by Keith E. Smith
You own, or manage, a small to medium-sized business. You have staffed your front desk with individuals whose responsibilities go beyond just answering phones and making appointments; they have to sell.
Congratulations on finding people to work at your front desk! It is a challenge to find people that you feel are qualified to be on the front lines of your business. Now comes your real challenge; turning a group of people into a team. Notice we did not say your challenge was to train them to become salespeople. That is important, and hopefully your onboarding process landed you some individuals who have at least some previous sales experience.
Here’s the thing: Individual skills are important, but they will become useless, or at least underutilized if your people are not operating as a team. That is why the title of this post includes the words “Sales Team.”
Here are three keys that we have found to be crucial when turning a group of people into a sales team. There is a lot that goes into getting a group of people to work together in harmony, but this list offers three building blocks that are essential for success. Implementing these three keys transformed the team we used to manage from a closing ratio of 17% to 35% in just three months. It works.
1) Leaders don’t just delegate, they participate: You can boss people around or you can train by example. You can guess which method is more effective. When you are training your people you should be right in there with them doing the same job. You don’t have to have regularly scheduled shifts, but you should be able to demonstrate to your team that you know how to do the job and do it well. Otherwise, your words and training will lack power because no one will take seriously advice from someone who cannot themselves do what they are advising.
2) Mindset Training: This is almost always overlooked, but the importance of this cannot be overemphasized. Without a proper mindset, no amount of training will make someone a success. Here is where any weaknesses in your hiring and onboarding process will show up first. Your goal when hiring is to weed out, as much as possible, those people who have a predominately negative outlook on life. Any person who has such a mindset will not be receptive to coaching and will drag down the rest of the team. When training on mindset with my team, we take a twofold approach. First, we train on creating an overall positive mindset about life in general, and then we apply those same techniques to the specific job we are training them for.
The technique is really quite simple. Achieving any goal, dream, or objective is dependent upon the decisions you make. The quality of the decisions you make are influenced by your state of mind. Your state of mind is determined by how you feel (emotions etc). How you feel is determined by the thoughts that dominate your mind. The thoughts that dominate your mind are determined by your focus (what is receiving all of your attention). As you can see, what you focus on is the foundation of it all, and will determine whether or not you achieve your goal. It is not difficult to see how this teaching method can be applied to one’s life or occupation. It works the same.
3) Implement a structured training program: We created a four-week training program for our new team members. Four weeks works for what we want to accomplish, but the length of your program is not as important as the content. I said that we created our program for new hires, but we transformed the team that was already in place by using this same training. The point is to create a program with crystal clear goals in mind. Know what it is you want to accomplish before you even start. Once you know exactly what you want to achieve, you can design your training.
We will share with you what we have done in the past. Perhaps these examples will give you ideas on your own training strategy. Remember, we stretch this out over four weeks, and the first few items on the list we do off-site.
We hope you found this post useful!