Who is Fred? Read on…

shutterstock_104356247Do they sell or serve?

So, I’ve been in a few conversations recently where people have been discussing how good today’s salespeople are and how effective they are at actually ‘selling’.  Do they sell or serve?
It has prompted the age-old adage of ‘Salespeople are born not made’, which I personally think is not true. Selling, just like any other skill can be learned. There are strategies and techniques which, added to product knowledge, will help to persuade prospects that what you are selling is right for them.

A job in sales?

salesperson on phoneWhat I do believe is that there is a difference between ‘having a job in sales’ and being a ‘salesperson’.
‘Salespeople’ come to work ‘to work’. In other words, they set their day up to generate prospects, and sell cars. They do not arrive at work to reluctantly serve the next prospect who phones, emails or walks in.
In a recent conversation I proposed setting a number of ‘Key Presentations’, writing the script and then training the Sales team in that script and also teaching them how to deliver the words and do the presentation. The feedback was astounding in my view.
“No we cannot do that, it doesn’t work, you can’t tell them what to say!”
Really?
In another conversation I was told the story of how an organisation had recruited a ‘Top Maître D’ (Fred Sirieix –  of ‘First Dates’ fame) to address their team and share his philosophy, and small things like how to present the bill.
Well let me tell you, in successful service organisations people are told what to do, how to do it and why they are doing it. (Excellent service in 5 Star Hotels and Restaurants is no accident!)
And Fred knows this!  If you get a job in his restaurant you will be trained in how to greet guests, how to present specials, how to serve the wine and yes, how to present the bill.  Because Fred knows!  He knows that the only way to get 5 star service delivery is to define what it is and make sure his team also know what it is and that they can deliver it in detail.

What does your process look like?

In the motor industry there seems to be an abdication of responsibility from management teams on the performance of the people who work for them. The focus is on the results an individual attains, not on how they do their job.
An exercise I often do (that you may want to try) is to ask everyone to write out their own sales process, from the MD all the way across the sales environment; Sales Managers, and Salespeople.
The diversity will amaze you. But, the bottom line is this…
You basically have no idea what your salespeople are saying and doing to your customers, you only judge them after the event at the end of the month.

What’s your Formula?

restaurants-1057448If you were to start work in a Michelin starred restaurant, you would be ‘educated’ in exactly what to do and what to say. When to do it and when to say it!
Because they know if you are following the formula you will be successful.
I have proven this time and again with standard presentation points throughout the sales process. Scripted, prescribed presentations that get the desired result.
Implement them, no deviation, and the results follow.

Conclusion (and challenge)

Ask everyone individually to describe exactly what they do with each prospect and see if there is any commonality. I do not mean the latest training course on 10 steps to the sale. I mean how and what do they present.
If they do not know then you do not know.
If there is no common process then you are at the mercy of the individual and you do not have a ‘Sales Offering’ or a ‘Customer Buying Experience’ that you can rely on, because there is nothing to deliver.
Do not be frightened to ‘load their lips’ – tell them exactly what your buying process is and make sure it is delivered in detail – words and actions!
‘Till next time, good luck and good selling!

Rob

If I can help in any way please do get in touch.
Please feel free to leave a comment and share your viewpoint.