Category Archives: sales training

If not this job, then what? In an interview.

So, for the last few weeks, I’ve been interviewing candidates in an attempt to find a sales person in real estate.  I’ve interviewed just over 35 candidates from a pool of just over 280, both experienced, and inexperienced. Both prepared, and unprepared.

People, please, for the love of God, be prepared for your interview’s, that includes a good dose of self-awareness.

Some basic rules for you,

1.Be presentable, hygienic and groomed. Ask yourself this question. Would you trust someone with tattoo’s, nose rings, and dreadlocks and had a bad case of BO?(body odor/odour depending on what side of the pond you live in).  Come on, are you serious? I’d expect that maybe from a teenager, not adults. Would you accept that from a lawyer, accountant, doctor or any type of technical/professional persons or a sales professional?  Now, I know some of you might be thinking, well they could be on medication or other physical issues. Whilst that may be the case, you are competing for a livelihood.  Let me ask you this, would you entrust someone with the negotiation and contract of your home? Let me ask you a further question, if all things being equal, would you choose someone that looks the part or someone that doesn’t?  Selling is difficult already, you don’t want another barrier that may affect your results. Show up with ironed clothes, deodorant and groomed, if you can’t, outframe the obvious so it doesn’t become the focus the interview. Otherwise, I’m thinking “risk”.

2. Know something about the area(real estate): Showing up to a sales job and not knowing something about the product/service e.g. population of the area, number of householders, clearing rates, competitors, the number of stock available, etc.. is not a winning strategy. Especially when you get asked, What do you know about the area? and you respond with, “ahhh…mmmm not a lot’. Ouch. The interviewer is thinking “risk”.

3. Know something about the role. Anything. Know anything, like what the role of a sales person is, what some sales activities could be? Even if you’re a beginner. Youtube it, Google it. Do something that gives you some applicable knowledge and demonstrates that you maybe…. care? If not, the interviewer is thinking “risk”.

4. As an interviewer, if I ask you a question like, “if you don’t get this job, then what?” Don’t say, “I want to get into child care” or “I want to work in retail” or “I just want any job”. That is not an answer that inspires value nor commitment. The interviewer is thinking “risk”.

5. In your resume, in the career objectives section… It would be useful to make the objective about the industry you’re going for or the position you’re going for not something completely unrelated. Out of the 280 resumes, conservatively 50% of them had things like, “want to further develop my horticultural skills.” What ? This is real estate sales or ” want to become a proficient online seller”,  Huh…? This is real estate sales. I’m thinking “risk”. You don’t even get a look in, you’re out.

6. Genuine interest. Try and I mean try to show some enthusiasm, some bright-eyed enthusiasm, like maybe you want the job? Have a strong cup of coffee before you walk in. Put a spring in your step. Professor Albert Mehrabian said 55% of your communication is body language. If I’m relaxed don’t match and mirror me, don’t get comfortable. This is a formal interview, be formal, be professional show me that you’re self-aware,  otherwise, I’m thinking “risk”.

7. If you get a question like, “Just say we future paced you 10 years from now, what income would you expect to be earning?” Some of the answers I got, “what I’d be earning now”, “$10,000 on top of the base rate”, “$60,000 on top of the base pay”. Whilst there is no right answer to this question, you need to be thinking an obscene number. This is sales,  it shows me you’re a level of commitment, resilience and pushing forward. P.S. Don’t get confused between motivation and commitment. Motivation is a fleeting thing, whereas commitment means you’re all in, all the time, everyday (and twice on Sundays). It shows that you are a go-getter. In sales, you have to demonstrate hunger, and this is one way of showing that and no it’s not the only way (planning, prioritising and execution are others). If you don’t demonstrate any of these, I’m thinking “risk”.

