How to beat internal training methods that limit your sales abilities

“Focus on how the buyer benefits instead of narrowing down on features that the training focused on.”

Many companies sabotage their sales efforts through their internal training. Most internal trainings are product oriented, with a technocrat (say, an engineer or underwriter) called in to drive home the product knowledge; yet success in selling is buyer oriented. And so, armed with product knowledge, the seller goes out to evangelize to buyers who listen with strained boredom-so what?, they silently wonder For the seller, frustration builds, the learning curve is lengthened and exit is imminent And why? Because we buy the new tariff because it fits into our interests, budget and planning and not because voice, data and sms come as a package. Limited only by editorial space, here are three scenarios how sellers can overcome this dilemma.

1. Minimum does not mean you are stuck with it. Simply because the internal training said that the minimum entry to the high yield investment is 1million shillings does not limit you to that. Nothing stops you from asking for 3million; even 10! The brochure shows that the minimum deposit for the 100million shs holiday home is 10%- that information is meant by marketing to attract, not sell; when presenting or closing ask for 70%- even the full 100million. It’s not overpricing. Many sellers who’ve awoken to this realization admit to having been presented with an opportunity to get more but defaulted to what they were told in the training. Like the agent who was shocked to discover he can get annual payment on the monthly priced insurance policy.

2. Choice of words in training. Again, marketing succeeds with such words as affordable, flexible and convenient. Selling doesn’t. All these are relative terms; they mean different things to different people. The investment that calls for only Kes.10,000 as an entry point, is just as affordable as the one calling for 1 million entry. Virtually, all products and services claim to be affordable, flexible and convenient. Instead of repeating verbatim to the buyer that our one million shs, high yield investment is affordable (which can be interpreted to mean it’s for everyone) explain and mean it when you say that, “It’s affordable for the chosen few it’s intended for- like you sir”; or, “let’s see how we can rhyme our flexible payment terms with your cash flow.” Demonstrate what the term means to the buyer. I know a seller who when asked by a prospect how much the 100m shs holiday home costs says, “I know you can afford it.”

3. The hawker who tells the lady buyer to buy the pen because it complements the colour of her dress will more likely get a sale from her than the one who pushes it in her face stating, “karamu twendi” (buy a pen for twenty shillings). Training said that the pen costs only twenty shillings. That’s a fact, not an emotion; and it’s the latter that sells. Converting the facts about the product into practical use is what will get you the sale. We buy the flash disk because it can fit 1000songs not because it’s 4GB. Selling is demonstrating how the product features meet the buyer’s needs. Those adept at it will do so without mentioning the features at all. For instance, “this printer will fit well into your busy schedule. You don’t need to spend time standing over it. Just email the work as you want it printed and it will do so in a quarter of the time it currently takes you, and with three times the clarity you currently enjoy. The savings in time will astonish you. It will feel as if your day just gained another hour.”

Compare this to: “This state-of-art digital printer has 1440dpi, 200 cpm and has 512MB of RAM. It has a 7,000 duty cycle and integrated wireless, for use among several wirelessly connected computers plus standard and optional feed and multipurpose trays…. Huh?”

Companies should interrogate their training methods against how the buyer benefits.

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