“The thing that makes the biggest difference for most professionals and business owners isn’t learning more skills, it’s learning how to highlight the value of the skills they already have.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
What Skill Would You Choose to Focus on?
I was talking to one of my clients the other day about hiring new staff. He’s the CEO of mid-size company that has doubled its profits over the past 18 months and I’ve been training his sales team for about 21 months. He made the half-joking comment,
“You know, Chandell, I really ought to pay for you to coach the top candidates for every position we advertise so they can master their sales pitch. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that we’re losing some highly qualified candidates who have no idea at all how to sell themselves. That’s bad for them because they’re losing opportunities, and it’s bad for us because we’re losing quality candidates.”
His comment was born out of his awareness that he was no longer just relying on his sales team to sell their services and products. Every member of the team and gone through sales training and could present themselves and the product persuasively. That was the real secret behind their phenomenally successful results.
It works like this, when everyone from your partners and senior staff down to your receptionist and newest hires understands what your core business is about, they understand how to help customers and what needs to happen in order to not merely make a sale, but also improve the product.
What Does That Have to Do With giving Sales Training to Prospective Candidates?
If you’ve ever been responsible for interviewing candidates, you probably know what my client is talking about…
You’ve read the coverletter and CV or Resume… But did they write it themselves?
You’ve seen their work history and qualifications.
You’ve picked (or your recruiting company) has picked the best candidates to interview…
Now, it’s really all down to interview skills. And sometimes, those interviews don’t even take into account the kind of role a person is applying for.
This particular CEO talked about the candidates that had been sent for a technical position. Yes, they need to work with their team and think about the problem in a specific way, but at the core, they are being tasked with a lone-wolf technical job where attention to detail and ability are the essential skills.
“I’d love to put those people in a room with you for 2 hours, Chandell and teach them how to sell me on why their skills and personality is perfect for the job… and I’d like my interviewers and candidate selectors to look at those criteria too.” he told me. “Instead I had to task to see all the applications and pick the ones I wanted to talk to. I found someone, but I believe there is a better way.”
It’s Really Up to You!
My client had a point… From his organisation’s standpoint it would help if the candidates were trained to sell themselves… And how they responded to those sales trainings would tell him more about what he needed to know about them…
It isn’t really the firm doing the hiring that is responsible for providing you with skills that will help you achieve your goals, is it?
It comes down to you.
Do you care enough about your future to learn the skills that will help you shine? You’ve invested in your education and training on a professional level, are you prepared to master the ONE skill that will help you move forward along the path to your goal?
In 2020, I was working with a Sales Team that was struggling to adjust to remote work and virtual sales meetings. One of the members, (let’s call him Sam) probably the most talented sales person on the team, was very angry about the changes. He sat through our trainings (mostly silent) and kept right on doing what he had always done. Month after month, his sales trickled in and he presented his results with an “it’s not my fault” attitude. You might have accepted his excuses if it wasn’t for Sally, another member of the team. Sally had her position on probation because the company really needs a sales person and she demonstrated her willingness to learn while openly acknowledging that she struggled to think of herself as a sales person.
Week by week, she took notes, practiced the skills I taught, and made calls. Week by week her results improved and in 3 months her results beat out all the others. After that, everyone but Sam got on board and worked their butts off, not just listening, but applying and refining their pitch and discovering ways of finding qualified prospects.
Sales isn’t just the Province of a Few.
Everyone can learn and change… If they choose to do so. Human’s are uniquely wired to adapt, so why wouldn’t you invest in learning one of the most powerful and useful skills on the planet?
You don’t even need to take a course. You can teach yourself to sell in an authentic and positive way… Your own skills and personality or anything else you want to. Don’t kid yourself that ‘nice people don’t sell’. I was talking to a doctor the other day and he said to me, “You know, if we learned sales skills at medical school, we’d be much better at helping our patients decide what was the best course of action to follow… And our patients would probably be healthier, happier, and more compliant. There’s a book called “Change or Die” that talks about how many strokes and heart attacks could be avoided if doctors understood the art of sales and took their responsibility to sell more seriously.”
What About YOU?
How are your sales skills?
Have you ever considered how much more effective (and profitable) every aspect of your business might be if you developed your own and your team’s ability to sell…
- Your ideas?
- Your solution?
I’ve noticed that many people today are looking around for a saviour – the government is an obvious candidate – but no Government can do everything for everyone. My solution is to find ways to help people help themselves… And learning to sell is something anyone can and should learn to do.
Sales, and the incorporated skill of communication, are life skills that rarely get taught effectively at school, so it’s probably up to you to learn it for yourself.