If I could give salespeople training in only one thing, I would pick any of the fifteen things on this list before I would train them on “social selling.”
- How to Cold Call and Book Appointments: There isn’t anything higher on this list because cold calling is what would improve most salespeople’s results faster than anything else.
- How to Overcome Objections (or Resolve Concerns): No matter how good you are, without the language and rationale to deal with objections, you aren’t creating or winning an opportunity.
- How to Differentiate Themselves and Their Company: I’ve never asked a salesperson what make their company different and gotten a compelling response, even when their leadership team believes they know their differentiators.
- How to Leverage the Buying Cycle: Salespeople would benefit more from knowing how to serve their dream clients as they go through the stages of buying more than anything they might learn about Twitter.
- How to Understand What Makes an Opportunity: Unless and until your dream client agrees to pursue change with you, you don’t have an opportunity.
- Why They Need to Follow Their Process: Most companies don’t follow a process, and neither do their salespeople. I’d teach them why they should follow it and how it helps them win.
- How to Target and Nurture Their Dream Clients: Too little time, too many prospects. You have to focus on the clients for whom you create the most value. You need to nurture those relationships.
- How to Plan a Sales Call: Honestly, most salespeople don’t plan their sales calls at all. It’s a mistake to waste a client interaction.
- How to Open a Sales Call: Without the ability to open a sales call effectively, you quickly come across as an amateur and a time waster.
- How to Do Good Discovery: Without understanding your dream client’s most strategic needs, it’s difficult to be compelling, and it’s more difficult to frame your solution.
- How to Gain Commitments: First, most salespeople don’t know all the commitment they need, and when they do, they don’t have the language to gain those commitments. I’d teach them to close.
- How to Build Consensus: No one builds consensus on LinkedIn. Complex sales require consensus. Without it, you lose to the status quo.
- How to Think Like a Businessperson: In B2B sales, business acumen and situational knowledge are what allows you to create value. I’d teach this before I’d let the salesperson flounder around on Facebook.
- How to Tell a Story: One of the ways you prove how what makes you different makes a difference for your clients is through the stories you tell. Tweet that.
- How to Negotiate: Most salespeople crumble at the first question about price. I’d teach them to negotiate around value.
I could extend this list by another 15 competencies salespeople need more than they need social selling. If you want to build a personal brand that stands the test of time, being good at what you do counts for more than being known.
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