Specialists in sales, management and customer service training throughout Ireland.

All posts in Sales Training

On a recent sales training course we discussed why so many of us salespeople do not cross sell or up sell. How can we learn to develop sales techniques that will improve our prospects of increasing sales?

We believe that the main difficulty faced by so many sales people is that they sell the product as opposed to selling to the needs and wants of the client. We find from speaking to many sales agents on various Selling Skills Courses that most salespeople who product sell have made up their mind before even speaking to the prospect about what they are going to sell- thereby having no regard to the customers actual requirement…

The problem with this approach is that we end up trying to sell products to customers who may not have a need for the product and we often don’t even discuss other products that may be required by the customer. We need to improve this process and produce products to customers based on their actual need.

Product selling reminds me of fishing with a fishing rod, you may be lucky and you may catch one fish on the end of the rod, however, if you fish with a net you may catch numerous different types of fish.

An effective technique we use on our training courses as we believe it simply delivers results is when selling remember to use the acronym ALLA which means:

Ask relevant questions

Listen to the answer

Learn from the answer

Act accordingly

When I first started in sales many years ago I was in the Life Assurance Industry and my goal was always that when I was in front of the prospect I would establish what they needed and then sell the relevant products. As well as this I would try and ensure that on an ongoing basis I would try and establish what other products could be needed.

When selling Life Assurance there would always be other products such as Pensions, Illness Protection, Business Insurance, Education Planning, etc- as with all businesses there is potential to digress from one product to cross sell and upsell.

True, effective salespeople have learnt that it is important to try and establish the needs for the full product range as opposed to leaving products on the table for your competitor to pick up. They provide solutions to their clients.

Nowadays with the internet people are so used to buying add on products, if you go to Amazon.com they will always have a pop up box that says ‘people who bought this also bought this’.

Probably the first masters of add on products in my lifetime was the burger bars, years ago Burgerland and other burger bars did not sell meals as such. People used to just go in and get a cheeseburger and chips, but automatically the member would say ‘what drink would you like with that ?’ even though the drink was an add on cost, most people automatically responded by saying Coke. It becomes second nature…if you know how.

By keeping up to date with sales techniques your sales process will improve along with your add on sales!

So, to summise- when you are out selling, sell the full range of products you offer- if you do not you are leaving easy sales on the table for the next salesperson to pick up.

i-doThis may sound strange and slightly over the top BUT we believe that throughout a sales discussion you should treat your customer/client as if you were about to make a marriage proposal….we know it sounds a little ridiculous but in Sales Training we go through each individual step of a sale and truth be told the steps are similar to a proposal of marriage, let us show you;

Let’s assume that you have now decided that you are going to consciously employ this thought process throughout the sale, the following will more than likely happen;

1). You break the ice with small talk

Small talk with clients about the news, the weather, their interests etc is sometimes more effective than big discussions about products, prices or objections. It is so important to create a human likeability factorbefore you launch into your sales pitch.

2). You will sell yourself

You must believe in yourself. If you portray your inner belief to your client they will respond with trust. Crystalise in your mind the fact that you are successful, that your client needs to deal with you and buy from you as you know what you are talking about. You are passionate about your product/service and you show their advantages in their true light. You can rely on your own strengths!

3). You ensure that the setting is just right

In order to set up a sales meeting it is crucial that you are prepared. You need to know what venue, day, time etc will best be used to your advantage. If you are required to make a presentation ensure that you have all of your props ready to go. Execute your sales meeting like it is a theatre performance!

4). You will play on your emotions

You must believe in your product/service. Portray the fact that you or your product is the best in the business. Show your client that you know what else is out there in the marketplace but give your client the reasons why they should do business with you! Your enthusiasm and conviction will transfer to the client and you will begin to create trust.

5). You make your best offer

You are convinced that you are making your client the best offer, you have discussed their needs and expectations and you are certain that you understand your product/service more than any other competitor in the marketplace. Your service comes with after care so the customer can rest assured that their needs/queries will always be in your best interest- even after the sale!

