“I’ve been doing this for years.”
“I know what I’m doing.”
“I’ve done sales training before.”
There are plenty of excuses experienced salespeople will give for why they don’t think sales training is going to help them. To put it bluntly, they are wrong. Experienced sellers can benefit from advanced sales training that can sharpen their already strong sales skills, learn more about why customers buy, and ways to build a personal brand.
Advanced Sales Training
When you are new to sales, the goal is to figure out the products, the systems, and how to get past being nervous. As you get more comfortable, it’s OK to be like everyone else that’s selling. When you become experienced, being like everyone else is a losing proposition. You’ve got to separate yourself from the pack to stand out.
Develop Your Personal Selling Proposition
You know your products and their unique benefits. You can talk about the value and what it can do for your customers. Can you articulate why someone should buy from you rather than someone else? This isn’t about your company or products, but the personal attention they will get from you that makes a difference.
Advanced sales training technique: Develop at least three unique characteristics that you bring to the process.
Demonstrate Your Experience
Certainly, your level of experience can help, but just because you’ve got years in the business doesn’t mean you’ll do a better job than anyone else. Plus, there’s likely someone with more experience.
You must demonstrate the value of your experience. You can do this by talking about other clients you’ve helped. It’s not about name dropping, though. It’s about showcasing the results your client received because of the benefit of your experience.
Advanced sales training technique: Show customers how your experience will benefit them by doing business with you versus a competitor.
As an experienced salesperson, you know that relationships matter. Sales don’t happen without trust. Decision-makers point to trust as the number one deciding factor in making purchase decisions.
When you’ve been doing this for a while, it’s natural to be friendly with your clients. Some may even become good friends.
Unfortunately, that can negatively impact your ability to be objective. Over time, you can easily become more vested in being their friend than actively closing business. That means sacrificing a potential sale when you should be challenging the client.
Advanced sales training technique: There’s a difference between being friendly and being friends.
Talk Customer Results
Sales training tells you to focus on benefits rather than features. It makes sense to skip past the features of a product and showcase how the product will benefit the customer. Advanced sales training skips past both and focuses conversations on results.
If a customer truly believes the product or service you are selling will get them the results they need, your job is easier. Give them specific examples of the results they will get when they buy your product or service. Just don’t over-promise.
Advanced sales training technique: Focus on customer results. In the end, delivering results is what leads to repeat business and loyal customers.
It’s Not (Always) About Price
Similarly, if customers don’t believe they’ll get the results they need, you can’t sell your product or service cheaply enough. Most sales discussions will include price, but the objection is rarely pricing. It’s about trust and value.
Experienced salespeople know that it’s more important to sell value before talking price.
If you do have to talk dollars and cents, try to frame the conversation around budgets instead of price. A budget is the amount a business has set aside to solve a problem.
Have you run into customers that loved your product or service and wanted to buy, but they lacked the budget to do so? When that happens, it is our fault and not theirs. If we know what their budget is before presenting a solution, we can tailor our approach and recommendation to fit their ability.
Advanced sales training technique: Establish trust and value. Talk budget instead of price.
Become a Category Expert
In most B2B sales, you’ll be working with a variety of customers. The better you know their industry, their market, and their problems, the better job you can do in solving their problems.
New salespeople often take a shotgun approach to sales. They’ll call on anybody they can think of. Experience salespeople go deep into categories. By the time they talk to two or three businesses in a niche, they start to learn the language and the commonalities. By the time they approach the next prospect, they’ve honed their presentation and can talk more intelligently about the business.
Advanced sales training technique: Find a category and go deep.
Schedule Your Time
Even the most experienced salespeople can lose the battle against time. It is a finite quantity. When it is gone, it’s gone.
You must manage your time efficiently to perform at your peak. This means planning and scheduling.
For example, you know it takes active prospecting to grow business. It’s not the most enjoyable exercise, but it is necessary to constantly fill your funnel with prospects. Do you schedule time on your calendar each week to prospect and research potential customers?
Failing to plan results in lost opportunity costs.
Advanced sales training technique: Schedule the important things first and stick to them.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fire Clients
Customers have no problem firing you if your product doesn’t perform, their company sales are sluggish, or they lose confidence in the economy. Do not be afraid to fire them.
We have all had those clients that are difficult to work with. They are unrealistic in their demands. They might be constant complainers or drag their feet in paying their bills. You must decide whether the aggravation is worth it. One term you might hear in sales training is about the “Dollars to Grief” ratio.
Advanced sales training technique: Ask yourself if the dollars you’re getting from the sale are worth the grief you have to endure to get them.