8. Prospecting and resiliency, know what that means. So, if you get a question like, “you’ve made 400 calls & 5 appraisals this week and every call was a ‘No’, ‘I’m not interested’ or worse. How would you manage yourself? What would you do?” Answers I heard, “I’d quit, I’d get fired, I mustn’t be very good, I wasn’t trained properly, It really wouldn’t bother me” , etc. Think about it this way, if you weren’t getting the results, would you seek help and or assistance? Imagine doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result. Who coined it as insane? And you already guessed it, I’m thinking “risk”.

Last point….(I promise). When you get asked, ‘do you have any questions”? If you don’t want the job, say no. If you do want the job it’s an opportunity to engage the interviewer at a deeper level about the role, the organisation, the industry, their vision mission purpose, greatest barriers, expectations in the first 30 days, etc. Just be careful not to ask questions that are freely available on their website. Here are some questions you could ask:

a. What does a typical day look like?(Is this business seasonal, when should I be putting in extra effort so I can still meet and exceed targets?)

b. Who will I be working with or coaching me?

c. What would you say the management and leadership style is like?

d. When do team members typically start seeing results? (what works best?, how would you approach this?)

e. What could be some of the barriers and opportunities I might encounter?

f. Why do you like working for this organisation?(A very telling question)

If you’ve made the above mistakes, let this be the last time you make them. As always, a rejection, a no, a no you’re not a team fit, or any other turn down, let that be the indicator that some part of your interview process/engagement has to change. If you’re getting “no’s” all it means is you don’t know something. Quickly find out what you don’t know and keep testing until you get it right. DO NOT internalise the rejection, all its telling you is the process you’ve used needs to change. Focus on the change.(This is not about beating yourself up, the market will do that for you.)

Feel free to ask any questions. I will do my best to answer them and if can’t I can find people who can.

Developing your USP

USP gary tremolada

A unique selling proposition is a factor that differentiates a product/service from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality or the first-ever product of its kind or something that solves something unique.

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself when developing your USP.

  1. What do your customer buy? What are they attempting to solve? Whats their pain?.
  2. What does you product do direct and indirect? What industries could it be used in?
  3. Create a competitive analysis chart. You compared to your competitors. Is there any identified gap between you and the competitors. The gaps, is there demand or could you create demand.
  4. What are you good at? I mean really good at. Using the Pareto principle what is the 20% of things that you are exceptional at. What things could you be exceptional at.

gary tremolada USP unique selling proposition trainer

5. Separate each of the USP and really explain it. What is it really, specifically?

6. Ask your best customers. What do they value?, What don’t they value?, What’s missing?, How could it be filled? Sometimes, going to the customer you lost might be insightful.

7. Define your FBA’s (Features Benefits Advantages). Is it clear who it targets and what it solves that is compelling enough to make a purchase decisions. Would you competitor be able to copy it.

Features

Our product has……………………..

Benefit

Which means to you…………………

Advantage

And that means…………………….

Picture: coremessageanalysis.com, website-designs.com

8 Step Sales process Pt8

closes gary Tremolada

Closing

Closing is a sales term that refers to the process of making a sale and getting a commitment from the buyer to purchase the product or service.

Closing step sometimes sends chills through most sales peoples spines. That is you’ve come to the end of your options offering they’ve selected and now its about the purchase. If objections having been preempted throughout your demonstration and presentation, you typically won’t need to deal with an objection. You will more than likely get a complaint(which is, so do you think you could do something about price”, not an objections.

You must remember, “When value exceeds price, customers buy”.

With your sales team get your top 5-10 objections and the way in whcih you’d respond to them.

Example 1,

Customer: Its too expensive

Sales person: Some of our customer think that the front end price is expensive but don’t really understand the long term saving and peace of mind the product delivers. F.B.A’s

Example 2,

Customer

I need to talk to my husband/wife/partner before I do this?

Sales person

What if your husband/wife/partner says No?

Customer

He or she won’t say no.

(Don’t ask what could they say, don’t create objections unnecessarily)

Part b

If he or she says No.

