Train to take the strain out of gaining sales
Earlier this week I met with Mike, a Turbo Leadership Systems’ associate partner. We hadn’t seen each other for a couple of weeks. The first thing I asked was, “How are the girls?” He has a wonderful relationship with his wife and two daughters. He smiled and said, “Things are going really well,” and went on to tell me that his oldest daughter, Makaela, who graduated from the University of Oregon this past spring, has a job! Yay! She is a sales rep for a soft drink distributor in Eugene. At first she wasn’t that sure about the job. Dad told her right along, “It’s a great opportunity, especially in this economy.” (She was not brought in as a sales trainee or junior salesperson; she was brought in as a full fledge salesperson.) Most of the salespeople are in their 40’s; she is in her early 20’s. She had been worried and quite nervous that she wasn’t doing a good job. Her manager had skipped over some of her initial training, so she wasn’t really positive about what she was supposed to do or how she was supposed to do it. As Mike went on, I said, “What a classic story.” We have both seen versions of this story played out many, many times.
A week earlier, a special meeting was called by the regional manager. Everyone came into the office. As it turned out, the branch manager was fired the day before the meeting. The regional manager told Makaela what a good job she was doing, and went on to tell her that her territory sales were up 15%. She didn’t know how she was doing. She didn’t know the score because she COULDN’T READ HER SALES REPORTS due to a lack of training. She did know she had been working very hard, 10-hour days and sometimes longer. I asked Mike how she got the job and he said, “Through networking.” She had been through two informational interviews with the company during her senior year and had kept in touch with the HR manager. She attended job fairs and career days where
she checked in with the company. The extra exposure helped them get comfortable with her organizational abilities, social skills and drive to be successful.
Maybe the branch manager who assigned her to a sales territory before properly training her should have been released long ago. She was forced to live with fear and insecurity until he was relieved of his responsibilities.
We can learn at minimum two important lessons from this story; we learn the importance of networking to achieve our goals, and we see how important it is to provide our team with meaningful training. In this case, in spite of having inadequate training and even though she was scared, the team member was performing well. Is this fair to anyone? I say no. For every person management doesn’t provide basic training that gets the 15% increase in performance, there are dozens more who freeze in fear.
Turbo Sales System (TSS)
Through improved skills and a clearer understanding of the buyers decision-making process, your salespeople attain greater success. Drill-for-skills on first impressions, determining need, selling benefits, using evidence, answering objections and getting action results in increased sales. These skills are honed over ten weeks through participation and application in day-to-day selling. Click here for more information.
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