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sales training

Janet Efere, sales trainer

What makes a great salesperson?

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As a sales trainer I am often asked, what makes a great salesperson.

People often say it is a skill that can be taught like any other, for example, riding a bike or learning to drive, but actually it is a bit more nuanced than just taking lots of lessons.

Actually there are 3 areas where a salesperson needs to shine in order to be great:

🏆 Skills

In order to possess sales skills, some sort of training, learning or mentoring has to happen. Skills have to be taught – things like a structure, questioning and listening skills, presentation skills.

None of us burst into the world with these things in place.

Then, as knowledge increases the salesperson has a toolkit of skills they can use at the right time in the right place

🏆 Natural Aptitude

Some people will always be better suited to sales than others, in the same way that some people have a natural talent for running, or football or art.

However, without training to bring out these natural talents they might never be discovered!

So qualities such as quick thinking, empathy, perseverence, determination, ability to pick yourself up from rejection and carry on are more prevalent in some people than others. Sure they can be developed with training, but it’s a lot easier if they are there already. The person who bursts into tears every time they get rejected will most likely struggle in a sales role.

🏆 Practice

Sales is not a one time only exercise. Neither is it a theoretical pursuit.

You have to get stuck in and try. This involves repeating a lot of actions, speaking to lots of people, getting stuff wrong, learning, doing things better, learning again and keeping at it.

Malcolm Gladwell famously said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery. So in sales, you simply have to keep at it day in, day out and you will get better.

So what makes a great salesperson? Well, there is really no magic to it, just common sense.

But you know what they say about common sense….!

❓ If you want to find out how to transform your sales team into great salespeople, let’s chat.

⭐ We can start them off properly then develop them into sales superstars.

Let’s chat: https://calendly.com/jefere/half-an-hour-with-janet

#salestraining
#salescoach
#salesskills
#salestrainer
#TLEP

sales training, how to close

There is more to closing sales than just ‘closing’

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If I was to describe which aspect of sales I’m best at, I’d probably say ‘closing’.

But you hear lots of rubbish spouted about closing, such as ‘use this technique, or that trick’. It’s as though closing is treated like a separate discipline instead of as part of a holistic whole

‘Experts’ tell you that you can close anyone by using their secrets. Well, if you do the rest of the selling properly, you’ll find that closing becomes super easy and you don’t have to try and fool anyone!

Think of it a bit like getting married. If you haven’t done the preparation, then it’s going to be hard to get anyone to marry you! It’s the same with selling – you are going to find it near impossible to sell something if you haven’t done some other things first.

For example to get married you have to do a lot! (the sales equivalent is in brackets):

👉🏽 There is the initial outreach (prospecting)

📚 Research – are they single, are they looking (researching the customer)

📱 Getting a phone number (finding out the contact details)

📅 Closing for a first date (getting an appointment)

👔 Creating a good first impression by dressing to impress, or going somewhere nice (be smart, be punctual)

🥂 Having that first date (meeting)

❓Asking lots of questions (the same)

👀 Establishing what are they looking for (uncovering needs & wants)

🤩 Seeing if you want the same thing (talk about possible solutions)

📅 Getting subsquent dates (closing for the next stage)

👩🏾‍🤝‍🧑🏽 Build the romantic relationship (build the business relationship)

💍 Propose marriage (close for the deal)

If you have done all the steps properly, then you have a much higher chance of getting engaged (winning the deal)

In sales, it really is about relationships and doing the right thing at the right time.

And remember don’t promise things you can’t deliver, otherwise you could be heading for a divorce (your customer leaves you!)

Let’s talk and see if we can avoid that happening to you!

07748 994 334

Diagram showing why people buy

You can sell more if you understand why customers buy

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Whilst delivering sales training in London, Essex and the wider UK, I am often asked abour why customers buy. Do you know that you can sell more if you understand this imporant area?

If you think you will sell more because of your excellent service or your friendly demeanour, then you could be right, but it goes a lot deeper.

This diagram is adapted from the excellent book “Ebook Secrets Exposed”by Jim Edwards and David Garfinkel.

Look at the diagram – what is at the top?

That’s right, PAIN closely followed by PLEASURE

Under this are all the other main reasons people buy.

Now, it is unlikely that all of the list will apply to your business, but if you sit down and think about it, then you will probably start to see patterns.

So for example, in many businesses, the top 4 will be the primary motivators for people to work with you.

If you are in the health and wellness sectors, then it will probably be the last 6.

(in my business it is PAIN – clients aren’t selling enough)

So why not have a little bit of fun (with a serious goal) and work out why your customers buy from you. It could be transformational!

