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Are your Sales Reps [Really] Getting IT?

11 May, 2007 By: Howard Meltzer imageSource

Are your Sales Reps [Really] Getting IT?

In the natural order of things, most dealers that I have worked with complain
that their sales team’s performance is uneven. There are typically a few top
notch performers that can be relied on to hit their numbers every month, but
then it tails off through the rest of the team.  Of course there are any number
of reasons specific to each individual, but often those reasons are not clear,
and that makes them difficult to target and correct.

In order to get a handle on the problem I have developed a simple but
effective drill that will quickly identify individual faults in each reps’
selling technique, and will give managers a track to run on to improve

Essentially, it is a series of questions that cover basic sales related
skills that you can administer during your weekly team meeting.

Identifying Correct Selling Techniques Quiz:

Q|1 Have each rep write out a “call to action” that they use during a
cold call.

Q|2 Have them define what they’re really trying to sell during their
weekly telemarketing calls.

Q|3 Ask them what closing technique they use to gain an appointment
during their telemarketing/ prospecting calls.

Q|4 Have them give you two examples of how they use a “switch” when
handling an objection, and how they convert  individuals to an appointment

Q|5 Have them describe three of the seven dominant business buying
motives, and how they use them to convert others to adopting a positive

Q|6 Then have them name two of the buying motives and how they use
them to develop a buying decision.

Q|7 Ask them to name the five steps to making a sale.

Q|8 Have them tell you at what point in the selling process they have
“earned the right” (feel it’s appropriate) to ask for the order.

There is obviously no magic bullet here, but you may be surprised by some of
your sales staff’s answers, or lack thereof. And that is exactly the point of
the exercise; to uncover both individual strengths and weaknesses so that you
can structure training regimes to specifically target and correct individual
problem areas. Though the drill is basic, it does effectively cover the
essential elements of the selling process. And that is essentially what it’s all

Answers to the Quiz:

A|1 Use a preferred call-to action such as suggested by your company’s
management. If, however, a sales rep has one that is working well, leave it

A|2 We are specifically trying to sell an appointment – no more, no

A|3 Use an alternative close to gain an appointment, pinpointing an
actual time, such as, “Would Monday morning or that afternoon work better  for

A|4 Formulate an answer to the objection you hear when phoning, one
that shows recognition but doesn’t directly answer the objection, such as, “That
would be a good question to answer in depth when we meet.” Then close with an

A|5 The seven dominant business buying motives are: productivity,
reliability, versatility, image quality, ease of use, network compatibility, and
image cost.

A|6 The four personal buying motives are: prestige, acceptance
(keeping up with the Joneses), fear of failure, and security.

A|7 The five steps to a true sale are: gain their attention quickly,
develop their interest further, qualify all areas, create desire (proposal/demo
stage), and close, close, close.

A|8 Upon gaining agreement that you’ve satisfied the three main buying

Howard Meltzer is the managing partner of Pro/Point Management Services,
Inc., a national sales management consultation and on-site sales training
company for office equipment dealers at 904.285.8542 or sales@propointservices.com.

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