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Powering your people No8: Making more profitable sales

By William Holden, chairman, Sewells Training and Consultancy

As buyers take longer to make decisions and competitors are offering them “the earth”, has your sales team lost its drive, enthusiasm and confidence for selling in a tough and challenging market?

Maybe your people have lost sight of their personal strengths – heart, grit, determination, character, inner strength – In other words, to do the hard things in times of adversity.

Skills training is only part of the answer to making more profitable sales.

And it’s nowhere near as important as creating the attitude, belief and behaviours of your team: creating passion, desire, confidence and motivation, together with clarity.

One of the biggest challenges for any manager is changing an existing ethos from one of “transactional” selling to one of true “relationship/value added” selling. But change it they must if they want to stay ahead.

Profitable sales growth doesn’t happen by chance – it takes insightful, skilful, disciplined and focused action.

Apply the AARDER approach to make it easier:

A = ATTITUDE: Develop an expectant attitude, the foundation from which everything else flows. Without it salespeople should stay at home.

A = ACTIONS: Smart, consistent actions are a consequence of the right attitude.

R = RESILIENCE: Never give up. Customers today need three or four times more contact than they used to need, before they buy.

D = DISCIPLINE: Send the information promised. Call back when you promised. Go the extra mile.

E = ENTHUSIASM: Nothing kills a sale faster than a lack of enthusiasm.

R = RESULTS: They don’t happen by accident. Look at the “sales funnel” and learn how to improve the ratios that generate sales and growth margin.

Top performing sales people take 100% responsibility for their results. The others will blame everyone and everything for their lack of results.

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