This article is for all the salespeople, sales managers and executives who've been trying for years to improve without using the best tools available to achieve their best results. It's time to take advantage of all the tools available even if they make you uncomfortable.
The best tools available to improve your sales communication, attitudes, skills and actions are video and audio of live interaction between you and real consumers. I'm not talking about video shoppers...I'm talking about live selling engagements between real shoppers and salespeople in real selling situations.
Selling is a performing art...Like athletes, actors and musicians you need to use live video and audio to review the selling engagement with consumers. This is the best way to view how you're communicating with consumers. It's like athletes watching game video, not video of practice. Oh, and they do that too, so both are valid, but the best results come from watching and hearing real live selling engagements.
Viewing and listening to live selling engagements with consumers allows for self coaching by salespeople so they can improve more quickly. It’s the best way to create and reinforce the proper intentions, attitudes, actions and skills that will enable sales professionals to serve consumers, making customers and increase sales. So why don't you use it...Comfort, cost or fear...All poor reasons to not challenge yourself to be your best.
Salespeople, like athletes think they are doing one thing until they see it for themselves. Rapid behavioral changes takes place when we watch ourselves and bold, significant results are achieved. If a picture is worth a thousand words, live video and audio is worth million...literally!
We can continue to read, talk and listen about how to sell, we can video practice or we can add viewing our live performances and make the changes necessary to improve the profession of sales. When we are viewing and listening to live engagements, the lectures, reading, and studying we do becomes more valuable and magnifies it's impact to create the best results.
Live video and audio is greatly different than mystery shoppers or roll playing, even though both are needed exercises, they are insufficient to produce peak performance. Mystery shopping and roll playing misses the key ingredient in communication and human interaction, the intentions of the people communicating. Mystery shoppers and roll playing find out if salespeople know the right information about their products, services and company. This can be also be accomplished by written or verbal quizzes and tests.
When you view the interaction between people with the real intentions you experience in live selling situations, you'll see, hear and know how you are truly communicating, interacting and responding with them. Then you will know what you need to do to improve. Without the intentions of both people being real in a conversation, negotiation or a selling situation, it's just practice and it's insufficient to become your very best. Mystery shoppers and roll players have no intentions of buying and salespeople aren’t selling.
For many years, I've been teaching that salespeople practice their profession on consumers. Unfortunately, this is an obstacle to rapid self-improvement unless it can be reviewed and used to improve. If you don’t want to improve enough take responsibility, mature as a sales professional and use the best tools available, you are doomed to continue without ever achieving your best results.
I firmly believe we haven’t seen the best of the profession of selling but can if we are willing to add these tools to the lectures, reading and training we've used in the past.
The time has come to stop worrying about how good your salespeople are and start finding out. Live video coaching will expose what you may be afraid of but you can’t change and begin to improve until you find out. It is time to acknowledge that we need to grow up and begin being the professionals we profess to be.
The idea that we have tools to improve at our disposal and haven’t utilized them, is a shame. That said, let’s not look back but begin now to use live video and audio to coach and improve the relationship between consumers and salespeople.
I know many sales managers who have resisted using these tools and can only wonder what they are afraid of. Nothing we do out of fear will ever be a best practice. In coming years, sales managers will use live video and audio to stay informed and coach their salespeople as a standard business practice.
Live video and audio is not intended to be a punitive tool but does create accountability. It is a coaching and self-improvement tool. Coaches have to be informed and pay attention to be effective. Live video with audio is the best way to pay attention. You can’t coach what you’re unaware of. As an accountability tool, salespeople in all selling environments, will be less likely to give less than their best effort to consumers when they know they are performing live all the time. A salesperson giving consumers their best effort is part of the maturation and growing process of the profession of sales.
When executives accept that decades of doing business with the intention to make sales has broken the relationship between consumers and salespeople, then they need to take responsibility for this broken relationship and lead their business with a new intention.
It is time to start making customers, not sales, and live video and audio is the best tool to make sure this new intention is implemented.
Too many years of talk and not enough action, has left the consumer believing businesses don’t care about them.
Executives have made too many decisions about how to operate their business and make profits without considering how it would affect their salespeople's communication with consumers and ultimately how this would effect their business, revenue and profits.
Most executives believe that people are the driving force to improve their business and live video, audio and new intentions will also energize salespeople. Live video and audio can implement the intention to make customers, not just sales and result in increased sales, lower costs, increased profits and sustainable growth.
You wouldn’t run a business that depended on athletes peak performance without video for coaching and improvement. Don’t invest and risk your company’s money without using the best tools to insure peak performance from your salespeople.
Live audio and video coaching should start with salespeople, then be available to the sales manager, and finally to executive management in a company. Teaching people how to use live video and audio during the implementation is key.
Keeping the focus on the self-improvement is the most important element in producing significant results.
Live audio and video coaching should never be punitive or feel as though big brother is watching. Starting with salespeople allows them to quickly learn how valuable seeing and hearing themselves in real situations can be. They even begin to use the information learned to build relationships in their follow-up with consumers.
After the salespeople become comfortable, learn to self coach and experience rapid improvements, then sales management can begin using the audio and video as a teaching and coaching tool. Seeing, hearing and knowing what is happen between their salespeople and consumers is the best information to develop the company's sales strategy and how to inspire, motivate and manage each salesperson.
Executives are the last to view and listen. This allows them to know how their salespeople are doing, see the improvements, build their confidence and understand why sales are increasing. This allows executives to have a better understanding of their customers and how best to market to them as well. Constant improvement and peak performance has many leadership benefits to the company.
Without live audio and video, a commitment by everyone to be their best by using the every tool available, we will continue to manage sales in the dark and suffer the consequences of poor sales communication and interaction with consumers.
It is time to use the best tools and begin to experience the best of the profession of sales!
By Mike Moore