by Jacques Werth
Most salespeople, sales managers and sales trainers know that sales training seldom has a lasting beneficial effect. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), and other research organizations state that less than 25% of the people who take sales training courses obtain a sustained increase in their sales performance. Why not?
The vast majority of organizations that conduct sales training teach the subject the same way they would teach a Philosophy or Literature class. They outline their beliefs about the basic outline of their sales methods and invite the students to fill in the blanks. However, for every product, service, industry, market and salesperson there are myriad ways to fill in the blanks. Furthermore, the students are encouraged to “think creatively” in each situation; to “adapt their sales methods” to each individual prospect. Almost all of them find that selling that way is too complex, and too difficult, to implement in the real world with real prospects.
Creativity is extremely important to artists, researchers, consultants, parents, and in many other fields. In sales, a consistent process that seldom varies is far more important. Then, making changes to parts of the process should only be done when you discover something that consistently works better.
Top salespeople look at their selling skills as a craft. Like carpenters, surgeons, accountants, and other skilled practitioners, they strive to do what works best the vast majority of the time. That means they constantly hone their craft. Working from a process outline, they fill in each section with what works best. Most of the best salespeople seldom deviate from their complete sales process. Rather, they work with written questionnaires and check lists during their conversations with prospects and customers.
This is a typical sales process outline used by many top salespeople:
- Only meet with prospects that are ready, willing and able to specify or buy your type of product. Confirm the facts before the first meeting.
- At the meeting, or telephone appointment, agree on the rules of engagement for the sales process.
- Determine whether you can have a relationship of mutual trust.
- Determine whether you have a mutually acceptable basis to do business.
- Agree on the prospect’s criteria for buying your product or service.
- Demonstrate how you will fulfill the prospect criteria and consummate the sale.
For a lasting beneficial effect from sales training you must develop or find a consistent sales process, comprised of reality-based measurable steps and written questionnaires. Then, you can develop the skill to utilize the process for consistent, long lasting sales improvement.
For more information about our proven sales process, click here.
High Probability Selling Inc.
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