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Sales Training


Hi there I am looking to design some training for sales consultants for hanling appointments made by phone by the customer as opposed to appointments made by the customer in person. The main difference between the two is that in phone appointments they have most likely not seen our product unless in an advert possibly. The sales consultant will therfore have to be very visual in how he/she communicates the features, advantages and benefits of the product. Has anyone any experience of this type of training? Many thanks Sinead

10 Responses

  1. Thanks
    Hi Steve

    Thanks for this although this will be an in house initiative. I am really looking to gather some detail on specific techniques I could teach them to assist in these types of sales scenarios.


  2. Sign up
    Hi Sinead

    You can sign up to the site and there are lots of free resources. His book “The Jelly Effect” is also worth a look.

    I’m not a Sales trainer so thats about all I have…I’m sure there will be quite a few on this site…good luck.


  3. Develop their vocal skills
    Hi Seanade,

    I have developed and delivered some sales training for our staff, some of whom sell over the phone. I feel that the key is to develop staff vocal skills and usually give delegates the following tips:

    1. Focus on your voice
    • Be warm and sincere
    • Use the voice to build trust
    • Don’t speak too quickly
    • Don’t mumble
    • Don’t SHOUT!
    • Be aware of your accent
    • Lower the voice for maturity (avoids squeaking)
    2. Paint word pictures
    I was once told that “Imagine” is a command that the brain has to obey. e.g. “Imagine you are walking along a sandy beach beneath a clear blue sky, with palm trees gently swaying in the breeze and waves breaking on the seashore”. What did you see? Try to paint pictures with the words that you use on the telephone:
    • How good they feel
    • Peace of mind
    • Security
    3. Avoid negative language such as:
    • Possibly, maybe, perhaps
    • We might be able to
    • I hope that will be ok
    • If you decide to proceed
    4. Use positive language such as:
    • I am sure that we can…
    • I know we can do that…
    • I’m certain that will be fine
    • Once you’ve confirmed that you’re happy to proceed…

    Hope this gives you some ideas!


  4. Sales training
    Hi Sinead.

    Have you thought or tried webex demos of your products? This can be done PC to PC and you can chat on the phone whilst looking at the same thing.

    Hope I have read your dilema correctly


  5. Iterative improvement
    Hi Sinead

    I take it you believe that having a image of the product is an important aspect of the customers’ buying decisions.

    You can certainly provide training on improving language skills in product descriptions.

    I would back this up with a program of analysng results and learning from sucessess. Are there consistent phrases or techniques that your top performers use? What are the common features of successful sales calls?
    Pick out the things that seem to work, and proliferate them through out the team. Encourage people to recognise what they do that works, and share it with the rest. And encourage everybody else to try out successful technigues.

    In effect you create a virtuous learning circle.

    Hopw this makes sense.


  6. Update
    Hi Guys

    Thanks for all the responses so far.

    Richard – I have started this methodology. I am spending time with sales consultants who excel in these types of situations as well as interviewing sales consultants who I can’t get out with. The purpose is to draw out what techniques they employ to enhance their sales conversion and what tools they use to demonstrate the product to the customers. I will then gather this information and deliver this to the rest of the sales consultants.


  7. A suggestion – that has worked for my clients
    I’ve found it effective to use scenario based role plays to help sales people develop their skills in this area.

    Start by identifying the common contents of customer conversations and turn these into an number of scenarios.

    Then pair up your sales people and ask one to be the customer, whilst the other is the sales person and to work with one scenario.

    Ask other delegates to observe as the conversation takes place. Provide them with checklists covering the items described by David Kirby and ask them to use them to make notes. Record the conversation.

    Then engage everyone in reviewing and providing feedback. How was it for the ‘customer’? What did they find good and what didn’t work for them? What did the sales person identify as having worked well? And what went less well?

    And what did the observers learn? What suggestions do they have for better ways to engage and communicate with the customer?

    Repeat with other scenarios and various pairings to give everyone opportunities to be both customer and sales person. By taking the customer role, sales people have a great opportunity to learn from walking in their customer’s shoes.

    Be aware that the facilitators role is crucially important in ensuring that the scenarios are realistic and that the pairs keep it as real as possible. In addition people need to be reassured about confidentiality and their freedom to make mistakes and to learn from them. Its also essential that the facilitator ensures everyone contributes and remain open to challenge and alternative ideas and solutions.

    This iterative learning approach is powerful and engaging – in my experience at least.

    I hope this is of help.

    John Schonegevel

  8. Forum
    Hi Sinead

    Glad to be of help. You might want to think about setting up some kind of forum that the sales consultants can post to – as a way of sharing successes in (almost) real time.


  9. buddying…
    Hi Sinead..

    just a very quick one.. from my time working in the Training department at Phones 4U.. when we were faced with this dilema.. the simple option was to sack these individuals for performance.. however when you see someone has the ability to book appointments etc… but lack confidence to book appointments we found that giving them the opportunity to sit next to the ‘big hitters’ and listen into their calls was a great way of boosting morale/confidence etc… we also offered the opportunity to go out to the sales branches and sit with the field sales guys on their ‘self gen’ days and see how they work..

    This way, rather than sit in what could be their umpteenth training session on booking appointments or objection handling.. they are gtting real time coaching with the guys who book appointments for fun 🙂 and it worked.. !!

    (although not with everyone… you can only have so many chances.. 🙂 )

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