Hands up everyone who’s involved in selling? Yes, it’s that old trick question. You and every person in a business are involved in selling. Anyone who isn’t clear about their role in selling is possibly sabotaging sales! Think about when you deal with someone in an organisation. When you visit an office and speak to the receptionist, a poor attitude will make you less likely to do business. A good attitude and an awareness of what they can do to make you WANT to do business makes a difference.

A delivery driver with a bad customer attitude is creating a risk that the client will go elsewhere. Conversely a delivery driver that’s aware of his sales role will look for opportunities and report back to their organisation when they see one. I could continue with every role in a business. Everyone can help generate sales and retain customers longer – or they can do the opposite. Everyone is in a sales role whether they realise it or not. So I have three questions for you to ask yourself:

  1. Are you sure that everyone in your team is aware of their sales role, knows what to do, and is doing it?
  2. When was the last time you sent all of your staff on a sales training workshop, or got someone in to train them, or even bought them a book and suggested they read it?
  3. When was the last time you recognised a non-sales person (a role without “sales” in the job title) for their contribution to your sales?

A good response at this point is “Great ideas, I’ll get right on to it. What do you recommend we do?”. The responses I usually get fall into the categories of Blame, Excuses and Denial, including:

  • “Sales training is too expensive!” – Hold on… the point of sales training is so that staff are trained and will generate a higher level of sales. If your staff were trained, how much extra do you think you could gain over the course of 12 months? Is that greater than the cost of the training? If it is… the sales training is better than free! If you’re unsure – ask a sales trainer to give a guarantee!
  • “My staff don’t like selling” – I find it worrying when people don’t like selling, because this means your own staff don’t believe that people should buy your products or services! They don’t think they’re worth the money! If they honestly believe that a customer would be better off having your product or service than the amount of money it costs – they’d be eager to sell. Guess what? They need some sales training.
  • “They don’t have time to be selling” – then create time, even if that means recruiting more staff. Anyone that has or could have contact with customers is a valuable selling resource that you need to maximise. Often they don’t have to spend a lot of extra time, just do things in the appropriate way.
  • “There’s no point, they wouldn’t bother” – You’re right. Leave it to your competitors who will know how to motivate their staff.

Don’t forget the sales team Far too many organisations employ sales people and assume that they’ll automatically get better and do their jobs to the maximum by simply doing it every day. Last week I was told “John’s my best salesman, he’s got 12 years’ experience”. I asked whether that was 12 useful years of experience, or simply one day’s experience repeated 2880 times over 12 years? The point is, without time to reflect and learn a repeated experience does not necessarily lead to better performance. On the contrary, it often leads to sloppiness, boredom and poor results. Even high-performing sales people need motivation and training. Investing in sales training is one of the best returns on investment available. How much will you invest in sales training this year?