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  • Tag Archives Training
  • How to Better Train in the Field

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    Field training

    I recently had one of my clients come to me and say, “I am not sure my managers are working with people very effectively in the field, can you check it out for me?” After investigating, they weren’t! They were working with their agents all day long in the field, doing the presentations, but expecting the brand new rookies to learn by osmosis. Many times we think we are teaching people how to sell effectively just by having them watch us. It does not really work like that at all! They cannot always just learn this way, they actually have to do what they are learning.

    Someone can sit in a class on how to learn to ride a bicycle and intellectually understand how to balance, or how they need to put one foot down and the other up. It’s not just about reading a book on it or being told that will teach someone, it is actually having someone along side of them helping them stay balanced and figure it out. As a leader, we don’t just need to have the team watch what we do, we actually have to coach them as they go.

    This is a field training methodology. It’s very simple and effective. It’s a formula you can use when you’re working with new people in the field, and you watch each other to help develop new skills.

    The methodology is to watch, show, watch, make it real.

    What you do, and how this works, is you have them do a portion of their presentation, role play a section or the entire thing, and you watch how they do it. When you’re watching, you are not looking for every little thing they are doing wrong, you’re looking for the biggest and most important area. One or two things that you can give them suggestions on, that if they do it, they will improve their presentation and make it better. You’re watching them, and listening for that one piece of advice you can give them.

    The second thing you do is show them. You role play it back to them and have them see what it is that you are wanting them to get in very accurate detail. Then you have them do it again. Watch to see if they improve and use that advice and make sure they know you notice the difference. Now you go make it real. You go out and do the full presentation and apply what was learned.

    The magic about following this formula is that even though you are giving someone one little piece of advice and they are practicing and applying it, over time, if you’re continuing to work with people with this methodology their skills will go from very small, to very adapted.  They are going to be strong, they will be proficient and know how to do things right. It won’t be because they just watched you and tried to pick up what you were doing. You broke it down for them one piece at a time. You followed an effective field training methodology.

    How have you learned to best train your field agents?  Share some key ways you help others grow and learn in your business.

    Emmie Brown is an executive level coach and an expert in the Psychology of Scripting. Emmie started her career with The Southwestern Company as a student intern at the University of North Carolina. She continued to work with Southwestern over the next 10 years as a top producing sales manager until joining Southwestern Consulting in 2009. Emmie has spent the last 4 years traveling the country as a professional sales trainer, executive coach and business consultant with Southwestern Consulting and the Success Starts Now! conference series. She is also the author of the audio series Talk Less, Sell More and a breakout presenter at the Success Starts Now! sales training conference.


  • The More I Train

    Guest Post By: Gary Michels

    In almost everything in life, if you are going to “Turn It Up a Notch” and strive to be above average, you are going to have to train to improve yourself. Some people call it practice, others call it drilling it into your head, and even others may call it rehearsing. To me, it all boils down to the same thing- you are in TRAINING.  You are working to improve yourself and reach the pinnacle of success you are looking for. I once read that in order for one to be a true expert at something, one must spend at least 10,000 hours learning, practicing, and training on that subject. I am not sure if that number and/or fact is true or not, it certainly is a huge feat to accomplish.

    In the game of business and sales, I always suggest that everyone spends a minimum of 30 minutes a day educating themselves.  This breaks down to spending approximately 15 minutes on motivation and 15 minutes on technique. Mathematically, this works out to be a minimum of 10 hours a month and 120 hours a year of bettering yourself.  That is something we all need to be working towards.

    When I want to excel at something, I “PDR” (Practice, Drill, Rehearse) like crazy. If you are driven to be at the top of your game, or just want to improve upon where you are, you must embrace the training concept.  You need to be willing to put up with the pain it takes to train. You must be willing to “PDR” until you have your presentation or information down cold.   Otherwise, you will experience the pain of regret when you do not reach the goals you set for yourself. Training breeds confidence and preparedness- the exact opposite of fear and mediocrity. The words below speak for themselves.

    The more I train…The quicker I get

    The quicker I get…The slower they seem

    The slower they seem…The easier the game

    The easier the game…The greater my threat

    The greater my threat…The more attention I draw

    The more attention I draw…The tighter they play me

    The tighter they play me…THE MORE I TRAIN!

     

    Be excited and enthusiastic about training. Don’t look at it as if it is a burden. The benefits derived from the time and energy you invest in training far outweigh the hassles. Training will make you successful.  You must stick with it and continue to try and better yourself.  Your results will speak for themselves. What type of training can you undertake this week to make you more productive and successful?

