On the Job Sales Training

sales-training-on-jobI was recently reminded of the all-important sales technique of qualifying your prospect. My co-worker did the old “sell me this pencil” sales training trick. Thinking I would nail such a simple request, I immediately launched into the downside of pens (they run out of ink, stain your clothes, explode…etc) in order to set up the benefits of the good old reliable pencil. This approach is an effective sales technique in many circumstances, but it does not necessarily set up a sales person to “effectively” take control of the sales process.

The reality is that despite my beliefs about pens and pencils, the prospect may not particularly care what “I” think – no matter how great of a sales presentation I give. What I needed to do was find out what the heck the prospect thinks. In other words, I needed to “prospect.” I should have asked “how many pencils do you own?” “Do you prefer the traditional #2 pencil, or something else?” “How many people in your office use pencils?” These questions would have given me the information needed to take control of the sales process by discovering the prospect’s pain points. I could have then tailored my sales presentation to hit all of my prospect’s concerns.

Although my co-worker “took me to school,” I was reminded of several valuable lessons. The first is that sales training is ongoing – I can always improve, and need to practice and remember even the basics. The second is that my peers can be my best source for sales training – if I’m willing to put my ego away. The third is that I can get stuck in patterns that may work great in some cases, but may limit sales potential in other cases. It’s simple reminders like these that help keep me sharp and encourage me to improve.

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By Theo

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