Let’s look at your focus.
No doubt your sales training covers all aspects of your product and what makes it stand out for the customer. And your sales training follows a process, in which your people learn the nuts and bolts of how your company gets and closes deals..
Sales training that only focuses on product and process misses the mark. Better sales training fearlessly focuses on people. The more competitive your field, the more likely it is that people (not product or process) are the difference between your company surviving and thriving.
Here are three fearless strategies to improve your sales training through relationship building. (For more, see this link.)
Strategy 1: Approach a client or prospect with full awareness.
Through training in 360 Degree Awareness, a person in sales becomes fearless at listening, learning and offering. He or she understands that relational sales are far more valuable than transactional sales.
One of the biggest gifts that you can give a customer is simplicity. Their world is complex, and your product or service will make their lives better and likely simpler. Finding that common ground requires trust and can lead to discovering new win-win scenarios. Full awareness leads to clarity of what your customer needs and opens the door to creative problem solving.
Strategy 2: Create relationships through the best intentions.
Fearless sales training involves inspiration. Your team should feel like they know how to tell your best story and convey your values, and build relationships that will benefit them and your company now and in the future.
Relationships don’t happen overnight. They are nurtured carefully over time. The Favor Column is one of my favorite ways of relationship building, and it’s particularly effective for people in sales.
How can you help your most important business contacts—those you already have and those you want to gain?
Some examples of favors include:
- Introducing them to a person in your circle who can help them in some way.
- Forwarding valuable industry-specific news or leads; look for sources that your contact is not tapping.
- Pointing them to books and articles that could advance their goals.
- Providing knowledge, access or assistance that they cannot easily secure otherwise.
The more you think in terms of sharing assets and building a Favor Column, the more your empathy will guide your thoughts and actions, and that will project positivity to your sales target. Relationship building focuses not on your gain, but the other person’s.
Strategy 3: Sustain great relationships through differentiation.
By focusing on fearless relationship building, your sales training will lead to a long-term competitive advantage. You will differentiate your product or service because of your sales team’s ability to sustain relationships even through adversity. This is accomplished by several methods including the willingness to engage in difficult conversations. So often we brush the tough stuff under the rug, but for our relationships to be authentic, for longer term connection, the tough stuff needs to be discussed.
If you want your sales team to connect with even the most reluctant prospects, you must train them to embrace these tough dialogues. Only then can they understand their gaps and build (or rebuild) trust for great relationships.
Each sales team member can practice engaging in difficult conversations by identifying a relationship that needs work, naming the issue, understanding the SBI (situation, behavior and impact) principles, using curiosity to open the conversation and avoid judgment, and staying present until clarity is achieved.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
Nail down your product and process, then focus your sales training on building your people and their people skills. The sales team that learns and values these three steps to relationship building—a fully aware approach, the best intentions and sustained differentiations—will be game changers. Interested in learning more? Check out a variety of courses in our online training library.
The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to up their game. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. She is the founder of Game Changer Performance Group, which offers training and coaching programs to help leaders unleash their potential, including: Negotiation: Maximize Your Influence, which teaches business people a framework for successful negotiating; Energy: Optimize Your Focus, which teaches people how to manage their energy to achieve focus and freedom; and High Impact: Elevate Your Power Skills, which is in development now and will supercharge your organization’s performance. Sign up to receive our newsletter, subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast, and watch her TED Talk on The Secrets to a Champion Mindset, which has been viewed more than 1 million times.