     

    Gary Michels is a co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is a keynote speaker, sales trainer and business consultant and has motivated nearly 1,000,000 people to achieve their highest potential nationwide. Gary spent 19 successful years as a sales representative for a national fund-raising company.


  • Leadership Isn’t Logical

    From: Rory Vaden

    Rory Vaden

    Sometimes the things that co-workers are doing just don’t make any sense.

    It frustrates me to the point of anger to have someone on the team who has so much potential but just never seems to perform anywhere near their capabilities.

    I am sometimes baffled and confused when another person who has been a top performer on our team for years suddenly starts spending more time complaining and whining, instead of working and creating.

    And how is it that the one person who used to be the “steady-Eddie” on our team now hardly ever shows up on time, goes home early and squanders much of the day surfing online?

    It’s exhausting and disheartening to know that these people aren’t doing what they are supposed to, and none of if it ever made sense to me — until I realized something:

    Leadership isn’t logical. Leadership is emotional, because humans are emotional. . .

    Finish reading this article in the Tennessean here.


  • SECRETS WEAPONS OF TOP PRODUCERS

      JOIN US FOR OUR MONTHLY SALES TRAINING TELESEMINAR THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2011 

    Take control of your own success.

    Develop super sales skills. 

    The Southwestern Consulting™ Top Producers share tips that will give you the edge over your competitors – the TOP PRODUCER’S EDGE! 

    DIAL IN:  712-432-0404 (code 555575#)

     SECRET WEAPONS OF TOP PRODUCERS

    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2011

    7:00 PM CDT

    (8:00 PM EDT, 6:00 PM MDT,5:00 PM PDT)

    DIAL IN:  712-432-0404 (code 555575#)

    LIVE Q&A DURING CALL ON  FACEBOOK FANPAGE

    Our ASK THE SALES EXPERTS teleseminar THURSDAY, AUGUST 11TH

    at 7:00PM CDT, will help guide you through some successful

    and new techniques to collections.

    Rory Vaden – The Leverage Point

    Amanda Johns – Preventing Objections by Asking the Right Questions

    Ron Marks – The SPIN Cycle – Digging Deeper into Client’s Needs

    Gary Michels – Sizzling Tips for Building Rapport Quickly

    Dustin Hillis  – 3 Steps to Eliminating Distractions & Creating a Buying Atmosphere

    Emmie Young – Uncovering a Deeper Level of Need


    For more information on our Sales Experts, Click Here

    To submit questions for the upcoming conference call, please send an email to SuccessStartsWeekly@southwesternconsulting.com 

    ALSO join us on our Facebook Fan page for LIVE Q & A

    during the call at www.facebook.com/southwesternconsulting

    The dial in phone number is 712-432-0404 (enter code 555575#)

    Limited to the first 100 callers!


  • Sales Made Simple

    I’m new to sales. My comfort zone is in front the computer screen letting my fingers do the walking and the keyboard do the talking. Put me on facebook, twitter or any other social media platform and I can share my experiences, tell a story, “listen” to others really well and even sell some products. But, send me out on an appointment (one that’s already set because cold-calling just freaks me out!) to do a presention . . . scary stuff for me. I had to force myself to learn to do it; because I had a product that was ready to sell, but no one to sell it.

    That was the “old” me. The “new” me is excited about sales. The “new” me is learning how to find prospects, qualify a lead and even cold calling – yep, I have picked up the phone and made my first cold call and I didn’t die, freak out or even get hung up on. It’s just not as scary as I had made it out to be in my mind. All I had to do was to take action. So, I picked my myself up by the boot straps and jumped in with both feet into the library of sales resources available at  Southwestern Consulting™.

    The team of top producers at Southwestern Consulting™ are committed to offering an avenue for sales professionals worldwide to educate and motivate themselves to accelerate personal and professional achievement. Whether you participate in the one-on-one coaching programs, attend the one-day high powered seminar, participate in on-site corporation training or just purchased the resources available in the library, you will learn the proven principles, practices and tactics which have enabled The Southwestern Company to create generations of high performing sales professionals around the globe for the past 150 years. All of coaches, speakers and authors are also Sales Practitioners. They are masters of method and experts in execution. They are not celebrities, athletes, or politicians. They are people who are in the trenches selling every single day just like you (and now) I.

