OK! – Raise your hand if you love role play? For those of you that don’t know what this is, you sit in a neutral environment and one person “pretends” to be a customer and the other a salesperson. The point is to simulate a selling situation so you can practice. I am not a big fan of this technique, but in my experience there is no other way.
I remember when Allen Iverson got called out because he didn’t give practice the proper respect. (You can see the video below.) After all there are a lot of words that underlines how important practice is: “Practice makes perfect” – “You will play like you practice”. They are mostly sports analogies, but sale people can reap the benefits too.
I am finding, however, those sales people who take training literally and use the techniques that are gained in training – word for word – a prospective client will pick up on this. Now the client won’t say, “Hey – did you just come back from sales training?” It won’t even register in their mind that you are “trying” a technique. What will happen, which to me is worst, the client will get a very uneasy feeling in doing business with you. You have probably heard the old saying that people only do business with people they like and trust… It’s true!
For AP Automation salespeople the situation of making a client uneasy is amplified because we are attempting to change a process that the client knows well and can depend on, even though it needs improving.
Be A Human
The first sales training I took was in 1994, I remember the trainer saying that you have to listen to his material (in those days they were tapes) at least six times which will give you 62% retention. At that retention rate you will become a product of the product and your reactions, questions and overall demeanor will be… get this – natural. After sales training, you have to take time out to make the material yours. Push you trainer to gain the essence of the actions and not each words. It is an extremely difficult thing to do but worth it so you won’t look like a mindless robot in front of your customer.
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