(Second of two parts)
By Jim Augustus Armstrong
The national closed-sale average for dealers is about 35%, meaning if 10 people walk into the average flooring store, about three will wind up buying. If your closed-sale ratio is three out of 10, just by increasing it to four out of 10 you’ve boosted your revenue by a third without spending more on advertising.
You need three things in place to improve your team’s performance in this way. First, equip your team with a selling system that works. Second, train them on how to use the system. And third, they need to be held accountable to use the system.
All three of these things can be accomplished with a weekly sales training. Let’s cover some strategies for effective sales team trainings:
Consistent meeting time
Hold your meetings at the same day and time each week. If possible, hold these trainings outside of times your showroom is open. If that’s not possible, hold them during traditionally slow times so your back-office staff can cover the floor if someone walks in.
Start on time
Create a company culture of beginning on time. There’s a great little book called “Meetings Suck: Turning one of the Most Loathed Elements of Business into one of the Most Valuable” by Cameron Herald. I highly recommend you get a copy and read it. Among other useful strategies, Herald gives tips on how to start your meetings on time and how to run them efficiently and maximize their value.
My friend Tom Jennings from the WFCA says when it comes to sales, if you get the beginning and the end right, the middle will take care of itself. Your sales system should have a script for greeting walk-ins and leading them into the sales process and a script for asking for the sale (closing). During your trainings, have your salespeople role play the opening and closing scripts until it becomes second nature.
One challenge when introducing a new sales system, or helping your team improve on an existing system, is getting “buy in” from long-term team members. One way to help with this is to build excitement:
- Show your team exactly how much their income will increase if they improve their closing skills.
- Hold contests with prizes. These contests should be things even newbies have a shot at winning.
If a salesperson still refuses to adopt a new selling system, or to put in the effort to improve their skills on an existing system, then you have to decide whether it’s worth keeping that person in your organization.
Reward the behavior you want— remember, rewards include recognition. When your business gets a positive online review that mentions a sales team member, read it to the group. Give that team member public recognition and consider rewarding them with a prize. When a team member closes a large sale and keeps their margins up, give them accolades during your meeting.
By implementing regular sales trainings, you can maximize your team’s performance and add hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars in annual revenue. This will make your sales trainings the most profitable hour of your week.