    I want to share a track from the recent resource I am studying: “The Audience in NOT in Their Underwear”. This is a 6-disc set that shares techniques that will increase your confidence whether you are presenting to an audience of 1 or 1000. It includes topics such as:

    • 5 psychological reasons why people laugh
    • How to capitalize on your opening moments to reduce fear and nervousness
    • The perfect way to create an atmosphere for persuading your audience; and

    * REMEMBERING NAMES AND HOW TO USE THEM & CPR  

    I’m including the track of AUDIO as a FREE gift to you. This is from the How to Keep Your Presentation ALIVE Disc 5 in the :Audience in NOT in their Underwear” 6-disk set. It was super helpful to me and I hope you enjoy this free gift. If you are interested in the entire collection, you will find it here: http://bit.ly/jIQna2

    I’d love to hear your comments or tips that have made sales easier for you.

    Cheers,

    Dawn Beauvais, Social Media Manager

    LET’S CONNECT


  • Calls That Get Appointments

    Considering your focus is an outbound call with the intent to schedule an appointment, the scripting I am suggesting would be used whether the call was answered live or if you leave a voicemail. It would be the same opening statement. The call objective is to schedule an appointment.

    The first thing you want to do is create a “headline” opening statement. You want to create something that is catchy and grabs the attention through proposing benefit to the prospect.

    Three major components of your effective opening monologue:

    1. Pleasantry

    Capture their attention with their full name.

    Use a pleasantry different from, “How are you, today?”

    Don’t use your company name in the opening statement?

    2. Benefit focused statement

    Who is your “Decision Maker” and why should they choose to do business with you?

    Think and speak “Benefits”!

    – Specific, Measurable, Time Phased

    – Results-oriented

    Hit the “bull’s eye” to get the interest of the caller. The ultimate objective is to get the person to listen to you by connecting at the highest level. The key is to get closer to the bulls eye which is referral specific.

    – Generalized

    – “Companies in your city…”

    – “Other groups in your industry…”    

    – Referral Specific

    – “ABC Insurance has increased sales activity and suggested I contact you…”

    – “Mary James was able to improve first time closing ratio by 23% through our unique method…”

    3. Transitional Question

    Require a minor “yes” decision to help move the dialogue forward.

    Deliver further benefits, and then end with a question that asks for an appointment.

    Use the take away technique.

    Review of the Outline of Your Effective Opening Statement:

    Step One: Use their full name

    Step Two: Pleasantry. Don’t ask “How are you today” because it telegraphs you are a salesperson. Simply say “Thanks for taking my call”, pause for a brief second and move on. Do not ask if you have caught them at a good time, because there never s a good time. If you have caught them at a bad time, they can tell you.

    Step Three: Bridge (links communication to become conversational)         

    “Last week…”

    “Recently…”

    Step Four: Benefit focused Statement

    Step Five: Transitional Question

    Here is an example of how this may work for either the initial call or the voicemail message:

    Voicemail

    “Hi, my name is _________from Scottsdale, Arizona. Thanks for taking my call. I trust I have not caught you at a bad time (slight pause) the purpose of my call and I will be brief, I have been talking to a number of sales managers in your area and they seem to be challenged with getting their sales people to do all the necessary activity to meet their sales goals. I am sure that is something that frustrates you as well. We have a unique solution; I am not sure if it would work for you, but if we can invest a few seconds I am sure you could tell if it would work. Recently Joe Smith of ABC Insurance was able to increase sales activity by nearly 30% with our solution within 30 days of implementing it. I can not really tell you right, or show you wrong. Please call me at 800-486-7586 and we can take a quick look. My name again is_____________800-486-7586

     

     

    Opening statement on initial call

    “Hi, my name is _________from Scottsdale, Arizona. Thanks for taking my call. I trust I have not caught you at a bad time (slight pause) the purpose of my call and I will be brief, I have been talking to a number of sales managers in your area and they seem to be challenged with getting their sales people to do all the necessary activity to meet their sales goals. Is that something that frustrates you as well? We have a unique solution; I am not sure if it would work for you, but if we can invest a few seconds I am sure you could tell if it would work. Recently Joe Smith of ABC Insurance was able to increase sales activity by nearly 30%with our solution within 30 days of implementing it. I can not really tell you right, or show you wrong. How many sales people do you have on your team?

