Baditude!

As a group of sales trainees took a break from our workshop on selling, the distress they were feeling, was clearly manifest in their intense discussions. It was obvious from their unrestrained conversations that the software being installed to track their sales performance was the reason for their anxiety. It was also evident from their negative comments, that many of these trainees had already given up on selling their company's services and that no amount of sales training could help them sell their firm's services. Our client, a large midwestern service firm, was willing to pay generous incentives for their customer service staff to up sell additional services. Yet, most participants in this training session felt, for a variety of reasons, that obtaining additional sales was impossible.

Jenny, a customer service representative from one of the inner-city offices of the firm was typical in her feelings about being asked to sell. She talked about how difficult it was to achieve sales success because of her location and the unique customer base she worked with daily. She said it would be impossible to achieve the sales success of coworkers in the more wealthy suburban locations-"so why even try?"

Jenny specifically talked about a coworker by the name of Arlene who had been exceptionally productive in producing sales over the last three months. Arlene worked at a branch in an upper middle class suburb. She had earned over half the incentive pool for her sales success, doubling her income. Jenny told the group, that she was sure she could do the same thing, if she could work in the suburbs like Arlene.

On meeting Arlene for the first time, you might surmise that her warm and friendly disposition produced her ongoing sales success. She has a great personality. As Jenny inferred, you might also feel, after visiting her office, that her location assisted in her phenomenal sales success. Her customers certainly have the money to invest in her products and services. However, to learn exactly what was behind Arlene's success, the firm's regional sales manager had her "shopped," (had someone act like a customer to check her performance). They also had her local manager observe her work for a few days to see if they could learn more about her success. On closer scrutiny, the sales manager learned that Arlene consistently used the selling process The $elling Edge®, Inc. had taught her in our workshops and our Self-Directed Learning reinforcement series. Along with Arlene's warmth, friendly personality and favorable location, it appeared that using our "selling process" was the major factor in her consistent sales success.

Because there were so many complaints about the unfair incentive and tracking system being implemented by the firm, the regional sales manager decided to run a test on his staff. He wanted to see if Jenny was correct in her assessment. Did the location of a branch dramatically impact an employee's ability to sell and earn additional income? Was it true that location alone determined the amount of incentive bonuses paid out? Overnight, this manager reassigned Arlene to Jenny's inner-city location. Jenny then took Arlene's place in the suburbs.

The first week after the transfer, Arlene's sales plummeted, possibly giving some credence to Jenny's theory. What few sales Jenny had been making also declined her first week in the suburbs. Since neither employee was familiar with their new customer base, these reductions in sales seemed in order. However, on checking the two representative's sales success on a weekly basis, the sales manager soon learned that location had little to do with sales or lack of success. As the weeks progressed, Arlene's sales began to steadily climb. After a month and a half in the inner-city location, her level of sales success was right back up to her production levels before her move to the inner-city. Jenny, on the other hand, over the test period, was never able to move her sales beyond what she had been doing before her move. Of course, she had an excuse for not performing well. Jenny told everyone that her sales were low because she had not had the time to get to know the customers in her new location.

Although Jenny had a pleasant personality and seemed to get along well with people, her new manager observed that she seemed unwilling to learn and then use any of the sales techniques taught in our workshops. When she was "shopped" during the test period, it was obvious that Jenny tried to use her personality to persuade her customers to buy from her. Not once did she move out from behind her desk to greet customers, nor did she shake their hand. She immediately got down to business, and failed to build rapport with the people she served. She preferred to be efficient and in turn was not at all effective in selling her firm's products and services. In short, Jenny did none of the things that would help her build the kind of customer relationships that regularly produced additional sales.

As the manager evaluated the results of the test, it became clear that Jenny's bad attitude about selling was at the heart of her poor sales record. Also, not learning and using the sales tools she had been given was the deciding factor in her lack of sales success. Arlene, on the other hand, had proven that an office location was not a major factor in the sales process for this firm.