I’m sure you will agree that this was a “sale made in heaven”. In our Sales Training courses we provide numerous easy to understand methods of closing sales.

For further techniques and tips on sales training see www.premiertraining.ie

successSales Managers all over the country are trying day in and day out to manage and control the sales of their sales teams. At weekly and monthly sales training meetings managers are asking their sales agents to predict how many sales they will achieve etc. However on sales training courses new sales people are being told that you cannot control sales.

The truth is that noone can control sales, you see a sale is not really a sale until it is done, which means a sale is past tense, yet managers still insist on talking about the commitment to a sales target for the forthcoming week or month.

What sales training courses cover is the importance of activity. In other words the number of new prospects the sales person will contact with a view to selling. If managers focused on managing the number of prospects a salesperson was going to speak with this week, they would have a far clearer indication to the level of sales the sales person will probably achieve.

Contrary to popular belief sales is a numbers game at least in part. Don’t get us wrong we accept there is a lot more to sales than only understanding and working the numbers but it is a good start for any new salesperson to understand their key ratios when it comes to selling.

The key ratios will change for each salesperson and also for each specific industry, but in simple terms the numbers salespeople need to understand are things such as:

  • How many calls have I made?
  • How many appointments did that generate?
  • How many sales did I achieve from those appointments?

Let’s assume for a moment that a salesperson made 10 calls which led to 3 appointments and then from the three appointments generated 1 sale. The best chance the salesperson has of achieving 3 sales is to make sure they make 30 calls. In sales training courses salespeople are taught the key ratios they need to be aware of, so as they know the activity needed to achieve the sales result they require.

The sales managers need to start managing the activity as opposed to keep trying to manage sales. You can control activity but you cannot control sales.

Understanding numbers and key ratios of calls to sales are easily taught through a good sales training course.

For more tips and techniques see www.premiertraining.ie

Sales Training

Closing Sales

We all hate scripted responses and we sure know when someone is talking to us in a robotic way that makes us feel that they are just reading a script, particularly on a telephone sales call. The truth is that although scripted responses can frustrate a certain amount of the population good salespeople use them without even knowing they use them.

Recently on a sales training course the topic of scripting came up and most of the delegates felt it was a bad idea however the more they thought the more they realised there really is a need for them.

The key to effective scripting is whether you are able to use your vocal skills (in telephone sales) and your vocal and body language skills in face-to-face selling to actually disguise the fact that it is scripted.

During the sales training we discussed a thing called “Conceptual Scripting”, this is where you have a script but it is not word for word so it doesn’t appear to be said in a parrot fashion manner.

This is particularly interesting for sales people that are involved in telesales (in particular inbound telesales) where they get asked the same or similar questions all the time. The trainer used an example in his own business, he said that every day people phone in and ask the question ‘do you do sales training?’. We know the answer is simple ‘yes we do’ the problem with that answer is it is not very helpful to the prospect or indeed to the salesperson.

A scripted response may be something like:

“Yes we actually specialise in sales training, we offer sales training on both a public course basis and also we go to companies and tailor a course specifically to match their needs- can you just tell me a little more about what you are looking for and I can then discuss your options with you?”

I am not saying this is perfect by any means but I hope you get a clearer understanding of what mental scripting is for typical inbound questions you may receive.

The other important thing about mental scripting in this way is that it allows you to finish with a question. Remember HE WHO ASKS THE QUESTION WILL CONTROL THE CONVERSATION this was one of the first things I ever learned in sales training, selling is not telling! Selling is controlling the conversation by asking good relevant questions and listening to the prospects answer and then taking the correct action.

So although we may not like scripting we need to use it in certain scenarios, the other scripting which successful sales people use is when they find a good answer to a clients objection they put a script around it and use it time after time.

So to answer the question does scripting work in sales the simple answer is that if it didn’t people would not use it. There is an art to not making it parrot fashion but you can make conceptual scripting work for you to help you appear more positive, to put you in control of the conversation and to bring you closer to closing more sales.

