When we lead a new sales training cohort, we know there will be three types of attendees.
The constant learners
These are the people who show up excited. This group knows they will leave any learning opportunity better prepared for success.
These are the people who have had some good experiences with training programs but many bad ones. This is our favorite group because a healthy skepticism leads to honest conversations and debates, opening minds to new ideas.
And then there are the people whose body language, and (occasionally) actual words, say they'd rather be anywhere else, doing anything other than sales training. Their objection to being there? They already KNOW how to sell and are NOT looking for someone to "tell" them how to do their job.
Speak to your audience
Whether in-person, in a virtual cohort, or through our online platform, we address these three groups head-on. We assure the eager learners that they will be better prepared for success if they pay attention and engage. Learning always occurs, whether from the instructors or other participants.
For the skeptics, we encourage them to share their skepticism. We want them to challenge our teaching, ask questions, and bring a healthy devil's advocate approach. Because our teaching is based on logical, common-sense strategies and ideas, they usually find their unique application to already proven ideas.
We lean further into this last idea for the hostages. We point out that they are already committed to the program and encourage them to keep an open mind and look for even slight tweaks to what they’re currently doing that can improve their effectiveness. Even minor adjustments can drive a profound improvement in results.
Remove the friction
We spend a fair amount of time breaking down the defenses of the attendees. Some aren't even aware of their internal resistance, but it’s still there. We proudly state that an attendee in one of our courses may not hear anything new or be presented with anything they haven’t seen and used somewhere in their career.
As we point out, consultative, buyer-focused selling is basic in its ideology. Our goal isn’t to get the attendees to buy into some over-the-top new idea; it's to dissect what has led to success for them in the past and to create a repeatable process around those already proven ideas. In other words, our goal is to remove the barriers that work their way onto our paths to success.
R & D
R&D is foundational to getting our attendees excited about what we’ll share and teach them. This isn’t the research and development type of R&D, we rob and duplicate the powerful ideas and insights of others.
Borrowing from credible third parties not only builds excitement but also breaks down the barriers and removes the friction of learning. Once the attendees see the logic of others, they become much more eager to execute those ideas themselves. Their resistance to adopting/adjusting a sales process that naturally has these ideas integrated drops significantly.
Want vs. Have to Buy
We share the story of a startup CEO who pointed out to a group of record store executives that nobody WANTS to buy their CDs (yes, it’s an old story 😏). He observed that their customers HAVE to buy the CDs, but what they WANT is to hear that new song, have it playing in their ears, and experience the feeling it puts inside their souls.
As the CEO pointed out, had those record store executives focused on what their customers wanted, they might have invented the technology that eventually led to streaming services. Instead, they mistakenly thought customers would continue to have to buy their CDs. Now, records stores are long since bankrupt.
NOBODY wants to buy employee benefits. For various reasons, employers have to buy them and resent almost everyone associated with that have-to experience. Figure out what your buyers WANT (attraction/retention, a more engaged workforce, to be an employer of choice, etc.) and help them achieve it, and you'll separate yourself from the pool of resentment.
Our sales system (MORE System) has the concept of delivering what your buyers WANT imbedded from the very earliest of conversations.
Become a Challenger
We pull heavily from the teaching of The Challenger Sale. The book explains that Challengers, by FAR the most successful of the five sales profiles, do three things that other salespeople don’t.
They teach rather than sell. During the sales process, they make sure they are teaching the buyers things about their own business. As a result, they leave their prospects better prepared for success, even if they never do business.
They realize there are multiple influencers in any significant buying decision. For you, this usually includes the owner/CEO, CFO, and head of HR. Each role has a different part of the business they are responsible for protecting, meaning they have different questions you'll need to identify and answer.
This is the most critical aspect of being a challenger. From the beginning, Challengers establish what it will take to (likely) earn the business. Once the target is established, they keep asking the tough questions to move the buyer forward and ensure that, at each step, they are still on a path that will earn them the business.
Teaching, tailoring, and controlling are at the natural core of the MORE System.
Why, How, and What
We also borrow from Simon Sinek’s famous TED talk, “How great leaders inspire action.” As Simon points out, the most successful sales messages include three elements in a specific order.
This is the emotional part of selling. Your “why” is your purpose, the thing that drives you to get out of bed in the morning, and leaves you deeply satisfied when you end your day. When you lead with this part of your sales message, you tap into the emotional drivers of your buyers.
This is your unique value proposition, your true differentiator. Your “how” describes what it is about the way you work that makes you different from those against whom you compete.
Your “what” is simply the products and services you sell. Contrary to most producers who lead with this part of the message, it is the last part used by Challengers.
Not only does the MORE System have all three parts built in and in the correct order, but the MORE System is the actual "How" used by students of the process.
It ain’t rocket science
Yes, our approach becomes your greatest, most sustainable competitive advantage. It's easy for our subscribers to buy into the MORE System once they understand the power and logic of its DNA.
By taking the time upfront to get buy-in to our core tenants, our subscribers/clients understand that not only are they not being controlled by someone else's process, but they're also being given a system and process that allows them to control their sales conversation.
They finish our programs understanding how to control their pipeline's health, the movement of opportunities through the pipeline, and the impact they deliver to new clients.
And who doesn't want that?!
Content provided by Q4intelligence
Photo by ddkolos