How to Produce Good Negotiators in Your Sales Force, #2: Hire the Right People -Train Salespeople well - be sure they understand what to do - and how to do it

This is the second of a 4-part series of blogs addressing negotiating ability in the sales arena.  If someone other than you would be a better fit for this, please pass it along.

You can find the first in this series here: How to Produce Good Negotiators in Your Sales Force, #1: Hire the Right People

#2. Train Salespeople well - be sure they understand what to do - and how to do it.
Once again, as obvious as this sounds - it’s pretty amazing how many sales forces are poorly trained, or not trained at all. Many sales forces (and sales managers) confuse product training with sales training. Their salespeople can demonstrate the product, and know a great deal about the services. But that same salesperson may not be professional at prospecting, or at time & territory management, or at securing appointments, or at asking for referrals, is not good, in fact is incredibly poor at closing, and is beyond poor at negotiating, which produces all the margins for the company!

If you look at the professions of the world, most of them require training.  A physician spends years in preparation before they can practice, as does a lawyer preparing for the bar, a CPA, a real estate professional.  Even a manicurist or a hairdresser has to go thru training and be “certified” to practice their trade.

Selling is a unique profession that is complex, requires a mastery of world-class skills, is tied directly to the profits of an organization, and often requires zero certification or accreditation other than they are “good with people”.

Train your people. Train them to sell, and train them to negotiate (these are, by the way, very different skill sets.)

For more on that, please visit:  The Difference Between Sales Ability and Negotiation Ability

Your sales people should know how to negotiate - and how to do it well. Don’t be afraid to bring in outside resources to help in this area. The best sales forces in the world constantly bring in “New blood” to assure they don’t become stale and stagnant.

This week, spend some time observing both the gross revenues, and the margins of the people in your sales force. That will be time well spent.

Next week we’ll address area #3 In How to Produce Good Negotiators in your Salesforce.