    To Your Success,

    Ron Marks

    rmarks@southwesternconsulting.com


  • GET OFF TO A FAST START IN 2011

     

    The most successful salespeople I know get off to a fast start in the New Year.  They realize that if they start the year over plan they can build on their success throughout the year.  Otherwise you spend most of your year just trying to catch up.  Here is a recap of the 5 ways to have a fast start:

    1. Renew and Up-Sell Existing Clients:  We need to treat last year’s production as a foundation for this year’s revenue!  Ask yourself this question; who could be using more of your services? Start there. Step 1, make an active account list and identify where additional business lies. If you can identify additional services they should be doing label those on your sheet.  Step 2, schedule Re-Focus Meetings with each of these accounts so you can stay aware of potential business opportunities and get referrals!
    2. Regain Former Clients:  Identify five to ten former customers that haven’t used your services in the last 3-5 years.  Send a ‘New Year’s message’ email just touching base, updating them, re-providing them with your contact information and offering them a ‘review meeting’ to go over their current financial situation.
    3. Ask for (and receive) Referrals on a Regular Basis from active clients:  It’s important to set the stage for referrals with all of your customers.  One good way to do that is to teach your customers how to give referrals by giving them a referral.  Identify five good customers that haven’t given you a referral in the past and if possible start the referral process by giving them a referral. The 2nd thing you should do is send them a ‘New Year’s message’ email following the former client email but instead of offering a ‘review meeting’ you will be asking for referrals! The goal is to get a 5% referral return rate.
    4. Target Specific Companies/Industries for New Business Development: Profile what your “best” customer looks like and create a prospect “Hit List”. You have already done this do you are ahead of the game here!
    5. Generate Additional Referral Resources:  In order to outsmart your competition you need to create yourself a niche market within a set group of 6-10 repeat referral partners.  One way to stick out among other financial advisors is to highlight what it is that you do that your competition doesn’t do, can’t do or won’t do in this market place. The goal would be to get 1 solid referral/month from each referral partner.  The target is on accounting firms and bonding firms.

     

    Here is the text I generally use for obtaining referrals via email. Feel free to use and edit this as you see fit.

     

    Hi ______,

    First of all, I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are having a great start to 2011! I am looking forward to getting this year underway which is actually why I am emailing you today. I just wanted to give you a quick update on some new things that I will be doing in my business this year that you may or may not be aware of.     (list 1-2 things that you are doing this year … i.e.; seminar classes, newsletters, etc…)

     

    Sample verbiage:

    In 2011 I will be proactively holding educational seminar classes for my clients on a variety of topics including; ___,___,___. I will be conducting private classes for organizations, as well as be participating in hosting public seminars available to all of my clients free of charge. I will also be incorporating a quarterly newsletter for my clients to keep you updated on market trends, industry facts, new products and services and all company updates. Lastly, I would like to invite you to join my professional network on LinkedIn so that we may continue to keep in touch on a regular basis.

     

    I look forward to speaking with you soon as I will be following up via telephone in the next several weeks to go over a review of your account. Please feel free to contact me in the meantime if you have any questions.

     

    Lastly, I was actually hoping to ask a favor of you. As you know, your business is very important to me and I look forward to continuing our business relationship for years to come. I was curious to know if you knew of anyone who is currently looking to ___,____ or ____. Or perhaps you know someone who is just looking to switch advisors and needs a good recommendation. Whatever the case may be I wanted to ask the favor of you to please let me know if you know of someone who may be looking to work with or simply talk to a financial advisor. If so, I would love the opportunity to meet them to see if I could be of assistance.  Thank you in advance for these efforts.

     

    Wishing you continued success in 2011!

     

    In the Spirit of Success,

    Amanda Johns

    Corporate Partner and Program Director

    Southwestern Consulting

    ajohns@southwesternconsulting.com

    Corporate website: http://www.southwesternconsulting.com

    Join my professional network on LinkedIn

    Like my Facebook Fanpage


  • Vision and Goals

    Activity is where it all starts.  Nothing works unless you do.  Once your habits are in place, then you can start working on the technical details.  You have to be getting on the phone before you can begin work on how to get better on the phone.  You have to be running more appointments before you can work on how to really sell and get referrals from those appointments. 

    An important factor for holding yourself accountable is to keep track of what we at SWC call, Critical Success Factors.  Our coaching clients use this tool to enter their daily, weekly or monthly stats and goals.  These are personalized for every one of our coaching clients and it not only gives us a tool to monitor your successes, but it helps to hold you accountable to the activity that is going to bring you the results that you want. 

