The secret is within the teaching method
Most people are unaware that the teachings of Sales has been extensively researched, analyzed and investigated intensively for over 30 years. Nowadays, there are proven, conclusive explanations to most of the conflicts between the salesmen and their customers. The solutions are also known.
A skilled salesman will know exactly what to do in order to lead a common customer from a stage of hesitation to a stage of decision. In most cases, the process he will use in order to accomplish that will not relate to the product or given service but to the interaction between the (human) customer and (human) salesman, as one tries to convince the other, and change his opinion. A professional Sales-person, knows exactly what to do when a customers says he's in a hurry (“boomerang”), he will not be surprised when a customer says "I’ll think it over…" (“Basic Nelson”) etc.
The presence of an "advisor" with the customer will not be a surprise for a skilled salesman, he will know how to tackle this unfavorable situation easily.
These examples present only the tip of the ice and make it clearer to see the major difference between an amateur to a 'pro'.
When it's about "Institutional Sales", matching technological plants, High-Tech companies etc, where the process of communication is longer and complicated (it can even take numerous years until you sign a contract), the need for various additional skills arises, for example: Team work in conjunction with D.M.U – (Decision Making Unit), methodical identification of business opportunities, various telemarketing & telemeeting skills, customer preservation, sophisticated handling of competition, proper formulation of 'bids' and following them up, negotiations skills and so on.
Accordingly, there is a tremendous amount of material to learn in order to succeed in this complicated profession, but it isn't the traditional frontal lecture education and "tips" memorization. One of the conditions to create a personal, emotional and cognitive involvement with the material is to involve the student in the process.
Therefore there is a need to conduct an interactive workshop, during which a clear and constructive attitude is being built, along with professional unique solutions for general purposes and for their specific profession. The students participate actively in analyzing various realistic scenarios and in several exercises, including intensive use of close-circuit TV.
But that is not enough. The transition from the intuitive attitude to systematic selling attitude, requires dealing with at least three main challenges:
1) A transition from a declarative only attitude (statements, speeches, presentations and explanations) to a listening, profound care and compatible in all ways attitude.
2) Nurturing the tendency to 'close a deal', or getting a concrete pre-defined achievement (The evasion of 'closing a deal' is the most common error along salesmen).
3) A total change of normal behavior-patterns in conflict/resistance situations. (The normal reactions, are the total opposite of what professional salesmen would do).
If these goals will not be accomplished in the workshop then it will fail elsewhere.
The 'Peled technique' deals uniquely and originally with these challenges, in a pioneer way.
The first step in the transition from self focusing to focusing on the customer is obtained by learning and practicing "The art of suitability" (which is originally created by the 'Peled technique'), "The tendency to close a deal" is achieved by combination of guided imagination procedures and other manipulations that are usually used in the early stage of the second day of the workshop. "Changing behavior patterns in conflict situations", is accomplished by analyzing, studying and practicing "Transaction Analysis", the advanced research of Dr. Erik Bern.
A successful sales workshop therefore requires an instructor with:
1) Wide and profound knowledge of the sales profession.
2) Many years of Practical and disciplined experience.
3) Educational degrees in the field of psychology and sociology.
4) Didactical, tidy attitude.
In order to ensure enjoyable learning process and experience, the instructor is required to have a fifth quality: a dramatic ability with a lot of humor.
The combination of these five elements is quite rare.
This kind of workshop is serves only as a first step and an entry ticket to the selling field, but in no way enough.
Since the field of sales deals with skills and, there's a requirement to combine, especially in the ending stages of the workshop, practical exercises of various kinds, role-playing, team activities and especially realistic scenarios simulation by closed-circuit TV.
The participants receive pre-made texts for "role playing" as characters of a salesman and buyers (in their specific field) while one faces the other. These situations are video captured and later-on analyzed by the participants.
In most cases, it is recommended to switch from the relatively simple scenarios simulation to more advanced/complex scenarios simulation.
Experience teaches us that proficiency in sales is extensive. Most of the participants understand the material, most of them get attached to the ideas and different maneuvers they acquired, some of them "erased" mistakes and erroneous perceptions they acquired along the years and some could even demonstrate astonishing abilities to sell in difficult conditions, however, there's a need to help them use the workshop material in daily manner. Some may need personal guidance with the things taught in the workshop. Only then, they are willing to proclaim: "I just got it."…
The translation is usually expressed in personal tutoring in the field (Coaching), A method that is generally referred to as: O.J.T, "On The Job Training".
This crucial step proves itself over and over again.
Of course, doing an O.J.T by itself will obligate conducting a "Personal Workshop" for each employee… miscommunication between the tutor to the student will also prevent goals achievement. One should not expect a student with no sales education to know how to send "initiated closing signals" or to use “NLP” or "Guided Imagination" or "Suggestive selling" tools, if he first hears about it during the coaching…
Therefore, Personal-Coaching will not suffice as the only educational tool.
The way of performing the personal coaching is of great importance. I've known "tutors" whose most energy is spent on Impressing the student… they interfere in his sale process anddemonstrate great moves to him, but that is basically wrong. Great success of the tutor could damage the students self confidence, while the failure of the tutor may make the student question the tutor and his recommendations/methods.
Out of three common coaching-methods, the most recommended one in most cases is the passive observation when the analyzing process is done by the student himself in the ending stages of the interaction.
There's great importance in preparing the student for the process. Enthusiastic student participation will make the process more successful and enjoyable.
Making a student mistake-aware During the coaching process is important. This is usually done by asking and interviewing and not by indoctrination, lecturing or preaching.
Maintaining of the knowhow, is done by refreshing-meetings conducted once a quarter or semi-annually in which the salesmen are exposed to verified data about their performance during the period, focused on repeated failing points, refreshing the main studied rules, analyzing of realistic/complex scenarios from the field, together with some more exercises and sometimes etc’.