Customer

If they say no, we won’t buy it.

Sales Agent

What would they say no to?;

  1. The product
  2. What do you suggest?(define the problem) or
  1. Price/money

What about the Price/Money?

  1. Price
  2. Deposit
  • Monthly installments

What is it?

You’ve got to get good at the closes and weaving the closes together into a story that answers and solves the customers issue. Its not about manipulating people its about delivering the right solution that will make the most impact. Make sure that you’ve set up the right frames.

overcome objection gary tremolada

 

8 Step Sales process Pt6

options in training gary tremolada

Options

Provide a solution that will solve the customer problem or challenge. Do not give them a new problem. That is, too many options where they can’t make a decisions and therefore defer the decision or they take it back to another potential decision maker. This may in fact be the end of the deal or require you to come up with other options, prolonging the decision.

Do your homework make sure that you have discover the real discomfort(pain), the real reason for them searching for a solution. When you hit this point, you’ll find the decision is quicker. Take the uncertainty away and make it “certain”. Use simple questioning strategies like T.E.D(Tell me more about that…, Explain that further, what does that really mean to you and the business and finally Describe what happens when its not solved.)

When providing options, provide 3 options;

1. The best possible outcome with all the “bells and whistles”, the ideal.

2. The most likely option that the customer may purchase, practical gets the job done

3. The Spartan  option(few choices or features could do the job but will have some draw backs)

Studies have show that most customers purchase the middle option but if possible will move to the next level up.

Try it out, what are the 3 offerings you could make?

3 options saleing expert Gary tremolada

 

8 Step Sales process Pt5

sales demonstration gary tremolada

Demonstration

1. Customise the demonstration, make it meaningful to your customer

2. Tell the story, your demonstration solves a problem that the customer has recognized and has connected with.

3. Role play before you do it front of the actual customer, practice, practice, practice make sure you role play takes into consideration  contingency that could come up in the customer engagement.

4. The demonstration needs to create compelling, reason 3 to 7 reasons that making the decision to buy id inevitable. Emotion drives decisions.

5. Stand for the demonstration,  if its a tangible item as opposed to an intangible (selling a service as opposed to a product). This shows interest.

6. Engage your customer, use samples or actual products get them to use it. If you get stuck in the sales process near the close get up and sell the product. Make sure your ready for the questions where they compare your product or service. Make sure you are aware of your competitors value propositions as well as your own.

7. Make sure you distinguish the difference between training and demonstration. Do not train, you will more than likely overwhelm them where they decide its too difficult.

8. Case studies, examples, testimonials etc 3 to 7 strategically placed.

Part 6 tomorrow Options

8 Step Sales process Pt3

3.Qualify(keep,follow up/email or ditch)

In selling, process of determining if a certain lead (potential customer) has certain characteristics (such as ability, authority, and inclination to purchase, and economic size of the expected order) that qualify him or her as a prospect.

Learning how to qualify properly an sometimes mean the difference between a sale or wasting your time. You would often hear sales people saying things like, “when are you going to purchase?”, Have you got a budget?, are you the decision maker etc Sales people with information then decide what to do eg keep selling. keep following up(phone, email campaign or ditch the lead)

Sales trainer specialist frontline management expert gary tremolada1

How to qualify?

Using BANT might a quick way of remembering how to qualify. Its stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline. You sometimes hear sales people use this strategy in home product sales. It goes something like, will you husband, wife partner be home when I complete the sales presentation? If you answer no the sales person will attempt to reschedule with you. (Queensland Human Rights Commission in January 2015 received a complaint saying that this is discriminatory, the Commission in fact held that to be true). This the use of a qualifier.

In the qualifier you do need to establish if the “pain” that the customer is experiencing is enough to make a purchasing decision an or they’re at least interested in listening. This is sometimes where you ask exploratory questions as well as  providing “insight beyond the obvious”. This could mean things like, “did you know by double glazing your home not only will you save x dollars but your property value will increase because of the energy rating” or ” I see that you’ve attempted to solve customer interest by using this point of sale unit, have you ever considered using this fully customisable unit that interacts with the customer therefore increasing the chances of a sale?