    Set some short-term goals for yourself first.  An insurance agent may set the short-term goal of selling 40 Life Policies by Dec 1 to be the #1 Life Producer in the District, and to pay off $20,000 in debt by April 15, 2011.  Think of your own, be very specific, and then write them down.  Once they are in writing, they will seem real to you.

    Then, get excited about your long-term goals  Start to think about exactly how much you want to earn, decide specifically how much money you want to save and in what timeframes, exactly how much time you want to be able to take off, how often, and what you will do during that time.  You can create a dream board for these long-term goals.  Write them on the board, cut out pictures, hang photos, or whatever you can find to give you a visual reminder of what you are working towards.

    Have a great week and enjoy the time that you have to figure out your goals.  That is special quality time with yourself and you deserve it!

     

     

     

    Emmie Young
    Professional Sales Trainer & Speaker


  • FREE May Teleseminar Recording Available NOW!

    Keys to Unlocking Your Potential:  Finding Ways to Produce When No One is Buying -Teleseminar May 2010

    The Southwestern ConsultingTM Team really brings the heat with exceptional, usable value for all our listeners during the Monthly Teleseminars.  This month was no exception.  A few topics included:

    • Keys to unlocking your true potential
    • Improving individual and team performance.
    • Getting better results, improved teamwork, and clarity
    • Maximizing your time
    • Keys to creating maximum results
    • Motivating yourself and your team to produce in tough times
    • And much more!

    For more information on the Sales Experts, Click Here.  

    If you missed the call, here’s the link for the audio recording:  Keys_to_Unlocking_Your_Potential_Teleseminar_May_2010

    Don’t miss next month’s FREE Teleseminar – the topic will include PROSPECTING & APPROACH.  Thursday June 10 3pm CT.


  • CONFRONT & CLOSE LIKE A CHAMPION

    Dave Brown is one of Southwestern Consulting’s top coaches.  With his personal one on one Top Producer’s Edge coaching, his client’s are reaching new heights in their sales careers.  Here’s a peek into a personal coaching call.  

    How great does it feel to make $24,000 in a month?!!

    I have to say that you better get used it. This is only the beginning and there is so much more that’s in store for you.  I really like the kind of a client base you have targeted.  You’re amazing and I love my place on your team. So much fun!

    I’m glad we hashed through some of the issues you were having, because obviously you are going to be having many more of those conversations over the years and perfect practice is everything. It goes back to what we have said before with “clear expectations” because by letting your potential client off the hook early by telling him/her how they are going to react to what you will be talking about is huge and makes that trust build quicker between you two. I’d contend that you could also use some of that humor effectively, if you really put your mind to it, within your presentation … Why not; you’re so good at it. Just a thought. J Remember the method of telling a story every 10 minutes to keep the mood real, because we are story loving creatures no matter what the topic.

    That final closing question, when you have someone that is giving you the procrastination objection, will be a huge click for you over the next few months. When someone is putting you off for no reason ask, “So what exactly do you need to (think about, sleep on, get back to me on, etc.), is it the quality of service that I’ll render or what exactly could it be?” When they answer, you have their true objection which is something you can totally isolate by confirming that is the ONLY thing holding them back, and then you can make it work with your ninja sales and problem solving skills.

    The biggest thing we got into today was the principle of the “purple elephant” and how all top producers always make an effort to call it out no matter what the circumstance or scenario. It screams confidence, and truly bridges you and your potential client together because you have the power to approach things most human beings won’t. Look for every opportunity over the next few weeks to bring light to the many purple elephants that come up in all your conversations. Remember that the harder it is to talk about just means that you are conquering your fear and making it more and more of a habit of yours through practice. This skill is something that will also roll over into your life which means more exciting conversations with your loved ones, more humor opportunities for intense laughter, transparency with your friends, etc. Sounds fun, huh???

    Awesome, spectacular and cool are words that describe you and the more good news you keep me up with the more I can plan our killer sessions. I appreciate you calling and letting me know things that have come up; and please email, text, whatever, I’m here for you. We have a lot of topics to cover over the next few months and it’s exciting to look forward into the second quarter for you. We have got so many closing ideas and topics you are going to really get into; intensely focusing on your presentations in front of groups is going to be huge as well! I’m so excited for you.  You’ve had some great success in this first quarter and there is much more to come…Get excited! J

    LIVING and LOVING every minute of it,
    Dave Brown 
    Partner/Professional Field Trainer
    Southwestern Consulting
    dbrown@southwesternconsulting.com
    Join my professional network on LinkedIn
    “If you’re not constantly learning you’re not fully living.”
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