Sales Training & Sales Skills that Sell Time

Survey data from The Sales Board shows that 45% of salespeople lack the selling skills to “get time” with customers.

If the sales process stalls when trying to get time with customers, ask this question:  Do I have the right relationship with the customer?

REMEMBER, a sale is always proportional to the size of the relationship with the customer. If the goal is to secure a $50K sale, a salesperson must develop a $50K relationship.

But, what if the goal is to simply get time with a customer?  What is required for an effective 2-minute, 10-minute or 30-minute relationship?

To foster a sales relationship, the relationship starts with the customer – demonstrating interest, listening and learning – not talking.  Questions that focus on the customer:  What they do, what are the most challenging aspects of their role and what would help them become more successful, are all great options to start.

For many, however, ‘getting time’ is not only getting in-front of customers, but also, maximizing the use of that time.  Unfortunately, many salespeople use their time with customers to focus on their products or services.

Without an established relationship, the best products, the best selling skills, the best service or the best sales training will not likely save the customer-meeting from failing – almost guaranteeing there will not be additional meetings.

HOW CAN SALES TRAINING ADDRESS WHAT’S ACTUALLY BEING SOLD?

Here’s the reality – the challenge isn’t about getting time.  It’s about selling time.  Sales training programs often focus on selling skills that effectively present features and benefits of products/services.  However, if a meeting is the goal, the meeting is what is being sold – not atraditional product or service.  In other words, the meeting is the product, and the price of that meeting is the time the customer will invest.

If the sale involves asking a customer to invest time for a meeting, sales training should develop the sales skills needed to effectively answer two questions:

  1. What are the features of a meeting?
  2. What are the benefits the customer will receive when they invest their time?

With the right relationship and selling skills that articulate the relevant features & benefits of investing time, you will absolutely be on your way to, selling your next meeting.

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling.  He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations.  Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).