Taking Steps Toward Leadership–sales process

Ewwww! Sales!  Doesn’t apply to me!  I’m in management; I lead.  Do you teach your sales force to sell?  Well…  If they’re not sales people, we don’t hire them, and if they are but they’re not good, we fire them.

Is your receptionist on the sales force?  Of course not.  She should be.  Are your customer service reps on the sales force?  No?  They should be.  Have you seen any of their sales seminars?  No?  You should.  Why?

BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS SALES!

When you go to church, they are selling you on the ambiance of the location, how the inside appeals to your spiritual self.  They are selling you on the friendliness of the parishioners.  They are selling you on the traditions and processes of their service.  They are selling you on the message (spoken and unspoken).

When you go to school, they are selling you on the prestige of a degree from the institution that you can proudly display in your office.  They are telling you that it is worth the price you will be paying for the next 20 years.  They are selling you on the expertise of their professors, the completeness of their library, the connections they have in the job market, and their winning football/basketball/soccer team.  The professors are selling you on the importance of the material they’re teaching.  They are depending on the common belief that a college education is absolutely necessary to make a living wage.

When you go to a theme park for your vacation, they sell you on the benefits you receive by booking early, and the necessity to keep your children happy because they deserve to go to this theme park.  They sell you on the merchandise, the rides, and the food in the park.  They sell you on the friendliness of all the cast members, the cleanliness of the park, and the activities put on for your benefit.

So no, it’s not just the sales force doing the sales.  Everyone is selling both externally and internally.  Internal sales?  Why would you have to sell to your own people?  You have to sell your employees and management on the idea that the purpose of the organization is worthy of their loyalty and their best efforts, and you have to convince them of your integrity and your devotion to the highest standards.

That is quite the introduction isn’t it.  Do you see a need for sales training now?  AHA!  What was the sales process then?  “Wait?  You haven’t told us!”  Ah, but I did.

First, you have to develop a rapport with people.  I did that by expressing what 99% of people who do not believe they’re in sales think.  “I don’t like sales and it doesn’t affect me.”  I then explained how people might inadvertently be sold in places they would not expect to find sales people:  the church, the school, the vacation.  My prospects may be able to relate to those 3 situations.  I made them aware of the predominance of sales in every day life.  Once aware of the need, they do their own inventory to see if it applies to them.  I transitioned into my premise, “Everyone needs sales training because everyone is in sales.”  At this point, because of their heightened awareness and the fact that they also had come up with this premise, they are willing to accept this idea of sales training. and were asking for more information.  “You haven’t told us!”  The next thing in their minds is going to be either, “How much will it cost?” or “AHA!  I see your nefarious plans!  Let me find out if I can get this information on my own.”

If you have some of the answers right in front of you, and you have someone willing to share their expertise in this area for free, what would stop you from going ahead?  The closing questions are questions that bring up more requests for information.  Then more closing questions are done to clarify the terms.  Then the sale is complete.

More tomorrow!

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