Believe it or not, we are already about halfway through the first quarter of 2016. It has been a different start to this year. There have been some snow storms, there have been some cold snaps, but it has been relatively mild this year compared to last year, when we had the “polar vortex.” This tame winter hasn’t hampered installations, which has resulted in solid sales growth.

This fast start has also led to an increase in hiring “rookie” sales people. This is great for the future of our industry, but the rookies are still learning, and they’re bound to make some mistakes. That said, how we deal with these mistakes will dictate what success looks like for these newcomers.

I asked a handful of dealers to give me some common “rookie” sales mistakes that occur. Here are the top eight mistakes these respected dealers gave me and how to deal with them:

1. Not getting to the appointment early enough – better to have a lay of the land and scout the appointment before starting the appointment;

2. Not practicing the presentation enough. Rookies end up practicing on a “live” sales call and end up wasting a prospect’s time – practice….practice…practice;

3. Not asking the customer enough questions, which leads to a presentation becoming a disaster. Be prepared and understand the questions to ask and when to ask them;

4. Rushing the sales process and hoping for a quick sale instead of establishing a professional connection with the customer. Remember — it takes time to establish value. iI you don’t do this, all you have is your price;

5. Lack of follow-up – if the “rookie” doesn’t close the sale, he or she should establish a next step and honor what is committed, be professional and follow up;

6. Just going through the motions of the sales process. Rookies need to remember that many customers are seeing their presentation for the first time, and they need to put on an award-winning show every time;

7. Not listening enough. Rookies tend to talk more than they listen. If you listen, the customer will help you make the sale, and;

8. Not asking for the order. A wise sales guru in the industry once told me “The close is a natural conclusion to a masterful presentation.” You are not a professional visitor. If you have done your job, it should be easy to ask for the order.

Finally, we need to train our rookies well, and we need to train them continuously. But rookies also have to treat this as a profession just like if they were a doctor or a lawyer. This means becoming a student of selling. The best way to do this is read about sales, and listen to sales tapes and sales podcasts. This is a true profession, and there is a fine line between success and failure.

Great Selling!

Tyson's Take

1 Comment

  1. 30 plus years in this industry has taught me there is no substitute for engaged supervision of sales people; and training and development of “rookie” salespeople is the essence of sales supervision. Most, but certainly not all, “rookie mistakes” are manifestation of sale management ineptitude.

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