Developing your sales force of novices
I wrote this fun blog entry entitled, “How to sell like a pro“. This article looked into the different personality types involved in sales. I wrote about a very smooth and seasoned pro, and a clumsy novice. The truth is, that at your typical BPO outsourcing company, you will not be able to afford the James Bond type seasoned professionals, because they will want at least one hundred thousand dollars per year which would translate into an Indian salary of at least a dozen lakhs per year. The reality is that Call Centers, or BPO operations hire relatively inexpensive staff members, and have to make due with them. So, in my mind, the strategy here is seeing how much you can develop the people who you can afford. The key here is training the less seasoned salesperson to become a professional at several things.
Smooth and confident
Being smooth and confident is one of the most important skills to have, even if you don’t know the first thing about the product you are selling. Even if you are an idiot, if you are a smooth idiot who is pleasant to talk to and who engages the client in pleasant conversation, you have a significantly higher chance of a score than a timid, nerdy salesperson.
Interaction skills are a must
Anybody can learn product specifications and can learn which attributes to stress during a sales call. But, the harder skill here is interaction. Knowing how to talk with people, and getting them to feel comfortable interacting is a key here. High paid salespeople often will just talk to you for at least twenty minutes about “regular stuff” just to win you over and get you to feel comfortable with them. Novices are in too much of a hurry to make a score, and don’t realize that psychology is 90% of the game and product is only 10%. Take it easy.
Women in America always say that they want a guy who listens. Guess what? So, do prospective clients. I am bombarded with 10 emails per day from idiots who know nothing about me and don’t want to know anything about me, yet want to sell to me. It doesn’t work. They need to briefly introduce themselves, and then listen, and ask questions — by emails, that is unless I delete them which I generally do 99.9% of the time. But, if by chance, someone cold calls me on the phone and talks to me, they need to find a way to ask me what my needs are.