What you can learn about Sales Training from a Cab Driver in London (part 2)

In my post What you can Learn about Sales Training from a Cab driver in London. I promised  I would give you some practical tools and ideas that you can use in your business using this SWOT model. Here they are.

Strengths are where the secrets are.

The question for your business, then, is how do you know what you—and your salespeople—don’t know? One way to develop insight into your own company is to use a SWOT analysis on your products and services.

The SWOT framework comes from Albert Humphrey, who tested the approach in the 1960s and 1970s at the Stanford Research Institute. Developed for business and based on data from Fortune 500 companies, the SWOT analysis has been adopted by organisations of all types as a decision-making tool.

As its acronym implies, a SWOT analysis examines four elements:

  1. Strengths: Internal attributes and resources that support a successful outcome.
  2. Weaknesses: Internal attributes and resources that work against a successful outcome.
  3. Opportunities: External factors the project can use to its advantage.
  4. Threats: External factors that could jeopardise the project.

When I do my sales training and coaching sessions with my clients I carry out a simple audit to discover a  SWOT analysis of their sales process:

Strengths:

  • What are you the best at?
  • Why do customers buy from you?
  • What are your competitors’ benefits?

Weaknesses:

  • Where do you need to improve?
  • Are there any gaps in product lines?
  • Should you add a guarantee?
  • What’s preventing you from making more sales?

Opportunities:

  • How can you take advantage of your new knowledge?
  • Is there something unique you have to offer?
  • What do these facts tell you about the future?

Threats:

  • Is this the right product or service for the current market?
  • What happens when the market changes?
  • Do you need to evaluate your clients?
  • Do you have a sales mindset?
  • Do you train well and consistently?
  • Does your team believe in your mission?

Evaluating your offerings this way helps you develop the insight necessary to sell them. Let’s look at one example of how insight, or lack of it, affects everyday sales interactions.

Your clients sometimes know more than you.

Imagine someone comes to your store, intending to buy. They already have an interest in the product. They quite reasonably make an inquiry with the salesperson. This is where the relationship between seller and buyer can quickly break down. If the customer expresses interest in an item and the person who can sell it to them doesn’t demonstrate enough insight, the sale will drop dead right there. The once-promising customer will walk right back out that door.

For instance, suppose an appliance store supervisor has only trained the sales staff in the bare minimum product knowledge. The salespeople on the floor know that a washing machine has a lid at the top, and it opens when you press a button, and that’s it. Chances are, your customers already know these basic facts and a lot more. The Internet now allows people to research your product thoroughly. If you are not careful—if you don’t always have some sort of valuable knowledge to add—you will lose the sale.

Plan your story about your product

Work out ahead of time what your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities are and try to match them up against your competition. You want to be able to convince the customer of the benefit of choosing your product over any other.

SWOT Analysis Questions:

  • What are the three key benefits of your product?
  • What is an immediate benefit of using the product?
  • What information is this benefit based on? What’s the evidence?
  • Is this product actually as good as it sounds?
  • Does it have some sort of guarantee?
  • Is it unique?
  • Have I actually asked why my clients buy from me?
  • If a prospective client actually bought this product from someone else, why?
  • Why did a prospective client buy something similar in the past? Was it the delivery? Was it the free shipping?

Asking these questions helps you formulate the best way to demonstrate your product knowledge. When a person comes in to buy a mobile phone, for example, what does your store or service offer that is different from the store down the road? Ask yourself what problem you are trying to solve.

You’re not selling a phone; you’re selling a solution. Does the customer want faster download speeds? Great, because your company happens to have access to the speediest network around. Do they need a predictable monthly bill? Tell them about your recently launched steady rate package. Share those facts, and chances are the customer is going to buy from you, not any the other six phone stores in town.

Do they need a predictable monthly bill? Tell them about your recently launched steady rate package. Share those facts, and chances are the customer is going to buy from you, not any the other six phone stores in town.

Someone reading this blog might have ten, twenty, or only two employees. However large or small your staff, you need to train them to research the strengths of your product. Teach them to look for the key benefits and the reasons people buy it.

Next week we talk about the secret behind one of my favorite cafes in my home town.

Until then, remember ‘nothing happens until someone sells something’

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mike Brunel – Author, Sales Trainer and Coach at Mikebrunel.com. Mike started mikebrunel.com after being a successful entrepreneur. He was a co-founder of NRS Media a global leader in media sales. His products and services generated $350 million a year in revenue for his clients.  He sold that business in 2014 and now consults to business owners throughout New Zealand and beyond. He works with any business that wants to increase sales that have a sales turnover of  1/2 million up to $10 million. He works closely with digital and marketing services to help attract sales for his clients.

