CASE STUDY: Developing Sales Swagger

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TOPIC: Annual Sales Conference Options

INDUSTRY: Healthcare

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ASSESSMENT/SITUATION:  I received a call from a client who was looking for a creative way for her sales team to demonstrate more confidence in their jobs.  Most of the sales team had over ten years’ tenure with the firm; due to the seriousness of their product, they had developed a serious approach to sales.  The client wanted the reps to have more “swagger” and excitement in their interactions with their clients.  They had had motivational speakers and various sales training courses in the past and, while they were great, they didn’t address the issue of confidence. This was the type of challenge I love to work on.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  One of the members of the Athena Alliance is very experienced in delivering Improv sessions. After speaking with my partner, I knew that this would be a great option to help transform the sales team.  Lots of laughter and doing things outside of their comfort zones would help them to shift their perspective.

SOLUTION:  The Alliance partner provided a one-day session using Improv techniques to get them out of their comfort zones and learned techniques to communicate more powerfully and to have more of a presence when they entered the room.

RESULTS:  The Director of Sales was thrilled with the session.  Although a few of the sales folks had some challenges doing all of the exercises initially, they all eventually participated.  There was a lot of laughter, and the Director shared with me that the team expressed their gratitude for arranging this important session.  They felt energized and excited to return to work.  The team also bonded during the exercises in a new way, a bonus as far as the Director was concerned.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc. The company names and individuals have been kept private in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

12 Top Best Practices for Successful Sales Professionals – Part Four – by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

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12 Top Best Practices for Successful Sales Professionals – Part Four – by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

Continued from Part Three

10) Recap for Understanding During a sales call I am always taking notes. I want to remember and document the pertinent information from each of my sales calls.  This is particularly important when I am doing a needs assessment.  I make a habit of recapping my understanding of what there need is, the timing of the project and any other particulars that are relevant to the proposal.  I find when I read back the notes from our discussion there is often additional information and ideas that the client will add to our original discussion.  It also saves me from going off and preparing a proposal with any misicheck marknformation.

11) Know Values/Benefits  To me this is a critical to a salesperson’s success. I am sometimes surprised to see how many of the participants in my sessions sell features.  I learned very early in my career that people buy benefits.  What can your product or service do for me? The WIIFM for everyone is critical.  I like to take it a step further and make sure that how you communicate the values and benefits be authentic to you.  Companies spend millions of dollars every year coming up with branding and slogans to let the world know who they are.  I think a salesperson should also infuse their own personality and values to any value proposition.  This goes a long way to deliver a truly authentic message from the sales person making the presentation.

12) Matching Styles – As humans we have a tendency to get along with and trust people who are much like ourselves.  I have found if I match pace and tonality when I am speaking with people on the phone, leaving voice messages or meeting face-to-face helps to connect more quickly.  I have been in meetings where I simply didn’t connect with the person initially, and once I consciously started to match their pace and tonality I seemed to be able to develop rapport.  The key here is to be subtle and natural, otherwise the prospect will sense you are not being genuine.

Let’s make this a baker’s dozen…

13) Tell the Truth – Like most salespeople, I have been faced with delivering some not so good news to clients.  I have found that even bad news can be delivered professionally.  If I don’t know something, I simply take great notes and tell my prospects and clients that I will find out and get back to them.  I make sure I follow up in a timely manner.  Customers have told me that they appreciate my honesty.  This just makes good business sense to me if you want your clients to trust you, you have to be trustworthy.