‘Plan and Prepare’ – whenever we undertake any form of sales training we always emphasise these 3 words. Why is planning and preparing whichever stage of the sales process so important to a sales person?
I regularly ask this question when I’m facilitating a sales class at TAFE SA with the students offering various responses which include:
- Show the client that you know your work
- Show the client that you have done your homework
- Demonstrate that you know your competitors as well as your own company
- Being prepared for any situation confronted with by your client (especially when they have questions or objections)
- Presenting yourself in a professional manner
- Be seen as the industry expert that people turn to
A successful sales person depends on being ready at every stage of the sales process and having a positive approach. Have you ever dealt with a sales person in the store who didn’t know about the product you were enquiring about, or could not suggest a product that met your needs or even had an unprofessional approach when you spoke to them? What is your level of confidence towards the company and the individual by the end of your conversation? Would you purchase a product from this store if you did not receive the service expected?
Staff need training to assist them with preparing them to undertake their role successfully. Having the right information helps them to plan and prepare all aspects of the sales process. Some items to plan and prepare include:
- Product knowledge for both your company and your competitor ranges
- Company background
- Return policies
- Delivery procedure/process
- Customer knowledge
- Industry knowledge
- Negotiation options
Training can take the form of internal meetings that review different aspects of the business (such as product knowledge or returns policy) on a regular basis or it can be more formal where staff are sent to a workshop. Management need to be proactive and encourage the development of the knowledge of staff.
For each of these items having the knowledge helps prepare staff for any challenges faced with when calling on clients. These 3 words are one of many factors to consider to being a successful sales person.