Let us push everyone out of their comfort zone and turn the team from passive to active attendees in our sales meetings. Remember that Manchester United football team practice every day to remain on top. If we do not practice what we do every day then our average sales will still only be 10 to 15 a month - what we need is 20.
Take an objection that is common in your business. Write it up on the flip chart, go round the room and get two or three ways to handle it. Use only the best answers. Now, tell your team you are going to practice: that the best time to work on this objection is before they are with a customer. Remind them that the highest paid professions even football players practice, drill and rehearse until their skills are reflexive.
Depending on the size of your team, break them into groups of three. Let one person play the salesperson, one can play the customer and the other can be an observer to help keep things on track. Everyone will have a turn at each position. Let them role play the objection. Walk round the room, listening and coaching. Do not beat people up!. Reinforce and teach them.
At first, no one will want to do this. It is waaaaay too uncomfortable, especially the old timers who know it all, the key is to use they skills if they are doing 20 a month peer exchange always works. After a while, when their confidence begins to build and they see the value. It will even become fun.
The biggest waste of time you can endure at sales meetings is to go over selling scripts, watching them on video, listen to them on cassette or reading them in a book or even using Company Doctors notes…… and then not actually say them. People have to say the words. They should get the kinks out before they are in front of customers. It costs them nothing to make a mistake in a practice session. When they are with a customer a mistake could cost them hundreds or thousands of pounds. And in these times we just can not afford to miss any customer. Build this practice ethic in private so they can have more success in public.
Make role-playing part of your regular meeting regimen. It sharpens people up and builds confidence. You would not expect to learn how to water ski by taking a correspondence course in you living room; you would have to get out on the water and get wet!. It is ridiculous to think that anyone can learn how to close or overcome objections effectively by passively watching or listening to someone else do it. They need to get involved. They need to make mistakes. They have to make it sound natural. And then, they can make the sale.
One warning: As a manager, you need to be well versed in whatever scripts you are going to be practicing. It is up to you to do it right, first. Then you have the credibility to teach others.
However if you have a sales person who is selling over 20 units a month maybe he is the one the team should watch, listen and study practicing what he does. I will leave this thought with you if you wanted to be the best snooker player, who would you want to be coached by Steve Davis or George Best. Peer Exchange works.
Bill Naylor has spent 9 years studying dealers who make in excess of 5% net on turnover, visiting dealers in the Middle East, Spain, Europe, and America. He is the author of "Customer Service in the Motor Industry" and the "Retail Motor Industry Tool Kit" which has been sold world wide. He also operates from his leaning centre in Cumbria, United Kingdom a three day residential workshop covering "Sales & Marketing" and " Profit improvement from after sales". He also operates one day dealer visits with his road show "Innovate or Liquidate its your move".
Bill can be contacted on email@example.com or by telephoning +44 (0) 1900 881409 or fax +44 (0) 1900 881140