Janet Efere, Sales trainer saying 'shhhh'

Take some sales advice – you can win more sales by being quiet!

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As a sales trainer, I often try and get people to shut up more, to win more sales.

So do you know when to shut up?

It matters a lot.

Even among sign language speakers, studies show that typically we leave just a fraction of a second between taking turns to talk. BUT, our perception of silence differs dramatically across cultures – for example –

Research conducted at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in Dutch and also in English found that when a silence in conversation stretched to four seconds, people started to feel unsettled.

But, here is where it starts to get really interesting – a separate study of business meetings found that Japanese people were happy with silences of 8.2 seconds – nearly twice as long as in Americans’ or anglohones’ meetings.

In the US, there is a saying that ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ while in Japan it’s reckoned that ‘a silent man is the best one to listen to’.

In Japan, the power of silence is recognised in the concept of haragei (belly talk), which suggests that the best communication is when you don’t speak at all. “As soon as you need words there’s already a failure to understand each other so you’re repairing that failure by using words,” says Dr Deborah Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University in the US.

WOW!

So, why does this matter in sales?

3-5 seconds is powerful.

I have won deals because I just shut up and let the customer work things out.

Do you think you should be speaking less?

#salestraining
#salestrainer
#salescoach
#listening

Janet Efere typing on her laptop

Do you Prep for Meetings?

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So you got the meeting….. now what?

Do you turn up and hope for the best, or do you prep?

Yesterday I was invited to a meeting with a potential new client regarding sales training and, as usual, I did some research first.

There is a lot out there if you look:

? Companies House (I checked their financials and their directors)
? LinkedIn (of course …. we’ll come to that in a minute)
? Their website
? From that I could see they were recruiting, so I checked out the sales roles they advertised
? Twitter – lots of company posts
? Now, back to LinkedIn – I discovered hundreds of employees, searched by job role and then had a look at some of their profiles to see how they presented themselves and how active they were on LinkedIn
? I also had a look at the people who were going to be in the meeting

I found out a ton of stuff.

Some wasn’t that relevant, but loads was – it helped me understand about the size of the company, the culture, I could quickly see some of their issues as well as what they were good at.

It made the meeting more focussed, more relevant and personalised.

They liked that I took the trouble.

I wouldn’t do it any other way.

You see, I think it’s about respect, but it is also about positioning yourself as being better than the competition (I haven’t got the faintest idea who I am up against, but I can only be the best version of me).

And that’s how I like to work.

So, back to my question, do you prep before a meeting?

Most people don’t understand sales

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Most people don’t understand sales.

So if you think these qualities will help you sell, they won’t

❌ having the ‘gift of the gab’


❌ never giving up on a deal


❌ having an answer for everything


❌ great sales people are born not made


❌ you have to be confident in sales

Whereas actually …..

✅ what you really need is the ability to ask great questions, shut up and actually listen to the answers


✅ Sometimes it makes sense to give up, so you can focus on the deals you can get over the line. Simple common sense not to bang your head against a brick wall


✅ In sales, as in life, none of us know everything. It’s fine to admit you don’t know something (if you pretend and then get it wrong, you will be in much worse trouble!)


✅ Sales is a skill – like learning to drive a car or ride a bike. It takes practice, so while some people may have an aptitude for it, it also means that anyone can learn it


✅ Confidence is an interesting one. Too confident and it seems like arrogance, not enough and you don’t seem trustworthy. You want to aim for the sort of quiet confidence true masters have.

So if you had some preconceived ideas about sales and selling, I hope this helped you.

Happy selling!

Don’t sell the Sausage, sell the Sizzle!

By | entrepreneurs, marketing, sales tips, sales training, Training | No Comments

Have you heard that phrase before – “Don’t sell the sausage, sell the sizzle”?

If you think about it, a sausage is just sliced up dead pig. Not very appealing is it? But when you start to think about the smell, the taste and the look of a wonderful succulent sausage, then suddenly it becomes much more desirable.

The phrase originated from a well known salesman called Elmer Wheeler in the 1920s, (although he referred to steak not sausages). See a clip of him here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW6HmQ1QVMw[/embed]

His point is simple – don’t sell the features of your product (sliced up dead pig) but sell the benefits (smells wonderful, tastes wonderful, satisfies your hunger). Think about it, what are these major brands really selling (hint; it is not the product!)

Wonderbra (it’s not bras)
Lamborghini (it’s not a car)
Nike (it’s not trainers)

If you answered something along the lines of:

Wonderbra – sex appeal
Lamborghini – wealth and status
Nike – a way of keeping fit

Then you are on the right lines.

