NZ www.shipleywins.co.nz/training/ 11 May Foundations for Sales Success 45d Mt Wellington Highway Auckland Zealmark Group www.zealmarkgroup.co.nz/profile_Foundations_of_ sales_Success.php 9 to 11 May Professional Selling Skills Auckland AchieveGlobal www.achieveglobal.co.nz/calendar
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T W O M I N UTE T O P U P
Paul Newsom is the editor of NZ Sales Manager and helps sales professionals and sales managers to compete and win in complex sales. You can visit Paul’s website at www.salespartners.co.nz
‘So, who are you’? Slow down to make your introduction By Paul Newsom
received a call this week from an enthusiastic sales person. I’m all for enthusiasm for our work, however on this occasion the result of the enthusiasm worked against him. The opening words of his introduction were confident and obviously well practiced, and didn’t sound scripted. It was said with genuine intent. What went wrong for this sales person, and me as the recipient of the call, was that I couldn’t keep up. Now I like to think my mind is pretty sharp, but the sales person said the first few words of their introduction far too quickly. I had no idea of their name of the caller of their company. This rushed introduction usually happens when we are confident, enthusiastic, and know exactly what we are going to say. Have a think about what is going on for you at the time
NZSM / april 2011 / 18
when the phone rings, when someone is calling you. You probably stop what you are doing, and certainly stop what you were thinking about. In doing so you check out of whatever you were doing, and check into answering the phone. On many occasions, as we know, the former overlaps the latter considerably. When answering the phone, and recognising that this is not someone we know, several things are typically going through our mind: • • • • • • •
Who is this person? Which company or organization are they calling from? What do they want? Do they sound like a sales person, and if so, what are they trying to sell me?■ Are they credible? How is it relevant to me? Do I want to give this any of my time?
You are also tuning into the tone of the callers voice and their accent. Whether we are aware or not, we are forming our first impressions of the caller. Now the mind is an amazing machine, but if we are given the opening message too quickly while we are trying to answer all these questions, then we will already be going down the path of resistance if our first response has to be ‘who are you?’, and ‘where are you calling from?’ This resistance makes it that much harder for the sales person to establish their credibility, while they back track and have to repeat their name in those first few critical moments. So when making calls, particularly those first time calls where the person does not already have the answers to the above questions, it is imperative that your first few words are spoken slowly, clearly and at a pace where the person you are calling can process what is going through their mind, and engage with you.
Now the mind is an amazing machine, but if we are given the opening message too quickly while we are trying to answer all these questions, then we will already be going down the path of resistance if our first response has to be ‘who are you?’
If the line is bad, it makes it a whole lot harder. If you are calling to a mobile there is a greater chance of background noise and poor reception. The quality of your opening becomes all the more important for you to establish credibility. A good way to do this is to say your first name twice in your opening. You make the call. John Smith picks up the phone, and says, “Hello, this is John” You say in a relaxed, well paced manner, “Hi John, this is Paul….1 sec pause…Paul Newsom .. 1sec pause …. of NZ Sales Manager……” Giving your Christian name twice gives John the moment that he needs to check out, and check in with you, and latch onto your name and company. If your surname is long and hard to pronounce, then start the introduction with just your first name. If your company name is long, has no obvious meaning or is hard to pronounce or spell, then figure out a shorter, more meaningful way of introducing the company. This may seem a small thing, but you will find it makes a huge difference. No longer will you get the response ‘So, who are you….. where are you calling from?’ ■
19 / april 2011 / NZSM
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It's not what you sell, it's how you sell Who makes the decision round here?
e know how important it is to be talking with the decision makers. But how do we find out who they are?
The best way is to ask. Asking ‘are you the decision maker’, or ‘who will make the decision’, can be awkward and may either hit your prospects self esteem, or make you look stupid if you have misread the situation. A better way is to ask ‘who, as well as yourself, will be making a decision on this?’ This assumption that your prospect is to be included in the decision will protect their self esteem, and the assumption that someone else might be, will open the way to identifying who else you need to talking with. ■
WIN A LASER POINTER PEN FOR YOUR QUICK FIX! If you have a favorite ‘quick fix’ that you would like to share with our readers (without giving your winning secrets away!) then email the editor at pauln@ nzsalesmanager.co.nz. You will be in to win a highpowered laser pointer pen, courtesy of the great guys at Brand Storming Promotions.
IM G _2
“ I never ran 1000 miles. I could never have done that. I ran one mile 1000 times.
American ultra-distance runner.
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Short and sharp, NZ Sales Manager is New Zealand's free e-magazine for sales professionals.It delivers thought provoking articles from some...