 

 

Five Things Every Business Owner should Know before they hire a Sales Trainer

I am always being asked what makes good sales training and coaching?  Here are five tips I hope can help you make the right decision when it comes to hiring any sales trainer or sales coach.

1.The sales team don’t see the sales training as relevant to them.

Usually what happens is that a sales person will be sent on a sales training course and they get there and it’s straight out of a manual. Taught to them by rote and disappointing.

2. The ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t suit their business situation.

The trainer has not spent the time to evaluate the sales persons needs. Tailor making specific programmes work better.  Before any training ask the sales trainer to work with you on YOUR outcomes for the training programme.   

3. Lack of Outcomes once at the course.

This is similar to point two, sales people have different needs, just like their clients, many times sales people arrive at course and at are never asked what their specific outcomes today for this course.

4. Sales trainer, not a sales person.

In this case, it’s more about creditability, if the trainer has no experience selling in any form, it’s difficult to build rapport with the audience you are training. The theory is fine, but not realistic. Sales experience is must for a trainer. 

5. Learning as you go.

If the training is not carried out in an environment of learning and facilitation it’s seen as boring and lacking in depth. In the ever increasing world of soft skills training involving your participants in ‘learning by doing’ is a must.

These tips have certainly helped my clients and may help you.

Good selling

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mike Brunel – Author, Sales Trainer and Coach at Mikebrunel.com. Mike started mikebrunel.com after being a successful entrepreneur. He was a co-founder of NRS Media a global leader in media sales. His products and services generated $350 million a year in revenue for his clients.  He sold that business in 2014 and now consults to business owners throughout New Zealand and beyond. He works with any business that wants to increase sales that have a sales turnover of  1/2 million up to $10 million. He works closely with digital and marketing services to help attract sales for his clients.

 

 

 

What you can Learn about Sales Training from a Cab driver in London.

This week blog talks about the importance of product knowledge or Insight.

In the in the context of sales, Insight  means understanding your own product. It also means understanding your own business’s strengths and weaknesses.

London Black Cabs.

For example, London’s traditional black cab drivers rely on what they call “The Knowledge” to set them apart from other transportation services.

Pay a visit to London and a black mini cab will probably be one the first things you will see. London taxi drivers are almost as famous as the black cabs they drive.

Their fame stems from their incredibly comprehensive knowledge of the city. Hail down a black cab in London and you can be assured that the driver will find the shortest route to your destination without the aid of any technology.

Better than Uber?

London taxi drivers go through stringent training to obtain their licenses. They need to pass “The Knowledge” test; studying for it is often likened to having an atlas of London implanted into your brain.

To become an All-London taxi driver, you need to master no fewer than 320 basic routes, all of the 25,000 streets scattered within the basic routes, and approximately 20,000 landmarks and places of public interest within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross.

It takes the average person between two and four years to learn “The Knowledge”. This education is a big investment, but the training sets this service apart from the competition, whether GPS gadgets or Uber drivers.

In fact, on the ground, a black cab driver will always out-perform the Uber driver. Their extensive, specific knowledge actually offers an opportunity to reposition themselves as the ultimate experts.

Pay for what you want!

Customers are willing to pay for a service this good, and the only way to make it this good is have true insight into the product you offer.

The question for your business, then, is how do you know what you—and your salespeople—don’t know?

This is where sales training and sales coaching comes in.

One way to develop insight into your own company is to use a SWOT analysis on your products and services.

The SWOT framework comes from Albert Humphrey, who tested the approach in the 1960s and 1970s at the Stanford Research Institute. Developed for business and based on data from Fortune 500 companies, the SWOT analysis has been adopted by organisations of all types as a decision-making tool.

As its acronym implies, a SWOT analysis examines four elements:

  1. Strengths: Internal attributes and resources that support a successful outcome.
  2. Weaknesses: Internal attributes and resources that work against a successful outcome.
  3. Opportunities: External factors the project can use to its advantage.
  4. Threats: External factors that could jeopardise the project.

In next weeks blog we will give you some practical tools and ideas that you can use in your business using this SWOT model.

Until then, good selling.

 

 

Mike

Image courtesy of Anna Vital. 

P.S

Coming soon Changing Your Sales Mindset- 7 Day Challenge

7 Day Challenge- Changing your Sales Mindset Mike Brunel