On closer scrutiny, the regional sales manager found that a bad attitude about sales permeated the entire inner-city staff. To a person, they felt that they could not sell the customers they served, so they quit trying. While at the suburban location, everyone was upbeat about the new sales skills they had acquired from our workshop and used the methods to consistently sell their customers and earn more money while they generated more business for the firm.

As the regional sales manager looked into this attitude problem further, it became clear that the contrast in staff feelings about the consultative sales process they had been taught, primarily emanated from their respective managers. For the most part, Jenny only parroted back what she had heard her inner-city manager say about the selling process. On the other hand, Arlene's attitude about selling simply mirrored what flowed daily from her suburban manager.

As you lead your sales team, what messages are you sending to them about the selling process? Do they know that you believe in and personally use the sales tools that they must master to succeed? Are they able to use your example as a springboard to staff sales success? It really is your extended shadow that controls how well your staff performs their sales duties. As the research into the selling process outlined in this lesson clearly shows, sales success, truly lies in the extended shadow of the sales manager or supervisor. Check out our personal sales coaching training at:

http://wwwTheSellingEdge.com/personalCoaching.htm

VIRDEN J. THORNTON is the founder and President of The $elling Edge®, Inc. a firm specializing in sales, customer relations, and management training and development. Clients have included Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Deloitte & Touché, Bank One, Jefferson Pilot, and Wal-Mart to name a few. Virden is the author of Prospecting: The Key To Sales Success and the best selling Building & Closing the Sale, Fifty-Minute series books and Close That Sale, a video/audio tape series published by Crisp Publications, Inc. Menlo Park, California. He has also authored a Self-Directed Learning series of sales, coaching & team development, telemarketing, and personal productivity training guides.

Check out the listed books and manuals at http://www.TheSellingEdge.com/books1.htm Virden teaches for the Center For Professional Development, Texas Tech University at Lubbock, Texas and in the School Of Entrepreneurship, J. Willard And Alice S. Marriott School Of Management at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. You can contact Virden at: [email protected].

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Sales Management Changes At WHDH-WLVI
TV News Check
Following the promotion of Jim Rogers from director of sales at Sunbeam Television's WHDH (independent) and WLVI (CW) in Boston (DMA 10) to general manager earlier this week, sales management changes were announced today that will be effective July 1 ...

and more »

GlobeNewswire (press release)

ZINFI Technologies Named a Leader in 2018 Analyst Evaluation of Through-Channel Marketing Automation Platforms
GlobeNewswire (press release)
ZINFI Technologies, the leader in Unified Channel Management (UCM) innovation, enables vendors and their channel partners to achieve profitable growth predictably and rapidly on a worldwide level. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, USA and founded by ...

and more »

Business 2 Community

How to Master the Sales to Customer Success Handoff
Business 2 Community
Read on for four tips for building a smooth handoff process, straight from customer relationship gurus who have perfected the sales-to-customer success knowledge transfer. 1. “Set relationship management expectations during the sales process.” – Jeremy ...


Inventory Analyst
mediabistro.com
As more and more advertisers embrace digital media, the need for media companies to effectively manage their ad inventory grows dramatically. The ability for Account Executives and Sales management to know what is available, and when, is essential to ...


Supervalu Sales Up 30%
Modern Distribution Management
SUPERVALU Inc. (NYSE: SVU), Minneapolis, MN, reported sales for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended February 24, 2018. Full-year sales increased 30 percent to $14.2 billion, and profit was $46 million. The company reported fourth-quarter ...

and more »

The Bookseller

Export Account Manager
The Bookseller
Previous experience managing customer accounts within a sales environment with strong sales and negotiation skills; Preferably you will have publishing industry experience. If not, you should have a passion for books with a desire to develop a career ...


