Sales managers should always be asking their people for stories so their Success Story Archive™ becomes a living document. They should be quizzing their people to make sure that they have read all of them, because when they're out in the field they’ll need to remember them.
The next thing they need to do is make sure they create and maintain an Objections Archive™. It’s important to catalogue the most common objections as well as the best, most skillfully prepared answers to address each one of those objections. Sales managers should enforce that process by soliciting those objections and making sure that their people actually have the answers. For example, a manager could say, “I am in a restaurant and we sell energy-efficient lighting. The pushback is that LED lights are going down in price while getting brighter and smaller. Why should I press on and recommend a retrofit now?” There are at least three or four great answers to that one.
I’ll use the example of a lighting retrofit for a dry-cleaning business. It would help to know how many retrofits for similar businesses you’ve done within a reasonable radius of your prospect base. If you simply walk into a dry cleaner and say, “Hi, I'm here to talk to you about retrofitting your lighting,” the owner might say, “Hit the door, Jack! You’re the 16th person this month who’s walked in here trying to sell me a new lighting system.”
It will go differently if you say, “We've installed energy efficient lighting in 37 dry cleaners within 5 miles of yours and here's a map of them. I’d like to share how we created value for those merchants and then show you how you could accomplish the same thing here.”
Effective sales managers make sure their staffs are informed, trained and drilled to bring this kind of value to each prospect. All it takes is reinforcement and learning, and the result will be a sales team with solutions that stick.