You say you have discovered and implemented a great sales training course, one based on a great sales system? And the system has dramatically boosted your success rate on customer calls?
That’s wonderful. But now suppose your salespeople used that selling process not only for formal client calls but every time they are in the vicinity of a potential customer. If your company is benefitting from a truly effective sales training program and follow-up sales coachingonly during formal customer calls, you are missing a lot of opportunities.
When you have found an excellent sales system, you should apply it in every situation that requires you to build momentum toward sales. If you don’t, then in many of those situations you’re just spinning your wheels.
Trade shows are a perfect example. What is your game plan when your company attends a conference, trade show, or other industry event? Do you even have a selling process? Or do you just stand in a booth, collect some business cards, and generally try to “network”?
I would argue that your primary reason to go to a trade show should be to build momentum toward sales. The best sales training helps you do that. The Action Selling process, for instance, is all about building momentum. It is a systematic process for achieving rapport, creating trust, and gaining agreement from customers. Agreement on what? Agreement to take the next logical step toward a sale, whatever that step might be. In a word: momentum.
Momentum: It’s not just for sales calls anymore.
But who ever said that a sales call is the only time and place in which momentum needs to be built? What would happen if your people took the systematic approach they learned in sales training programs and sales coaching based on Action Selling, and then applied that approach to every sales-related activity?
Suppose you began your trade show planning the same way Action Selling begins: with a Commitment Objective. Given the way your company’s sales cycle works, what is the first commitment you would like to gain from prospects at the show? That is, what “next step” could they agree to take that would begin to build momentum and move you closer to a possible sale?
Maybe you’d like prospects to agree to meet with you after the show for a needs analysis conversation. If so, that’s the Commitment Objective for you and for every member of your sales team who attends the event. This is now your top priority. It is the focus of yoursales skills. It anchors your planning. You can attach numbers to it in the form of goals, and measure your success: How many meeting commitments should each of your salespeople gain? If you know that some particularly good prospects will be at the show, you can rank-order them and assign special priorities.
The Commitment Objective is only Act 1 of the 9-Act Action Selling system, but with Act 1 alone you can revolutionize your approach to industry events—and the benefits you gain from attending them.
Or, of course, you can go right on standing in a booth.
For information about how to improve sales skills and make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.
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).