For more sales tips and techniques see www.premiertraining.ie

Sales Training

Closing Sales

Imagine, if every prospect you met said “Where do I sign?” or “When can you deliver it?”. This would be every sales persons dream. Sales training courses would probably be redundant as there would be no need for your sales team to attend sales training.

Unfortunately however all sales do not close with a “Yes I’ll take it”, in fact most sales don’t close at all. You see, we still need sales training to help us develop good closing skills and techniques, because it is still a fact of life that some salespeople are afraid to ask for the order.

Closing sales still remains the most difficult part of the sales process for the majority of sales people.

Salespeople all over the country have great skill in building rapport, establishing needs and even selling benefits but when it comes to the crunch time of asking for the order they freeze. The funny thing is the prospect knows we are there to sell the product- they know we have not driven 50 miles to see them to just let them see the product- they are expecting us to ask for the order…

The truth is if you cannot close sales you have no future in selling. Sales training can be of great assistance in showing all the different techniques you can use apart from asking for the order outright. For example, you can use the alternative close “We deliver on Mondays and Wednesdays, which day is best for you?”. Whatever the prospect answers the sale is closed and in reality you haven’t even asked them to buy.

In sales training we often talk of the ski slope, this is where you draw a line on a piece of paper and say “Most of our clients spend between €100 and €500, writing the €100 at one end of the line and the €500 at the other end, then say where on the line would you feel comfortable. Guess what! Most people go for the half way mark at €250- again you have not asked for the order but as soon as the prospect has answered the question you have closed the sale.

So why is it that salespeople have problems closing sales? Well, it can be for a number of reasons. Many salespeople fear rejection, many do not know how to handle objection and see buyer hesitation as a barrier, or maybe they have never been taught to use trial closes during the sale so that the final close is an inevitable next step. Whatever the reason, salespeople need to keep their skills updated by attending sales training courses.

If each of your salespeople attended sales training and increased their close ratio by 20% would that not be seen as an investment with a great pay off???

For further information on sales training tips and techniques see www.premiertraining.ie

Without prospects you have no prospects. No matter what your business type it is crucial that you keep finding new people to purchase your product. Although Sales Training is an excellent way to increase your skills and knowledge and close more sales if you do not have the prospects you are fighting a losing battle.

The first step of any sales process is to Prospect- you have to find people who have a need or desire for your product.

For the majority of people finding new business or prospects is the most difficult part of the sales cycle.

If we were selling any product face-to-face it would be a lot easier to achieve our targets – to many people the selling part is the easy part and the prospecting is the hardest.

In Sales Training we often refer to prospecting as they did in the old west with gold mining- you must always look to develop new streams of people- just as the prospectors used to develop new streams for gold.

There are various ways to find new prospects including;

  • Word of Mouth
  • Social Media
  • Centre of Influence
  • Newspapers
  • Business Directories
  • Internet
  • Trade Journals
  • Linked Businesses
  • News / Radio / TV
  • Cold Call
  • Networking
  • Referrals

6 Circles of Success

The key to success is to get every prospect to lead you to another or a number of others.

Example- What not to say…

“John, I understand you found it difficult to think of people who may be able to benefit from our reduced rate Life Assurance”; I don’t blame you I would aswell if someone asked me that question.

If you phrase the question in a more simple manner the whole task becomes a lot easier…

Example- What to say…

“What I am really looking for is introductions to someone you know, who has young children still at school, and may need to review their cover?”

Once they give you a name, don’t stop there ask the very simple question ‘anyone else’?- Easy…

Sales Training can help you learn and develop the key skills of prospecting making the whole process far easier on a daily basis.


Young friends with arms raised in successWhen you are looking to build a sales team that continually meet targets and go that extra mile you need to make sure that they receive quality training, otherwise you will have a team that occasional hit their targets and rarely get above this. Some organisations have in-house training teams who cater for all the training needs within that organisation but for smaller businesses training courses which are delivered by outside agencies are normally required. Often these training agencies have a fixed set of training courses which they will alter slightly to make it relevant to the business they are training in. This is not a useful or productive method of training as the training of sales teams is a highly specialised area due to the nature of the role.

