Saturday, November 27, 2010

Another 3 techniques that help the new sales rep hit the ground running: (Part 2)

Here are 3 additional sales training techniques that adequately prepare the new sales rep to hit the ground running:

1) Have your new sales rep write two telephone and email scripts that requests an appointment. In today’s business environment, the vast majority of buyers will only see a sales rep by appointment and with voice mail it can be very challenging getting that appointment. Therefore, it is imperative that this telephone and email script be short, sweet and powerful without sounding pushy.

2) Have the new rep write answers to 4 tough telephone objections from both the prospect as well as their “gate keeper/screener”. Objections like (a) “I’m not interested”, (b) “I already buy from a competitor that I’m happy with”, (c) “Send me information in the mail”, (d) “I’ll leave a message for Mr. Jones, Smith, etc.”

3) Have your sales rep write several benefit statements to be used when making sales calls. These benefit statements need to explain to a prospect why he/she should continue listening to what your sales reps has to say. The image your sales rep should have is imagining he’s in a cage with a hungry lion and that lion is going to eat him unless he feeds him meat to chew on. That “meat” is benefits that the prospect may be interested in.

Now all of these activities (part 1, 2 & 3) will take a week to accomplish. So, you’ve lost a week of sales call activity. However, this one week loss is nothing in the overall scheme of things. Because once the rep is armed with knowledge and sales techniques, he/she will have a far greater likelihood of being successful and your company will get a lot more business from them.

Next week’s blog: Undercapitalization; a death blow to your business

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

3 Techniques that help the new sales rep hit the ground running: (part 1):

1) Provide your reps with a list of the strengths and weaknesses of the products or services your company sells. You need to have a training program that gives them information as to not only what your products or services do, but also why customers should part with their valuable money to buy them.

2) Provide your reps with a list of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. You know who your competitors are. And, you also know your competition’s strengths and weaknesses. Your sales reps need to understand this info cold! If you don’t have this info written down, have your sales reps dig out the information on their own.

3) Provide you reps with a list of your customers and the specific purchases they have made and other key information about their purchase(s). Have the reps analyze who is buying from you. This will help them identify and target other prospects in the same or similar industry. Remember in selling, a rifle shot can be far more effective than a scatter gun approach.

After one week on the job, give the new sales rep a prepared test to see if they have competent knowledge of the above 3 categories. If they don’t have this knowledge, terminate them! I know this sounds harsh, but this is precisely what we did when I was an instructor at Xerox’s International Center for Training and Management Development. If a new rep doesn’t show initial commitment to learning what he/she will need to be successful, they won’t end up being a winner for your company.

Next week’s blog: 3 Additional techniques that help the new sales rep hit the ground running: (Part 2)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why New Businesses Fail: (Part 2)

Last week’s blog mentioned 3 reasons why new businesses fail: under capitalization, lack of knowledge about the industry and improper or incomplete financial controls. Here are 3 more:

1) Lack of sales expertise. Every business needs to sell its products or services if it plans on keeping its doors open. If you don’t have people on board who know how to successfully pitch the product, you’re doomed. By the way, this includes you because you need to be the sales leader.

2) Improper location. If you’re going to be in retail, you’d better be darned sure there is sufficient traffic to buy your products. Proper location can be just as important if transportation to and from your business is a necessary ingredient to success.

3) Lack of basic managerial skills. Unless you’re going to be a one man shop, you’re going to have people working for you. This means you and others will have to manage them. If you don’t know the first thing about how to properly handle subordinates, you’re going to run into major trouble. People won’t work for long in a company that has poor management. And excessive turnover will kill any business.

In starting your business remember the following 7 P’s adage. Proper prior preparation prevents piss poor performance.

Next week’s blog: 3 Techniques that helps the new sales rep hit the ground running:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why New Businesses Fail: (Part 1)

The #1 reason new businesses fail is lack of managerial expertise. This lack of expertise has at least 6 aspects.

1) Under capitalization. Smart business people write a business plan before they open their doors. This business plan will help determine how much money you’ll need to operate before the business turns profitable. However, regardless of what these numbers tell you….double them! You’ll never be sorry you’ve got too much cash. But, you’ll rue the day you run out of money.

2) Lack of knowledge about the industry. If you think on-the-job training will be ok when starting a business, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you. Needless to say, you’ll never know everything there is to know about your new business. But, ignorance of this industry will probably lead to bankruptcy.

3) Improper or incomplete financial controls. There is an old saying that “you may think you’re winning when in fact you’re losing if you’re not keeping score”. Keeping accurate, up-to-date financials is crucial to the success in any business. Sloppy or delayed bookkeeping generally leads to disaster.

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Next week’s blog: Why New Businesses Fail: (Part 2)