Sales training qualifying gary tremolada

You want to peak enough interest and gauge are they are buyer now, in the future or not at all. If the pain or opportunity is not large enough it is unlikely that they will make a buying decision.

In Short

Investigate the business/individual, how will your product/service solve things, what else did you discover that they didn’t know(beyond the obvious) Set yourself up as the expert or specialist.

 

Picture: protofuse.com

Part 4 Presentation tomorrow.

8 Step Sales process Pt2

meet people gary tremolada

2.Meet the customer/contact, How do you lead generate? What strategies do you use to meet more and more customers. This could be done with cold calls, walk ups, mail, advertising, TV, magazine, blog, vblog, youtube etc. Would need to consider how to get to the decision makers. Using networks as leverage is useful. Using scripting when calling for example;

Real Estate, Its Gary from Acme, did I catch you at a good time?…”We have sold 4 Warratah St and have been approached by buyers who have missed out to alert them if any homes come up for sale, are you considering selling your house”

Training, Its Gary from Acme, did I catch you at a good time? “We have just completed training with your competitor which saw an increase productivity of 10%, is that something your organisation is interested in doing?”

The main purpose of contacting the customer is testing every contact strategy so that your able to tweak the process and use or discard whats working and whats not working.

cold calling gary tremolada coaching and training

There is some much “noise” in the market place today that if your not dominating the space, you’re not even noticed. Social media should be one of the tools and strategies that you need to be using.

Make sure lead generation is part of your daily routine. Activity is critical to ensure that your are able to fuel the sales engine. Start somewhere and by the way the “no’s” are part and parcel of the process don’t get bogged down on it. Keep moving. examples of a day, 5 calls daily, 10 emails daily, customer visits, blogs, vblogs, YouTube etc schedule it guys otherwise it just doesn’t get done and you’re putting your job and the jobs of others at risk.

Part 3 tomorrow, Qualify(keep,follow up/email or ditch)

Picture: solutionsellingblog.com

8 Step Sales process Pt1

sales trainer graphic gary tremolada Copy

A sales process is a systematic, repeatable series of steps that map out the process with your potential prospects from prospecting to delivering.

1.Research
2.Meet the customer/contact
3.Qualify(keep,follow up/email or ditch)
4.Presentation
5.Demonstration
6.Options
7.Pricing
8.Close

sales questions gary tremolada

1. Research, know your customers and know the problem your customer is attempting to solve.  Knowing your competitors offering and value proposition is a benefit when your customer will inevitably compare your product or service with your competitors. Some people say don’t worry about what your competitors are doing and to a certain extend that is correct. Though, you do want to know what your competing with and that will include how to discredit their value proposition as something that is potentially of marginal value. That does not mean talking badly about your competition. It simply means distinguishing the difference in value between your competitor and yourself.

Define the the pain points or in other words what the customer is attempting to solve. Do your homework. What are they trying to solve, how painful is that problem is it sufficient enough for them to enter the market place to look for a solution and are they willing to pay for it? If so how much? What’s important to them?, what will it solve?, how will it solve?, Are there any secondary benefits? etc

Example in Real Estate, Auction v Private treaty sale(some agents say that Auction is the best way to get a result others say private treaty is the best way to achieve. As a sales person you need to be able to build value in your method of selling rather than you competitor),

Coca Cola v Pepsi, both cola drinks. Again, you would need to build value as to why your product would be a better solution than you competitor given the customer situation.

Caltex V BP, both sell vehicle fuels, why would a customer stop at one and not the other? What is their value proposition/s?

Worthwhile completing and FBA (features, benefits and advantages)table for both you and the competitor.

Tomorrow, Step 2 Contact the customer.