Am I Training or Selling?


06 Feb
06Feb

Things to consider about Selling:

You may not realize it, but the most critical junctures in your career involve selling. Whether you're selling a product or service to a customer, an idea or a plan to your management or investors, or yourself to an employer, your ability to sell will play a huge role in your success.

Unfortunately, most people aren't born with the sales gene.

There are four fundamental concepts you need to understand to sell anything to anybody. Learn them, practice them, and above all, make them uniquely your own by determining how to best integrate them into your DNA, your own situation, and the goals you'd like to achieve.

Do your homework. 

Know your customer, stakeholder, audience, whoever you're selling to. Know their roles, responsibilities, and objectives. Understand as much as you can about what's in it for them. Know your competition and all the possible objections and hurdles you might face.

Just as importantly: know whatever it is you're trying to sell. Know it cold. Whether it's an idea, a product, a plan, whatever, know it inside and out. And, without a doubt, know it better than anyone else, especially those you're selling to.

Ask and listen.

Ask how you can help them. Ask what their goals are. Ask what their concerns are. Then listen. Ask leading questions and listen some more. Keep listening until you have a pretty clear understanding of the whole picture.

Also listen for what really and truly matters to them. They might say a lot, but if you really listen, you'll discern what's really in it for them, what motivates them, and what obstacles you have to overcome. It's like cracking a nut. Brute force and all you've got is tiny pieces of nutmeat and shells. But if you find the right spot and do it just the right way, it opens cleanly. It's a beautiful thing. It's the same thing in sales.

Make a genuine connection. 

Every business transaction involves a genuine connection between individuals. It's not always a deep relationship, but it's a relationship, nevertheless.

To connect with people, you have to explain things in a way that resonates with them. If you've done your homework, asked the right questions, and listened carefully, you should know what they're looking for and how to overcome their concerns and meet their needs.

The best way to do that is to do two things: genuinely connect with the person and communicate using anecdotes and analogies that will cut through and resonate with them. That's because people aren't just motivated by logic and information, they're also motivated by emotional and primal needs.

People like to hear about ideas, features, and performance. They need to hear about benefits and what's in it for them even more. But when it's all said and done and they're on their own making a decision, it's an emotional connection to stories and people they'll remember. And that's what will motivate them to go for it.

Know whose side you're on. 

This is a tough concept for people to grasp but it is key so listen up. You may be sitting across from someone, physically opposite them, but in reality, you're on the same side. The sooner you get into that mindset, the sooner you'll get deals done.

In a certain sense, you're actually working for the customer or whoever you're selling to. That's because your job is to understand and serve their needs. To help them achieve their goals. That's your job. That means you work for them.

Things to Know about Training or Education:

Most people are familiar with the phrase: Those who can't do, teach. Ironically, it's the converse that creates dysfunction in business. So often these doers get stuck doing and doing because they don't know how to teach their skills and knowledge to employees and colleagues. Talented people end up overtasked and the company suffers from inefficiency.

It's not that top performers can't teach others. Mostly they've just never been taught how to teach or even given a basic process to follow. Let’s see how to educate

1. Create a Clear Curriculum

So often people fail in teaching before they start because they don't have a clear plan. Successful teaching requires structured content with clear objectives and milestones. Start by methodically outlining the process you want to share. Use bullet points and keep the language simple. Think about and note the approximate time you think it will take for your learner to comprehend and ultimately master each process. Document how you personally overcame obstacles and gained proficiency for each step.

2. Make the Material Matter

The only thing worse than trying to learn with no learning materials is dealing with learning materials that are incomplete, vague or nonsensical. The best way to expedite learning is to create detailed documents, videos and pictures that demonstrate exactly how a process should be done. Take the time and make the effort to lay out the details of every step in a logical order with examples and notation. Make the content clear and engaging. You'll save the time later since your learner will likely take a more proactive approach instead of waiting for the information to download from your mouth. You'll get the added benefit of being able to use the material again with future learners.

3. Present With Purpose and Passion

I am always baffled how the most interesting and entertaining people suddenly become lifeless and dull when they have structured material to present. The whole idea behind teaching is to engage and excite learners so they choose to drive their own proactive exploration into the subject. To do this you need to be enthusiastic about the subject. If you don't care about the material, why should they? Demonstrate your passion with energy and focus. Don't just casually throw the information out there. Be organized, specific and explicit about what they can expect to learn and why it's beneficial for all involved. Help them work through the material and make sure they know how to extract the key information. Most importantly, make the process fun. Use humor, visuals and storytelling to encode the messages. If you make it entertaining, you'll engage the learners and yourself, so everyone is present and wants to continue the process.

4. Let the Learners Lead the Learning

Lecture is statistically the least effective method for content delivery. People lose interest or get distracted and ultimately retain less information. Find creative ways to make learning interactive with the learners driving the process. Give them exercises that encourage them to ask questions and demonstrate tasks so they can absorb the material in a meaningful way. Help them be smart. Set them up to teach each other as they progress. This will move them to proactively fill in their own gaps in retention and heighten their awareness while they learn.

5. Reinforce with Repetition and Response

Just because the material is presented and the discussion is done, it doesn't mean your job as teacher is finished. You need to work the learner through the actual process and help make adjustments along the way. Set up opportunities where your learner can perform the tasks in real time. Make sure the process is set up to allow the learner to fail safely, with nothing critical at risk. Since people can learn more from failure than from success, provide frequent, specific feedback laced with encouragement and praise. Help your learner set specific goals and accomplish each one to gain confidence. Once your learner can self-correct, let him or her fly solo so you can go find something new to learn with your freshly gained time.

Conclusion:

Passion will make anything you do great.  Are you doing what you do because you are earning points or because there is a passion that drives you?  Don’t clutter the by-ways of life with foolishness.  Demonstrate your passion, so others see it.  Stop being a spectator in your own life.


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