KAL Publications, Inc. – Talks




An employee is like a bicycle. The front wheel is steering. The back wheel is trying trade skills, how to read specs, safety, processes, and procedures.

All employees should try to achieve a higher level of skill. The next step is technical training. This should tell the employee:

Then next step is technical sales training. They understand what needs to be done. Now you add people skills.

The responsibility of sales

  1. Obtain volume
  2. Contribute to profits. Gross margin in dollars vs. expenses.
  3. Potential for growth. If you don’t grow, you won’t survive.

Why do people buy? Perceived needs and unperceived needs. In auto parts, a perceived need is when an engine drops an auto part on the road behind him. The driver knows he needs to get that taken care of immediately. An unperceived need would be the fact that his is burning oil at a quart every 100 miles but doesn’t know why.

What are your barriers to someone becoming a buyer? Ask yourself questions. Who buys? Where is the business? Who doesn’t buy? Why not? Is it price? Perception? Quality? Availability? People? Policies? Examine your answers to the questions and then think what the answers should be. Should a change be made to improve your business?

If you are selling price the only question is how can I be cheapest? The problem is, no matter how cheap you are, there will always be someone who can undercut you.

How can you lower prices? Limit coverage, support services, quality, distribution points. Buy or manufacture as cheaply as possible.

It is better to sell your advantages:

You need to represent your business when you’re out there in the marketplace. Understand your customer’s business. Be familiar with policies and procedures. Have sufficient technical skills so you can answer most questions. Know where to get answers when you’re unsure (and then follow up and get the answer).

What are people looking for? Someone who will…listen, follow-up, organized, interested/cares, honest, diplomatic and enthusiastic. Let it be contagious with your customers self-starter. Think about what you will do each day…and do it appropriate grooming. This means appropriate for what the customer expects and not necessarily a suit and tie.

Customer types:

All customers want to know more. It’s their vehicle and their money. What they want to know is what you have to find out.

Technical sales cautions: Talk at the customer’s level. Avoid technical terminology unless they understand it. Be patient. We all have too much to do but you want customers to be comfortable with you. Be as complete as needed. Be friendly with customers. Smile. What happens when you smile at somebody? They smile back. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Above all: listen

How can you train people to be better at selling? Training must not be threatening. It can’t be ’you learn this or you’re out of a job.’ The trainee must see the value of what you’re teaching. If they don’t think they can use it, they won’t pay attention. The trainee must be motivated.

Sources of training:

As a salesperson, you are the expert when you walk in a customer’s business. From that point, you can only prove that you’re not.

If you think training is expensive, try ignorance. Ignorance is extremely expensive.

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