That is because customers don’t really care about the features of the things they buy – customers want to know the benefits (or what they will get). So next time you are trying to persuade someone to buy from you, don’t talk to them about slices of dead pig, tell them all about the sizzle!

Janet is based in Enfield, north London and trains small businesses and entrepreneurs how to sell more. She has recently reached the final of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management’s national awards (BESMA 2016) in the category of Sales Trainer of the Year and, in November 2015 won ‘Start up Business of the Year’ at the Enterprise Enfield Business Awards.

If you enjoyed this article and you would like to receive a free download: Janet’s 8 Proven Sales Tips, please click on this link now.
Click Here for 8 Proven Sales Tips

Why the best way to sell is …er…not to sell

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Why the best way to sell is …er…not to sell

Time and time again when I am running my training courses, particularly those that focus on basic sales techniques, delegates express their worry that they don’t want to be pushy or too ‘salesy’. This is for a variety of reasons (aggressive telephone selling, the cliche of the smarmy salesman, people not giving up when there is no interest or desire), but actually they don’t need to be like this anyway.

Most customers are fairly sophisticated and know when they are being ‘sold’ to. I’m the same – the  minute I get a phone call from someone who asks “How are you today?” then I know immediately what they are up to and I zone out. I can’t help it. And I am sure you’re the same.

Fortunately, that does leave an opening for the rest of us who are not employed in telesales.

Selling has changed a lot in the last few years – it’s all about relationships now. So if you are not that great at being pushy, guess what? YOUR TIME HAS COME!!!!

Now that doesn’t mean learning some sales techniques won’t help you – it definitely will (otherwise I wouldn’t be in business) but there are lots of things that you can do as a person, a human being, a helper, a solver of problems that will enable you to close a lot more business than you are right now. Check out this list:

  1. Listen – ask questions, then shut up and let your customer talk. The more they talk, the more you will learn about what is important to them.
  2. Keep in touch – try lots of different ways – telephone, email, letter, social media, face to face. Keep it varied
  3. Be human – don’t treat prospects like potential money and nothing else. Behind every decision is a real human being with real human desires, problems, worries and concerns.
  4. Try and be different from everyone else. When was the last time you sent a customer a hand written note, a ‘thank you’ card, tagged them on an interesting social media article or made an effort to find out about their hobbies and what they do in their spare time? It’s not an accident that a lot of business takes place on a golf course.
  5. Help other people first and without expecting anything in return. If you recommend, refer or give a testimonial, particularly if it is unsolicited, then people remember you and will return the favour if they can.
  6. Only do something you feel passionate about. People can sense if you don’t truly believe in what you are doing, so make sure you absolutely LOVE IT or they will sense that you’re not the real deal.

So be yourself, get out there a bit more and help people. What could be better?

Janet is based in Enfield, north London and trains small businesses and entrepreneurs how to sell more. She has recently reached the final of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management’s national awards (BESMA 2016) in the category of Sales Trainer of the Year and, in November 2015 won ‘Start up Business of the Year’ at the Enterprise Enfield Business Awards.

If you enjoyed this article and you would like to receive a free download: Janet’s 8 Proven Sales Tips, please click on this link now.
Click Here for 8 Proven Sales Tips

The surprisingly effective sales question you are probably not asking

By | customers, entrepreneurs, sales tips, sales training, Training | No Comments

Some things you learn through training. Some things you learn through actual real life experience. The question I am about to share with you is an example of the latter.

As a sales rookie, I went on loads of training courses which undoubtedly helped me go on to have a successful sales career. However, it is true that you don’t really start to learn the best lessons until you are interacting with real life customers in all their glorious variety! Although I have since come across training which suggests using this question, it is one I stumbled upon by accident and, realising how powerful it was, I still try to incorporate it into as many discussions with customers as possible.

So what is this question? Well it might seem a bit counter-intuitive, but the question is simply this. When you get an enquiry from someone about working with your company, ask them:

“Why are you interested in working with us?”

or, a slight variation of this is when they ask about using a particular service (or indeed buying a product):

“Why are you interested in [insert name of product or service]?”

See – very simple isn’t it?

So why is this such a good question? Well I started using it because I wanted to make sure that prospective delegates were signing up for the right course. There is lots of competition in the training world, as well as a whole raft of different courses offered at different levels with varying objectives and for a wide variety of people. So, I began asking this question to make sure that organisations and individuals signed up to the correct programme that best met their needs.

