Getting the Basics Right

Peady’s Selling Engagement

Making a sale is often the ‘end goal’ in selling but getting your customer to buy a product or service is just one step in an established, measurable and proven process.

Along the way successful selling includes:

  • finding the right prospective customers
  • developing relationships with the decision maker(s)
  • discovering their real needs
  • matching a solution to these needs
  • communicating the benefits of the ongoing partnership

To achieve your goals, you need to acquire and then develop sales skills which can give you both confidence and ability leading to the achievement of strong outcomes. Selling without any basic skills or training is the biggest cause of failure (and ultimately rep ‘churn’).

Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.

In my experience large and small companies put very little training into their field sales people. Only this week I started working with two young women who have been with their company more than 3 months and neither has received one day of sales skill training! They have had hours of product training, but no-one has taken the time to take them through the process of selling those products. Not surprisingly they are already feeling frustrated. Can you identify with this?

The simple and painful truth is that a huge number of media salespeople do not have the basic skills needed to have the type of conversations that modern customers want and expect.

And that leads to missed opportunities and lost sales.


The eight basics

Every salesperson must master these skills:

  1. Be highly organised with strong time management practices
  2. Able to prospect and identify businesses that ‘fit’ you and your medium
  3. Qualify those prospects into real opportunities by talking with the ‘right’ people’
  4. Make ‘sticky’ appointments over the phone by demonstrating valid business reasons
  5. Conduct face to face discovery meetings using effective questioning techniques
  6. Deal with objections and ‘stalls’ to build trust and allay potential concerns
  7. Create a compelling solution that matches the needs. Then professionally present it
  8. Close the sale and build an ongoing accountable partnership

Of course, there are other skills that you could include on the list – negotiating and listening immediately come to mind. But until you can do the basics you won’t be in a position to negotiate anything! Additionally, you won’t enjoy the success you deserve either.

How important is sales skill training?

In 2015 CSO Insights studied salespeople from over 2000 companies and the majority of them – 54% said their sales training “needed improvement” while only 10% said their training “exceeded expectations”.

Sales skill training cannot be over emphasised. It’s not just important it’s critical, it’s a must-do.

​Until next week, good training!
About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]