When I roleplay/practice with salespeople and play the part of the salesperson as a way of demonstrating the behavior I want them to follow, I am very conscious of my intention and behavior in the interaction: I am focused on what they are saying, use voice and body match, listen deeply and reframe their words and recreate their emotion, and ask more questions in response to what they say. These are all teachable actions and they all require repeated practice.
The last one – ask more questions in response to what they say – is a critical skill to adopt and repeat. When I observe salespeople in role play or on the floor, I see that they TELL the customer something in response to what they say instead of telling and asking another question.
Customer: “Is this solid wood?”
Salesperson: “Yes it is.” ADD” Can you tell me what’s important to you about solid wood?”
I also find this step is lacking when discussing money. Example:
Customer: “Is $1500 the price for this sofa?”
Salesperson: “Yes.” ADD: “Will that price work for you?”
I had a great call today with the sales leadership of Interiors Homein PA. We have been working together for a couple of years and discussing how to break some habits and create new, more effective ones. One of the actions we were discussing I have mentioned before: Sales managers interrupting sales/customer interactions on the sales floor to help the salesperson to overcome concerns and to help them to close the sale (or get the appointment).
Today we distinguished HOW to engage. Instead of the sales manager introducing themselves to be ‘helpful’ to the customer and to the salesperson, it’s better to “Actively and Intentionally Engage” with the outcome being the sale or the appointment. And to take the opportunity to demonstrate the selling skill needed (new questions, more powerful presentation, overcome sticky objections, or ask for the commitment!) that the salesperson may have missed or performed poorly. It’s a BIG difference from just being helpful.
For sales professionals, everywhere And you don’t have to win them all. You want to win them all, will do your best to win them all, and sometimes obstacles will arise that will prevent that from happening. There is … Continue reading →
For sales managers everywhere
We have all heard about how pressure creates diamonds as inspiration to be able to learn to withstand it. The ability to deal with pressure effectively is a learned trait, and sometimes the only benefit of adversity and challenge. Pressure shows what is underneath and who we are.
The Dalai Lama said “How we do anything is how we do everything” and that goes for pressure, too. If we cave and implode, get confused and flaky, get demanding and impatient and angry, those are our defaults under pressure. My quote is: “When we squeeze a tomato, we don’t get orange juice.”
When I work with an organization and get push back from employees, I know that I am providing pressure and revealing how that person will behave under pressure.
Training shows you how your salespeople learn and comprehend, take risks and try new things, and how they perform under pressure. How they behave with the pressure I provide shows you how they will behave with a prospect or customer who doesn’t do what they want them to do. So when they show me resistance or indifference, consider that is the same behavior they will show your customer when they say “I’m just browsing” or “I want to think about it.