Discussing Sales Message
Today we’re going to talk about getting control of your sales presentations and company messages.
What are your salespeople saying to prospects in the field?
What tools have you given them to help them stay on message?
What systems do you have in place to deliver the same experience to every prospect?
How do you know they’re not over-promising or making stuff up just to get a sale?
Maybe you train them in the office on the products and services you offer and how to overcome objections when they’re in the field but then you turn them loose on your prospects and have no idea what happens when they’re in the home.
I’ve worked in sales and marketing for over 30 years and can tell you that salespeople can destroy or enhance your company’s reputation and culture faster than anyone else in your company.
Let’s talk about two different but related things concerning your sales message and your company culture.
In podcast #1 we talked about creating repeatable systems and operating procedures in your company like a franchise or national chain does to ensure that your customers get the same great experience every time they interact with your company.
We also talked about creating your company’s WHY, your mission, instilling that belief, pride, and culture into your entire team.
Now we’re going to examine that on the sales level.
It’s impossible to control your sales message if you don’t standardize that too.
You can’t just hire great salespeople, teach them about your products and services and your company’s mission and culture, and then turn them loose on your prospects.
Do you remember this old exercise?
If you had a line of 10 people and you gave a message to the first one and asked them to pass it along down the line, by the time that message hits the last person in line it’s a completely different message.
Some of you might remember that from your old school days.
It’s just human nature.
People put their own spin on a message.
So if you want your message to stay consistent, and you do if you’re running a business, then you have to provide your sales team with not only the training but also the tools to deliver the same great message every time.
And the best way to do that is with sales scripts.
Phone scripts for the phone and visual presentations for in-person presentations
Every great sales organization uses scripts and consistent messaging to sell their products and services.
Your sales team still gets to inject their personality and skills into the presentation.
They’re not robots.
But they’re following a process and staying on message, your message.
The message should ask questions about the client’s wants and needs to be able to pivot to the proper presentation for those particular needs and desires.
Of course, a bad script or presentation isn’t going to help you.
And never just pitch a sale.
Pre-identify the different buyer profiles you encounter and create specific messaging for each one.
Use questions to identify which buyer persona that salesperson is encountering.
Are they just beginning their journey in the Awareness stage and seeking educational information to see if they really have a problem that needs a solution or a desire that needs to be fulfilled?
Have they made it to the Consideration stage and understand their problem or opportunity and now are committed to understanding all of their available options.
Or are they in the final Decision stage and now looking for which product or service and which company solves their wants or needs?
You need to craft questions that identify who you’re dealing with and what they’re seeking.
Then you need a well-designed message for each of those personas.
Now each script needs to be professionally created and tell a story that engages the prospect.
You and your sales team can develop these messages together as a team.
People in the Awareness and Consideration stages will NOT buy right away, so identify them on the phone before sending a salesperson out to them or before having your field tech try to sell them on the spot.
Have an automated follow-up system in place in your CRM to help and inform each of these personas through the buyer’s journey.
That one-call close crap doesn’t work for every type of buyer and if you force that issue and try and close everyone you meet you’ll be losing lots of potential sales.
You also might become an untrusted company and get some bad reviews.
The company that helps prospects through each phase of the buyer’s journey with great information is the one who will eventually get the sale.
Maybe you need to hire and work with a professional copywriter and your sales team to create the best messaging possible and address the needs of each type of prospect.
Now, once you have your messaging down, you’ll need to write them down for your customer service, sales, telemarketing, and tech teams and train them in each aspect of it.
These are your standard operating procedures for sales presentations.
For field sales, your messaging is best served as a visual presentation that the salesperson guides them through.
Your CRM may provide for this, otherwise, it’s best to create a physical flipbook or several slideshow presentations on your website that only your salespeople can access.
Keep your team on message.
Deliver a consistent message for each buying persona.
Your CSR, field techs, or salespeople still get to inject their personality into the presentation in the same way the friendly person at a franchise or national chain delivers you a personal experience.
But they’re always following a standardized procedure.
Now let’s take a look at your team and if one or more of them are killing your reputation or company culture.
Remember in podcast #1 we talked about identifying and developing WHY your company does what it does and then sharing that message making it the driving force of your company culture.
If you have employees who are oftentimes negative and consistently create drama, division, or politics within your company or worse yet, with your prospects and customers then you need to replace that person asap.
It doesn’t matter if they’re the top salesperson, your best tech, or even your company partner.
They’re ruining your company culture and the other employees are being poisoned by them.
I once worked for a company where the top sales guy had a horrible attitude and would say that once he left a prospect’s house “those people were dead to him”, whether he got the sale or not?
Wow! What the hell kind of attitude is that?
His lack of caring and holier-than-thou attitude was despised by the rest of the sales team but he sold more than anyone else so he got all of the leads.
What did that say to the rest of the sales team?
That being an asshole pays off?
Their implied message was “Say what you need to say to close the deal and then move on and forget these people.”
Not only did the company keep him and feed him all the best leads but they eventually made him the sales manager.
All the sales meetings were about one call closes and how to trick people into closing the deal today.
Do you think that was motivating to the sales team?
Of course not, their sales suffered and team turnover was high.
And of course, their online reviews sucked and his cancellation rate was higher than anyone else’s.
So as a business owner, you have to muster the gumption to fire this kind of people. Even if they’re your sales superstars.
Your company culture will improve, your team will thank you for it, and they’ll pick up the slack because you showed them that culture, taking care of your customer, and doing business the right way is the only way you do business.
You’ll show them that you won’t sell out everything and everyone just to get sales.
That you have a WHY and you’re committed to doing great business and treating customers like gold.
There’s a great video on YouTube by Simon Sinek titled “Who’s the asshole?”
In it, he discusses how when he worked with the Navy Seals he asked them “How do you pick the best of the best men and women that get to go on Seal Team 6?”
And they drew a graph of performance and trust, on and off the battlefield.
Everyone wanted the high-performer and high-trust person.
But no one wanted the high performer, low-trust guy. That dude is toxic to the whole team.
They’d much rather have the high-trust, low-performer over that toxic dude any day.
The problem with sales organizations is that all too often they keep and promote the high-performer, low-trust person because they bring in sales.
And those people are like cancer in your organization and will eventually destroy it.
Fire those assholes right away and build your company culture based on those high-trust people who believe in your mission and value every one of your customers and team members.
Alright, I hope that helped some of you. Thanks for your time and attention.
Good luck out there and create a great day!