Practice, Practice, Practice

posted: Friday, April 12, 2019

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Doctors are always referred to as “practicing medicine”; they never truly master it. It’s a lifetime of work and practice, and believe it or not, it’s the same for salespeople, especially when it comes to customer service. We practice it every day, but we can always get better at it.

Of course, classroom training and the like are valuable tools. They provide a foundation for the principles that make up great customer service, but it’s the practice of customer service that is the most important.

Just like anything we practice, it takes time. What salespeople and their managers need to realize is that mistakes are a part of the process, and great managers will use mistakes to help their team improve. One way to do this without risking a potential customer is to role play.

The manager acts as a customer and gives the salesperson a multitude of situations to handle. It can be everything from handling all kinds of objections to how to close, and what type of close to use. Some of the other things that would work in a role play include how to go from a non-business conversation to a business conversation.

Once both the manager and the salesperson feel comfortable, then it’s time to start providing the customer service to actual customers. Again, it’s important to remember that mistakes are still going to be made, and that’s ok, as long as they turn over any potential sale before it is lost. Let the salesperson handle a perspective sale from start to finish, and then review it with them. Point out how they can improve, but more importantly, focus on what they did well.

If the salesperson struggled with closing the sale, then do some more role playing on closing techniques. If they had a difficult time handling objections, then take some time working on that aspect of their presentation.

The bottom line is this: selling is not easy, and it takes a lifetime of continual practice to be great at it. New salespeople need practice and guidance from their managers in order to get off to a good start, but even to 30-year veteran needs to remember that practice applies to them as well. The only constant in the field of sales is change and the best way to stay ahead of the change is through preparation and practice.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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