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Sandler Training | Chicago & Northbrook, IL

Jody Williamson

Think back to when you were in school. The GPA you had was really important. It was something you looked at, something people talked about, and the school would even talk to your parents about it. Your friends talked about it, and it became the focus for many students.
Let's fast forward to today as a sales manager, when you're talking to salespeople. Are you asking about their GPA?

As a Chicago sales manager I want to share a thought with you.
“No involvement equals no commitment.”

There's a term in Sandler called WIMP junction. You may have heard of the term before as a Chicago sales professional, but the overall definition we coach in our sales training programs is there's a place in your sales process where you could wimp. This junction would be one road leading you down into the prospect system, and the other going into your own selling system.

Juan’s sales numbers for the quarter were sharply down; lately, he felt he was struggling with his prospecting. He asked his manager Anita for help.

“There’s a lot we can talk about when it comes to prospecting,” Anita said. “But let’s start with the simplest question first. Are you asking your current clients for referrals?”

Anne is a partner in a small consulting firm. During a recent meeting with a key prospect, a senior decision maker at a Fortune 1000 firm, she handled the presentation. Juan, her mentor and coach (and the founder of the practice) watched and took notes. After the presentation – which ended inconclusively– Juan and Anne did a “parking lot debrief” about what went well and what could have been improved upon during the meeting.

Ask salespeople to list their least favorite selling activities, and you can count on “prospecting” being at the top of the list. And, the least favorite of all prospecting activities is unquestionably making cold calls.

If we aren’t genuinely curious about ‘why we are talking’, ‘why the problem exists’ and at least 15 ‘why’s’ after that, we run the risk of taking too long to close the sale, becoming an unpaid consultant, or getting ourselves backed into a corner answering their ‘why questions’, like: ‘Why should I buy from you’, ultimately losing the sale.

It’s human nature to get into a comfort zone. Losing that hunger affects ambition and drive. Ask yourself these questions: Are some of your salespeople in comfort zones? What can you do to help keep their Desire high? Are you in a comfort zone yourself?

How many of your salespeople are content and in comfort zones? With the aggressive sales goals that most companies have going into 2012, having a team of content salespeople will not work. The latest research shows that unconditional commitment is a requirement in today’s competitive selling environment. Which of your salespeople should be cut from the team because they are coasting?

This time of year, most people I speak with are setting goals. I rarely have anyone argue with the validity of setting goals….but those same people will either still not set goals or will set them and then not do what it takes to achieve them.