Change Takes Time

Written by Steve Waterhouse

I am writing this atrepparttar Philadelphia Airport on my way back from meeting with one of my clients. Three weeks ago, we offered a training program for their staff in basic selling skills. She reported that they saw an immediate increase in sales afterrepparttar 139497 program. Since these are all telemarketers, she listened in on their calls to see what had changed. To her pleasure they were asking good, open-ended questions. They were taking time to listen torepparttar 139498 client's responses and using their comments to match them withrepparttar 139499 right product. They were even closing right atrepparttar 139500 correct time. She was thrilled.

Unfortunately, not all ofrepparttar 139501 reps kept it up. Within weeks, some ofrepparttar 139502 rep's sales had slipped back to their original level. Another listening survey showedrepparttar 139503 cause. Each ofrepparttar 139504 reps whose sales were down had slipped back into their old way of operating. It was as if a giant rubber band had been stretched during training, and now it was returning to its original size. Should we be surprised? I'm not. For years these reps had been trained to operate in a lecture mode. They read scripts and gaverepparttar 139505 same pitch to every caller. Now we were asking them to change, and change takes time.

So what do you do? Forget training? No, but you may want to think aboutrepparttar 139506 steps that must follow a training program to make it stick. These can include email reminders, peer coaching, and manager mentoring. In this case, we are adding audio 'mini-seminars' torepparttar 139507 mix. Each rep will be encouraged to call into a voice mailbox for a short refresher onrepparttar 139508 subject they need help on. Each 10 minute message will give them tips and examples designed to overcome their area of weakness.

The Hidden Buyer

Written by Steve Waterhouse

How to protect yourself againstrepparttar unseen enemy

The meeting ended with smiles and handshakes butrepparttar 139450 next day you learnedrepparttar 139451 truth. You had lostrepparttar 139452 deal.

What went wrong?

One possibility is your proposal. Most of us are pretty good at selling. We do it face to face. We do it overrepparttar 139453 phone. Some of us are even fairly talented at selling in letters. But how many of us sell in our proposals?

Sell in proposals? You might have heard me lecture that proposals should contain no surprises and that they should summarizerepparttar 139454 agreement that was already reached byrepparttar 139455 parties. So where doesrepparttar 139456 selling come in? It comes in withrepparttar 139457 hidden buyer….

Every sales person is trained to map outrepparttar 139458 customers’ buying process and make sure they know every person who will be influencing this deal. You ask allrepparttar 139459 right questions of allrepparttar 139460 right people. You double check what one person says againstrepparttar 139461 others. You ask other reps to tell you who was involved in their deals. You’re covered.


The hidden buyer lurks in any large company and many small ones. This isrepparttar 139462 person who has givenrepparttar 139463 team you are working with “full authority” to cutrepparttar 139464 deal and writerepparttar 139465 check. This person said that there was no reason to get them involved. They are master delegators. Except when they change their mind or whenrepparttar 139466 team decides that they would like this person to “give it one last look” before they sign. At that moment,repparttar 139467 only sales person inrepparttar 139468 room is your proposal.

How scared are you now?

Pull out one of your recent proposals and let’s see what’s in there. If it is to stand on it’s own, it must containrepparttar 139469 following sections:

Summary of need – The customer must be confident that you understand their problem. They must know that you are both starting fromrepparttar 139470 same place and that you understand how they got there so you won’t dig them deeper intorepparttar 139471 same hole. This section says, “I heard you, I understood you, I believe you” torepparttar 139472 customer.

1. Statement of Objectives

The customer wants to know what you are going to do and that it isrepparttar 139473 same list that you proposed in your meetings. They want a check list to measure your work against and something that begins to justify your price. This isrepparttar 139474 first concrete evidence thatrepparttar 139475 client can see that gives them hope in a better future.

2. Task List or Methodologies

This isrepparttar 139476 path torepparttar 139477 future and showsrepparttar 139478 client how you will connect their need with their objectives. It isrepparttar 139479 answer torepparttar 139480 question, “What are you planning to do” and needs to be clear enough to helprepparttar 139481 client build faith in your ability to deliver.

3. Measures of Success

How will they know when you have succeeded? How will they measurerepparttar 139482 improvement? What can they see, count, measure? The easier it is forrepparttar 139483 client to seerepparttar 139484 result,repparttar 139485 easier it is to sellrepparttar 139486 deal. If you can’t measure it, you can’t sell it.

4. Relevant Experience

You need to show that you have done this before and that it’s like falling off a log for you and your company to accomplish this or helprepparttar 139487 client reach their goals. The more specificrepparttar 139488 better, for example: “We have helped 15 pharmaceutical companies increase sales by an average of over 15% inrepparttar 139489 first year of our programs.” Think of this as your marketing kit and reference letters digested down to a few sentences.

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