What Would Your Customers Think Of Your Sales Training?
What would your customers think of your sales training? That may sound like a strange question to ask, but it is important. The recent experiences of a buyer who sat in on a sales training workshop explain why.
What Buyers Think Of Sales Training
We all know that there can be friction between buyers and sellers, particularly when the procurement professional is in the room. But what happens when a professionally trained buyer – one who isn’t afraid to speak his mind – sits in on a sales training seminar? Well, it was like setting the cat among the pigeons!
The buyer was none too impressed with the message being provided to salespeople and how they were being guided in their interaction with buyers. The buyer could not keep his silence, launching into a loud rebuttal of the sales trainer.
Setting The Cat Among The Pigeons!
I heard the commotion but wasn’t in the room. Anxious to understand what happened I asked the buyer to tell me what happened. I will let him explain:
‘I just had enough,’ he said, ‘the message was so out-moded – it is the kind of stuff that doesn’t work anymore – the kind of stuff that any buyer I know won’t fall for. It was all about:
…close ’em down.
…make more calls.
…don’t take ‘no’.
…hold out for a few extra cents.
…close the buyer.
…get the deal.’
‘It was all about the seller as hunter and the buyer as prey… don’t people realize that it is the buyer who is in control. That salespeople are being kept at a distance by professional buyers, precisely because of the type of attitude and behaviour that the training was suggesting.’
Wow! If that is the reaction that the sales techniques evoke from a buyer, they are surely not going to win the sale, indeed they may do the opposite!
Buyer Friendly Sales Training
If you are still focused on selling skills, then you are missing the bigger picture. That is because the role of traditional selling skills in sales success has been sidelined. A great number of them are outdated and outmoded. Indeed if you listen to your prospects, traditional sales skills may be the problem, rather than the solution.
Given the increased sophistication of the modern buyer a new approach to sales training is required.
So next time you are hiring sales trainers, make sure they know as much about buying as they do about selling. Imagine some of your customers and prospects sitting at the bottom of the training room. Make sure the sales training is buyer savvy – that it helps buyers to buy rather than offending them.
Read the next one of this sales training article series:
Why Traditional Sales Skills Are No Longer Enough!