This is important for several reasons:

  1. Clients often think they know what they want but, after gentle probing sometimes reveal that actually something else is driving them. If I can find out what, I can offer the best possible solution
  2. Business is really not just about taking the money. It can be hard sometimes to question someone who is on the verge of buying, but you have to think long term. Good advice now may yield better results in the future than just the cost of one lost sale. You should be thinking in terms of a lifetime of customer loyalty and you won’t achieve that if you don’t give the best advice you can.
  3. If I get an enrolment and a client comes on the wrong course, they won’t get the maximum results from it, may end up being bored or detached because the content is not relevant and of course, will leave not having achieved their objectives.
  4. This has a knock-on effect within the rest of the class because it changes the group dynamic negatively.
  5. An unhappy delegate will go away without that all-important ‘Wow’ factor, which is so vital. Their feedback won’t be as good and they won’t give referrals as willingly, because the course didn’t meet their needs
  6. Because the overall group wasn’t as engaged, then again, overall feedback is less good with similar results to point 3.
  7. Over time, my brand gets eroded and that is bad for business
  8. The dissatisfied client goes away and has to spend even more money going somewhere else for an alternative solution.

I will admit it’s not always plain sailing. I have had customers visibly surprised when I ask them about why they want to go ahead; after all, in their minds, it felt a bit like I was hesitating to work with them. However, when I explain that I just want to find out what their objectives are, to make sure the course is right for them, then without fail, they understand what I am up to.

Which brings me onto another reason why this line of questioning can be so powerful. By asking why a customer wants to use you (or your service), what will you get? Oh you get something wonderful! You get a list of reasons why they want to buy from you. Pause for a moment and think about that. They actually tell you WHY they want to use you! How fantastic is that? As a salesperson, that has got to be the Holy Grail of selling surely!

It is a super-effective way of making sure you align completely with what customers want. Or indeed, if you can’t help them, you can now save everybody’s time and tell them so – ideally with a recommendation of an alternative supplier.

I not only love the simplicity of this line of questioning, I love the powerful and immediate way it engages with the customer and you get to understand what really motivates them. So much in selling is understanding customers’ needs and to do this effectively, you need to ask powerful and probing questions. So in my book, this is one of the best.

I would urge you to try this question and please let me know how you get on and what results you experience.

Janet is based in Enfield, north London and trains small businesses and entrepreneurs how to sell more. She has recently reached the final of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management’s national awards (BESMA 2016) in the category of Sales Trainer of the Year and, in November 2015 won ‘Start up Business of the Year’ at the Enterprise Enfield Business Awards.

If you enjoyed this article and you would like to receive a free download: Janet’s 8 Proven Sales Tips, please click on this link now.

Click Here for 8 Proven Sales Tips

Are you keeping it REAL?

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Are you keeping it real?

Today I read a post on Facebook asking people to list one thing that they were really proud to have achieved in 2016. There were some super replies – things like:

I got married

I made a profit in my first year of business

I donated a big chunk of money to charity

I moved house

Now if it had been the end of 2015 I would have been very proud to have posted that I had won a competition (Enterprise Enfield Start up Business of the Year 2015). But that was last year. What had I achieved in 2016 that was so amazing?

To begin with, I really struggled – I wanted to post some outstanding achievement. I came up with lots of smaller achievements, but nothing that really rocked. Nothing I wanted to shout about. Yes, everything was supporting my overall plan, but I wanted to show that I too had done something exceptional.

Then, whilst disentangling my children from a fight (it is the Christmas holidays after all!) I realised that I had actually achieved something truly noteworthy. For the last 4 years I have been raising my two children by myself with precious little support from their absent father. I had kept them alive, fed, housed, educated, entertained and loved them, hopefully training them about how to be decent human beings and giving them the best childhood I can, whilst setting up and running a business. What could be more real (and more important) than that?

So my amazing achievement is not going to win me an award, make the newspapers or get me into The Times Rich List, but it is the most real thing I could possibly do and you know what? I am proud of myself.

Have a wonderful 2017 everyone – and if the going gets tough, just remind yourself to keep it real. I shall.

Janet is based in Enfield, north London and trains small businesses and entrepreneurs how to sell more. 

If you enjoyed this article and you would like to receive a free download: Janet’s 8 Proven Sales Tips, please click on this link nowClick Here for 8 Proven Sales Tips

If you or your team is looking to grow your sales, let’s chat. Whether or not we decide to work together, I am confident I can offer you some strategies that will help you grow your sales in no time. Here is a link to my email. Drop me a line and let’s see what we can do:  Send a message

Start 2017 with a huge bang! I am running a workshop on planning for Sales Success in 2017. Early bird discounts if you book now! Click here for more information: Plan for Sales Success in 2017