Attend Training Seminars With Your Sales Reps!

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Jun 16, 2003 by Sean Luce

   Attendees at my seminars have heard me say more than once that,on average,only 13 percent of people who ever attend a seminar take the information or techniques and execute them in the field. A day after I gave a presentation to the Washington State Association of Broadcasters, I received this email from the GSM. I am not putting this e-mail in my article for self-promotion, but rather to extol the virtues of managers  attending seminars with their sales reps.
   It's easy to understand why only 13 percent ever use seminar information: Without the sales manager to drive the accountability, little will happen with the information once the seminar is over. It amazes me when I see a group from a station or company, and there is no sales manager with them. Are the inmates running the asylum? Who will follow-up in the field to make sure the reps use the training for which they just took time to attend when they could have been selling? Here is that next-morning e-mail from Bill Sigmar, GSM for Infinity in Seattle?

We have heard great feedback from reps from our four Infinity stations that attended. Two our GSMs were there as well (myself included), and the KMPS GSM, Rod Krebs had some of your material on the conference room chalk board this morning during his sales meeting. I asked him to not erase it, as I will present the same information at the KBKS sales meeting tomorrow morning!

The things I plan to address tomorrow morning are the following:

REFERRALS: Sales reps in many industries ask for them, so why don't we? Some 50-80 percent of your new leads should be coming from referrals. Don't work so hard. There's an easy three-step process for getting new referrals. Many of your satisfied customers could give you three to four qualified leads.

PHONE PROSPECTING: Prepare a day in advance for phone prospecting. You have 15 seconds to gain trust or lose the prospect! A prospect forms 11 different impressions about you and your company in the first seven seconds of meeting you - and that's before the first syllable rolls off your tongue.

BUYING INFLUENCES: There are several different buying influences associated with every sale. Break down your toughest prospects, and strategize with each of these buying influences:

- Send five to ten notes with an attached article about their business or industry. "Seeding" prospects and current clients is the fastest way to increase your sales and increase your prospecting ratio.

- Prepare a nice counter card to put on the front desk of businesses to say, "As heard on KISS 106.1," reminding customers where they heard the ad. Radio is the air force, and you need a ground force. This is where your POP (point of purchase) material plays the roll of triggering recall with the customers at the retail level.

- Send thank-you notes more often to customers - both new advertisers and longtime clients. I called a small agency client when I returned from yesterday's seminar and apologized for not attending a lunch. I told him that I was planning on leaving the seminar at the lunch break, but that I was enjoying the information being presented, and I stayed for the whole thing. When he asked what I learned, I told him some of the things mentioned above. He told me he rarely gets thank-you notes anymore and that, from his perspective, sales reps just take the money, and he doesn't hear from many of them for most of the year. (Research shows that once the sale is made, 63 percent of sales reps never come back until it's time to collect the money.)

Sean, as you can see, 70 percent of my sales meeting is listed above! It will be good to review when the information is fresh in their mind.? - Bill Sigmar, GSM, KBKS-KISS 106.1 Seattle

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