|Photo credit: istockphoto.com/ivosar|
I do a lot of live events throughout the year, which gives me the opportunity to train hundreds of technicians annually on impactful selling techniques, strategies and structured systems. What I always find is that selling technicians truly desire to “do the right thing,” but they often get stuck when it comes to the “why” behind what they are being asked to do.
We find that many managers fail miserably when it comes to properly educating their teams on the reason, or the why, behind selling processes and strategies. What we see all the time is managers that seem to forego the importance of helping selling techs understand the significance of what they do at a higher level regarding the purpose and processes we are asking them to follow.
Effective training is one of the most valuable and profitable things you can implement in your company. We spend countless hours per year training team members at my own company, as well as at our clients’ companies in various locations. Even though many of us understand that training is important, we must continue to strive for relevancy. Your training programs must be relevant to the real daily challenges that your team is facing call after call.
How can we make our training more relevant and effective?
First, we must get better at helping selling technicians understand why specific, planned actions throughout the service call make such a big difference for them, their customers and the company. This is such an important part of the process, which often gets overlooked. I want to cover three key things that need to be addressed to help your technicians become more engaged in the sales process.
When I’m speaking in front of a group of selling techs, I like to ask a few questions to get an understanding of how they personally perceive the topic of selling. I’ll ask a few key questions like these early on in a workshop or training session: “What is the purpose of selling?” “What is the point of the process?” “What is the goal of making a sale?”
The answers are usually categorized very similarly and have the same “blah-blah” feeling from the techs. Generally they tell me that the purpose of selling is only to make a sale, the point of the process is simply to convince someone to buy something, and the goal is to make the company more money.
If this is what they are truly feeling, no wonder it seems to be such a struggle to encourage them to become more engaged in a quality selling process! What’s in it for them? How can they feel really good about themselves and what they do if they believe that all their job consists of is being a boring transaction-based order-taker?
Techs make a difference in sales
Let’s start to focus on helping techs realize their purpose in sales is much bigger than taking orders and that they are making a true difference. It’s our responsibility as company leaders to help our team members become emotionally connected to the fact they are doing an important job, and what their contribution means to the health of the entire organization!
How would your results be positively impacted if your entire team felt better about their role in the sales process at your company? What would it mean if your technicians truly believed they are protecting the health and welfare of their country? How would the culture of your service and sales department improve if your technicians realized that their sole purpose is to better someone’s life every time they run a service call?
The purpose of selling is to enhance and improve a customer’s life. Period. It is the purpose of the sales process to leave a customer in a better situation than before he had an interaction with one of your technicians.
The point of a quality process is to create a specific sequence of experiences for a customer that encourages him to invest in our products or services. This is always based on what he wants, needs or desires, and certain things need to happen at particular times throughout the service call.
The goal is to create a connection with a customer, setting the table for a long-term. revenue-producing relationship. When our team thinks in terms of just making a sale to make money, we become very short-sighted. This creates a transaction-based environment instead of a great relationship-based experience.
Do these definitions feel a little bit different than what we’re currently hearing from selling techs?
Recently I did a virtual training on this topic for a company that has three different locations and we held a live meeting for all their locations simultaneously. As I covered these topics and reframed them to have more meaning and purpose for the team, I could see how the techs began to perk up and feel a bit differently about what we’re asking them to do.
When there is a complete understanding about “why” we encourage technicians to do certain things a specific way, they become much more likely to perform the simple tasks that should be completed on every call. In regard to a task such as creating a quality options sheet each time, it truly helps for a technician to understand why he is offering multiple beneficial options for the customer. More importantly, techs need to comprehend the significance of making a well-thought-out presentation that addresses the customer’s emotions and feelings as well as the technical aspect of the product or service being offered.
All these elements work together, but nothing happens if techs feel like boring order-takers! Helping them develop a personal sense of purpose behind their work will make for happier technicians and improved sales for the company, so everybody wins! When techs can connect the purpose, process and the goal of their sales position within the company, they discover a newfound excitement for their work, increasing effectiveness and sales as a result.