#1 – Preparation and Research are Priority One
Employee sales training is one of the most common general purpose training fields that corporate training professionals have to deal with. In fact, many of the training models, philosophies and techniques pioneered in recent times have been tested first in sales training, given it’s such a standard environment for training itself.
So, when it comes to employee sales training, corporate or in retail, there’s no need to look to adopt some special models or techniques, if you’ve found ones that work well for you in other training fields. That’s a great thing, because having to abandon models and techniques right when you get to the point of being comfortable and perfectly familiar with the ones you have is not a fun thing. There do exist training scenarios where this has to happen. Thankfully, this isn’t one of them!
What you need to concern yourself with, if you’ve not worked with sales training before, are some of the important tenets to instill in your students, rather than any special way to accomplish such. Students coming in will likely have a certain image of sales, from having dealt with retail and corporate sales people as the potential customer, with those sales people not being very good, and making a lot of mistakes. The biggest onus you must live with is therefore the combatting of these bad habits they have subliminally picked up prior to entering your classroom.
Students may have the image of the slick salesman who can talk their way through any question they were not prepared for, and use innocuous white lies or vague points about a product or service to make a sell. Well, some sales people are quite good at this, but you need to deprogram them of this right away. They need to learn right away that the biggest workload sales people will have is preparation and research, knowing everything there is to know about the foreseeable demographics, and the product or service, so that they can answer truthfully any question and address any issue with speed and accuracy that rivals a search engine.
#2 – Listen, and Don’t Oversell
Teaching them how to learn to stop a pitch, so that the prospect has time to breath, to mull over what has been said, and address anything they have questions about is the next priority. Along with this, listening, not just pretending to, to anything the prospect has to say, so that they may establish a deeper relationship with them, and through this, convey to them why they personally need the product or service is how successful pitches work, not accosting them with a relentless unending pitch.
#3 – Follow Up on Leads and Make Effort to Close Deals
Finally, it’s a common tendency in people to not chase leads that walk away with potential interest, and it’s also common for people, for fear of being obtrusive, to back down the first time a prospect says “maybe not”.
There’s this fine line between learning not to oversell, and putting forth an effort to close a deal. Giving up the first time is not a good idea, but knowing when to back off is also very important.
These latter two points are what pioneered the social conversational games used in a lot of training, and which later made their way into customer service training as well.
These are the biggest points to get across with employee sales training, first. After you’ve combated their wrong mindset going in, with these things, you can then take them by the hands and lead them into techniques for proper balanced pitches, and the ever-feared psychological and sociological aspects of sales.