Maximise the potential of your team

If you have a sales team that is in need of training or if you have an established team that would benefit from a refresher course Premier Training can help you. Premier Training will work with you to create a sales training course that will not only meet your expectations but exceed them by creating a sales training course that is target driven and maximises the potential of each of the your team. After your initial contact you will be assigned a dedicated training advisor who is not a salesperson but a professional trainer who will run through your objectives and aims of the course to make sure nothing is missed ñ here you will also have the opportunity to make any suggestions for areas you would like to include in the training course.

Next you will be shown the outline of the proposed course to make sure that it is exactly as you would like it to be, usually such courses are a mix of theoretical information sessions, group activities, one to one training, practical demonstrations and question and answer sessions to ensure that every member of staff who attends has got the maximum from the course. If there is any aspect you are not happy with let your trainer know and the necessary adjustments will be made. When this has been agreed it is time to book a suitable date for the training to take place, this obviously is down to you to decide upon this based on business needs. When the training course has taken place you will also be offered follow up advice for a set period which can be of great help to some sales staff if they need an extra boost.

Tailored Sales Training

Premier Training offer sales training that not only produces some excellent results, but as they tailor each course to suit each business you know that every aspect of it has been created with your sales team in mind. This results in a sales training course that will deliver what it promises and will ensure that each member of your sales team is hitting and exceeding their targets each week. Training is important so it is essential for you and your sales team that you get it right, so use the best Premier Training.

If you want to learn more about the tailor made sales training packages available from Premier Training please contact us.

Sales SuccessSales training courses will remind you that telesales is a path full of potential bumps and potholes but remember that there is always a rainbow in that puddle.

Customers do not want to feel as though they are being sold, they want to feel as though they are being served. On an average day a person is met by over 2,300 adverts for the next big thing so it is no wonder that when it comes to sales a customer could be numb and unresponsive.

Trainers in sales training courses will encourage that you are aware that as a telesales representative there may be a lot going on this persons life and if they are unresponsive do not take it personally. There are a number of psychological reasons why a person will successfully achieve their telesales and personal goals. Below are 7 key steps to follow to effectively achieve your goals.

Get Their Attention. Be mind full of the first few seconds of the call as this will determine weather they will take the time to speak with you. Simply begin by explaining who you are, your company and what the customer can benefit from you. Sales training courses will tell you that this is a vital and effective step as customers need a clear reason to take time from their busy schedule. These seconds are a moment of curiosity in the customers mind so make the benefit powerful enough to measure their interests.
Build Credibility and Trust. As a sales trainer I know you will ask how the customer is going to trust a stranger over the phone. The fact is they are either unconsciously or consciously asking questions like how I know I am not being conned or that you can be trusted. Be brief and to the point that you are a well respected company with a great track record and you are not trying to separate them from their money.
State Purpose. You want to see whether their needs match those that your product could provide. An important tactic to remember is to forget selling and concentrate in serving. Put their needs above yours.
Gather Information. Keep in mind that everyone is not suitable to your product or service. To find out if they are simply ask questions about their current product supply. These questions show your interest whilst adding to their subconscious desire to feel valued and appreciated.
Agree on need. This is a psychological benchmark, a moment of truth. If you do not agree on the needs it will fall through however if you do agree on the needs it will open the mind so that it is receptive to hear what you can do for them. A tool used at this step in sales training is to summarise in 2 short sentences.
Solution to Problem. This is the sign post ahead that lets you know you are getting closer to achieving your goal and your customer’s satisfaction. It is known in sales training courses that we tend to buy things that we do not need because we want it. The distinction between want and need is logical and emotional. After you buy something you want you will receive feelings of security, ownership or peace of mind, this gives them a feeling of reward. Tailor the product to meet their needs then inform them of the benefit that will give them this rewarded feeling.
Close. You need to build the value of the product or service first before you discuss the prices. Imagine a scale in the customers mind, put money and considerations on one side and value of the solution on the other. Now summarise all they will receive. Describe the product positively and comfortingly.

