David, having been promoted, was briefing Liz, his successor as manager to a high performing sales team. “One member of the team is Steve. He’s been with us years and his performance used to be good, but is now well below the rest of the team.”
Liz held a meeting with Steve and asked about his performance . “It’s tough ” he said. “The economic climate is not helping, there is more competition and we are being undercut on price.” Liz wasn’t convinced. Sure, Steve’s points were valid, but it was the same for the team and they were doing well.
Liz spent the day with Steve, observing him going about his job. At the end, she asked “When did you last attend a sales course, Steve?” Steve looked aghast “Not for years, but there is nothing I don’t know about this job, I have 10 years experience”. Liz replied “Steve, from what I’ve seen today, I believe you have 1 year’s experience which has been repeated 10 times!”
This is a common situation. Years of “experience” do not guarantee anything. In fact, the opposite is true of people who do not keep themselves abreast of new developments and practices, preferring instead to keep doing what they have always done. Good habits become bad ones and staleness sets in.
Also, customers’ buying methods have changed. Thanks to the internet, they have more choice than ever, and providers can be challenged on service and price. Top sales people recognise this and make sure they attend courses and seminars regularly and keep up to date with what is happening in their marketplace.
So, it is worth asking yourself 3 questions:
• When did I last refresh my business development skills?
• How have I adapted my sales approach to the way customers now make their decisions?
• How does my performance compare to my peers (or businesses similar to my own)
Depending upon the answers, it may be time for a refresher!
Member since: 10th July 2012
Chester word of mouth specialist, promotes and markets the best businesses in Chester. Passionately supporting local businesses, organisations and events.