Convert internal training to customer understanding to thrive in selling. Why? Because, unfortunately, internal professional sales trainings programs, are company, not customer, focused. They focus inward, not outward. They focus on the science of the product, not art of selling it.
Companies engage in sales training to empower their front line. If only companies knew just how accurate the term internal is when it comes to their internal sales training. (Sigh!) What to do about the anomaly? Convert internal training to customer understanding. Here’s examples how.
Focus on what the product does
“This two-door lift is the latest in the market,” the internal trainer, likely an engineer, effuses, visibly excited by the product. And he goes on to extol its features. “The lift can be automatically powered by solar while it moves up and down. It also has ….”
Now any progressive seller knows that customers don’t buy what the product is, they buy what it does. For them. The inability to convert this internal sales training to what the lift does for the specific prospect is the cause of many lost sales.
How? For instance, the use of a two-door lift means it can save lives in a hospital, enhance safety in a warehouse, or accelerate passenger traffic at an airport. How? Well, instead of having to turn the stretcher in order to face the surgery room, the appropriate door conveniently opens in the direction of the room when the lift gets to it. Next, in the warehouse, the forklift no longer needs to go up a ramp to get to the upper floors, and in the process increasing the chances of an accident.
No. Now, it just enters the lift through one door, is whisked to the floor desired and exits forward or backward as is required. At the airport, the two-way lift allows passengers to flow without bumping into each other as they would if the lift opened in one direction only. For the executive, it’s heightened safety standards, a value his organization espouses. And the solar powering means a 30% saving in power costs. See the difference?
Focus on the customer to convert internal training
Now then. This focus inwards is even more profound when it comes to scientific-based products. Take pharmaceuticals. First, because of its sensitivity, security and safety, beyond products, this industry is also governed by ethics. So much so, that, ideally, the medical representative is almost straight jacketed to product knowledge in the internal training. And yet, he is expected to sell through product knowledge sharing. Small wonder they don’t call it selling, but detailing. Small wonder too, that the sales world calls it missionary selling.
Does it work? Listening to doctors fed up with having to listen to five or six med reps in a day, it’s struggling. Interestingly, progressive med reps have learnt to convert product knowledge to customer understanding. How do they do this? They start with the art, and the science follows as a natural consequence. These med reps find ways to make the doctor’s hectic life easier and then the doctor responds in kind. He invites them to share what they have.
Meanwhile, the drug representatives that stuck by the internal professional sales training programs stand in line outside the doctor’s clinic, brochure, marketing merchandise, and sample filled briefcase in hand, hoping to get a chance to detail.
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