Sales training courses will ask you to imagine a car ad for example. The ads will bring up security, family times, love and happiness. This is tailoring to their emotional needs of the customer, pulling at their heart strings rather then their minds, this works.

Kids Role PlayIs role playing and videoing a good tool to use on sales training courses? This is often a question I am asked when meeting prospective clients who are looking at the possibility of running a sales training course.

Well think of it this way, it’s a Monday morning after the big match at the weekend and the premier league football coach brings the team in to review the match. On goes the video and the coach and players watch, each move is analysed, the tape is stopped and the coach asks the group what was good, what was poor and what can they do different next time.

If video evidence is good enough for premiership footballers to see their strengths and their development needs then surely it is a tool that should also be used for sales training courses.

I was in Spain recently and I decided I would go and get some golf lessons. I used to play a lot of golf but moved a number of years ago and really got out of the habit. I decided now is my chance to get back into it and guess what, the first thing the professional golf teacher did was admire my swing and then video it.

The video was then played back and the professional golfer slowed each part of the swing down and analysed each part—he pointed out the good bits and then the areas I need to work on, the amazing thing about it was that I did not need him to point out I moved my head as I saw it myself.

I suppose the real point of this article is to say we all need to take a step away from what we do every day and analyse the good points and the areas we need to work on.

It is a known fact that on sales training courses when the experienced top salespeople sit down and analyse what they do, they will find areas where they can improve.

We really do need to take stock every now and again and check are we cutting corners, are we missing opportunities for up selling are we really dealing with objections as effectively as we can are we missing buying signals etc. So to answer the question is it a good idea to video role plays on sales training courses, I again say if it helps professional footballers and helps professional golfers then surely it will help professional salespeople.

Sales TrainingThe truth of the matter is that there are those that are born with the natural ability to sell. As a sales trainer I have come to realise and accept this but I also had to accept that I unfortunately was not one of those people. I have had to work hard and realise that I did need an extra step in the right direction in sales training. My biggest lesson was to realise that it is not a sin to make a profit.

I started to change my way of thinking and believe that if something is humanely possible then I must consider it to be within my reach. There are some methods and practices that I have followed through sales training courses to improve my sales training to get the best out my abilities and lead to better success in my earnings.

It was time to stop dabbling in sales and make a commitment to start taking my self and my career seriously, to make a positive, effective change in my sales. It was time to look at what areas I needed to concentrate on improving and studying each week to enhance my overall sales performances.

The areas that I have come to comprehend are significant to enhance my sales techniques are as follows;

Appearances. If you are a lawyer you will not present your case in combats and a t-shirt. If you are a beauty therapist you will not work with messy nails or patchy fake tan. Practice what you preach. You are a trained professional so look like one and act like one and stand up proud because you have worked hard to be here. In a study I read recently poor first impressions account for more loss in sales than all other reasons combined.

Attitudes. We are all born with the ability to feel an array of emotions and we are all born with the ability to show these emotions. Your potential prospect does not need to know any negative feelings that you are or have been feeling. Transfer these negative feelings to ones of enthusiasm and excitement so that you appear confident and positive.

Compliment. No one can deny that they do not like getting compliments, sure you may be a bit embarrassed but it makes a difference. However always be genuine because most people can tell when you are lying.

You are in Control. Always remember that you are the sales person and in full control of what you earn. As a sales training course provider I explain to my clients that there is always something that can be done to increase your income and therefore your living standards. The sooner that you sharpen your strategies and abilities the faster you will see changes for the better.

In my view the ultimate key to sales training is to remember that time is valuable. You must make the most out of your day. Ask yourself are you doing the most productive activity right now that will help you to improve your income? If not stop what you are doing and become industrious in you sales.