The Globe and Mail

Scotiabank fined for excessive spending in mutual fund sales practices
The Globe and Mail
The Bank of Nova Scotia's asset management division, 1832 Asset Management L.P., is the second investment fund manager to be fined this month for excessive spending in its mutual fund sales practices. The fund manager has agreed to pay an $800,000 ...
Scotiabank fund manager to pay $800,000 fine in OSC deal | The StarToronto Star

all 3 news articles »

Front Row Solutions Recommended as a Top Sales Enablement Partner by Selling Power Magazine
PR Newswire (press release)
Commented Etien D'Hollander, President of Front Row Solutions: "We are pleased that Selling Power has recommended Front Row Solutions as an elite sales enablement partner. We take pride in being part of the solution that today's sales organizations ...

and more »

Bloomberg

Foreign Investment in Canada Is Only Really Slowing in Energy
Bloomberg
Outside of oil and gas, foreign investors haven't given up on the Canadian economy. That's the takeaway from detailed industry data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada that showed the sharp slowdown in foreign capital inflows last year was energy ...
Foreign investors haven't given up on Canada — just on our energy sectorFinancial Post

all 1 news articles »

Entry Level Sales Operations Analyst
Built In Austin
Provide analytic support to Manager of Sales Operations; Manage CRM data integrity and continued hygiene; Develop best practices that align sales data quality with company initiatives; Work with sales management to utilize data for territory planning ...

Google News

What Is A Proposal? And Why Do You Need One?

Do you know anyone who regularly wins bids? Or can... Read More

Discounting Your Way Into Sales Oblivion

I don't even like saying the word d---------g. I have... Read More

Sales Marketing: 12 Sneaky Tricks To Help You Outsell Your Competition

Business can be like war sometimes.You may have to fight... Read More

How to Increase The Sales Of Promotional Products

I have searched for a new way to increase the... Read More

The Art and Science of Managing Expectations in Selling

It is very easy to fall into a trap with... Read More

The Get Dangerous Quickly Approach to Product/Service Training

In 2000 a computer distributor hired me to help them... Read More

How Do I Manage Workplace Conflict?

Workplace ConflictConflict is an inevitable part of business life and... Read More

100% Commission Equals Zero Percent Control

The temptation to use straight (100%) commission plans never goes... Read More

How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Sales Performance -- Part 1

Business executives and sales managers frequently bemoan "80/20" performance on... Read More

All Small Businesses Need to Gather Community Intel

How well do you know your community? As business owners... Read More

Snowflakes Improve Holiday Sales

Snowflakes are beautiful!For the Winter Holiday sales season handcrafted snowflakes... Read More

The Hardest Job Of A Trade Show

You've heard this before: There were four people named Everybody,... Read More

Management From Within

Inspiration and Management from Within ? Part 2.The more you... Read More

Project/Program Management Best Practices for Success in ANY Industry!

Where is our success? Although there have been improvements, over... Read More

Stop Drowning: Nine Strategies For Managing Your Priorities

I just got off the phone with Susan. She is... Read More

Business Career, Executive Coaching Article - Perfection vs. Excellence

"(Howard) Hughes never learned how to convert his knowledge to... Read More

The Spirit Of Change

A Highly Conscious Approach To Business Management. For more on... Read More

Transforming Your Sales Force by Creating Specific Expectations

I just finished a phone call with a potential client... Read More

Moving a Business Relationship from Free to Fee: Turning Strangers to Friends with Power of Freebies

In the last issue I shared with you a technique... Read More

Sales Tactics to Beat Your Competition

This month I want to share a success from a... Read More

Is Your Sales Trust Factor High Enough to Win Against the Competition?

How high is your sales trust factor?Is it higher than... Read More

Determining Sales Fit; the Key Growth Process for Your Business

Help your organization grow by assessing the right indicators in... Read More

The Hidden Competition: Avoiding the 2 Most Common Competitors

There are really only two types of competitor:1. Obvious2. HiddenThe... Read More

How to Organize a Seminar or an Event

Seminars and events have always been implemented as a holistic... Read More

The Surest Way to Boost Sales

If you have a small business and you are looking... Read More