Economists are cautiously optimistic about Michigan’s economy in 2012, predicting that it will grow slowly but surely. But the downturn in the economy over the last few years has created hardships for business in Michigan; many companies have been forced to scale back in response to the troubled economy.
If your company relies on sales, you’ve felt the crunch. But Dale Carnegie Training offers tips and strategies that will help your company increase sales.
A New Breed of Salespeople
Some businesses hire sales staff whose qualifications are largely limited to their knowledge of the company product. Product knowledge is great; but people knowledge is better. Don’t hire new people because of their product knowledge: instead, begin to hire strong professional salespeople. It can be easier to teach product knowledge than it is to teach them people skills.
But an effective strategy can combine both kinds of salespeople. Don’t fire competent and loyal employees; but as time goes on and you must fill vacancies, begin to hire people who have a strong background in professional sales.
Now you can begin customized sales training that combines the skills of the strong sales professionals with the skills of existing reps whose selling skills are lacking. Training should address a five-step sales process:
- Build rapport
- Discover the customer’s needs
- Identify sales opportunities embedded in those needs and develop a solution
- Recommend the solution to the customer and motivate the customer to take action
- Follow up to ensure that customer needs have been met
You can customize your own training course, or you can seek help from Dale Carnegie Training, which specializes in training personnel. Either way, customized training shouldn’t re-invent the wheel. Your company now has a mixture of two kinds of salespeople, and you should use their skills. Those who know the company product well should be involved in teaching the professional salespeople—who, in turn, can share their hard-won selling skills.
This strategy helps build a team of salespeople who are working together and sharing their skills to ensure that your company. Their combined knowledge covers every aspect of your company’s sales strategy, and they grow into a real sales team, instead of a group of individuals who deal with customers.
The results of this kind of team training are usually dramatic, increasing sales and receiving great reviews from customers, who begin to see your company as a business partner.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @MarkWillDCT.