We all have “light bulb moments”” from time to time, when we come across an idea or an insight that’s never occurred to us before and we suddenly have a realisation that we can do something in a different way, or change our approach to certain circumstances that will have a major impact on the results.
Light bulb moments hit us at different times, and under a variety of circumstances; one of the most profound ones to hit me came after years of selling, running sales teams and businesses, when I watched a sales team I’d been training and coaching develop their skills and start to generate the results that both they and the businesses wanted after a long period of frustration and underperformance.
I suddenly realised that I got just as much satisfaction from helping others become successful as I ever did closing sales, whether these sales were worth a few hundred pounds or more than a million. The difference for me was that closing a sale gives instant gratification, but having closed the sale, you’re moving onto the next opportunity… “you’re only as good as your last sale”.
My training and coaching work certainly has an instant impact, but more importantly it has a lasting effect, provided of course that the trainee takes on board the lessons learned and put this them into practice. That’s why a combination of training and ongoing coaching can be so incredibly impactful.
I ran a sales training workshop for a software vendor recently. The participants had a mixture of experience; some were new to the business, others with a few years in post, one or two had never received any form of formal training others had attended multiple training programmes over the years and one had even delivered training themselves.
During the session, we covered, amongst other topics, how to define the real value of what you’re selling and how to handle objections effectively and when we got to the point of discussing the pricing of the product that the team are selling, it became obvious that at least one individual felt that the price of their “premium” package was too expensive.
So we revisited the “value” that we’d defined earlier in the workshop; reducing the risk for the customer, the substantial time savings they could make and how they could then use all this extra time on more productive activities, and significantly reducing the stress that the customer would currently be experiencing. Once we’d quantified the impact of all of this, the cost of the premium package paled into insignificance.
The look on the trainee’s face was an absolute picture! All of a sudden, he realised that he’d been focussing on the wrong thing. Rather than focussing on the price of his product and his perception that the figure in his mind was too high and stopping him making sales, he suddenly realised that by focussing on the value that his product could deliver, that pricing really shouldn’t be an issue. The key to him was being able to effectively articulate the value of what he offered his prospects.
This is one reason why learning how to identify sales opportunities and explore the value that we can deliver is so important. Without a structured process to work with, there’s always a risk that we’ll miss opportunities, and without consistent reinforcing of these ideas and concepts there’s a risk that we’ll slip back into our old bad habits.
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