Many companies sabotage their sales efforts through their internal sales training programs. Most internal professional sales training programs 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 of how sellers can overcome this dliemma.

Three ways to beat sabotaging their sales efforts

  1. A minimum does not mean you are stuck with it. Simply because the internal sales training taught that the minimum entry to the high yield investment is 1million shillings does not limit you to that. When presenting or closing, ask for 70%- even the full 100 million. It’s not overpricing.
  2. 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.
  3. Instead of repeating verbatim to the buyer that “Our Ksh 1 million, of high yield investment, is affordable (which can be interpreted to mean it’s for everyone) explain, and mean it, 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”.
Internal Sales training

Take Away

The hawker who tells the lady buyer to buy the pen because it complements the color 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 a 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 1000 songs not because it’s 4GB. Selling is demonstrating how the product features meet the buyer’s needs.

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

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.”

Case study

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 sales training methods against how the buyer benefits.


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