June 13, 2013
Three simple words that can lead to big results.
Those three words can be considered the Three Big Ts to successful selling, and all three work hand-in-hand.
You have to be teachable to absorb effective training. Are you the one they have to drag into corporate training sessions? Do you spend the whole time there playing with your phone and complaining about how you’ve got a million other things to do?
If so, you’re not teachable and the training won’t take.
Strike one and two.
“Listening and understanding the customer’s needs,” Raymond Addison II, Manager – Marketing Communications, for Daimler’s Aftermarket Parts Marketing, says of the most important part of selling. “Only then can you offer solutions to their problems.
Strike two – the swing and miss on training – is huge, especially since training is ongoing.
“Opportunities for comprehensive sales and product training courses are offered at least twice a year when our suppliers do a ‘deep dive’ at understanding the product features and benefits, as well as discuss the markets we sell into,” Addison says. “You’ll use the training to convey product knowledge to your customer. That’s how you build trust. You diagnose a customer’s problems and you help find solutions.”
Training will also come in informal ways, outside of a conference room. And the job description will require knowing something other than how to ask, “do you want to buy this part from me?”
“A parts sales professional should have a good understanding of the basic sales principles, including the ability to determine customer behavior types and purchasing drivers,” he says. “(They) should also be proficient with sales reports and understanding basic sales and accounting reports which would help them determine sales growth, profitability and sales cycles.”
Wether your are behind the parts counter our out in the field, understanding your customer may be the battle, but understanding their market segment, your product suite and how they can work together is the war.
“Besides understanding parts and truck components, a sales professiona should have good working knowledge of a vehicles systems and how each system works,” Addison adds. “At the very least, a basic idea in order to make proper recommendations on the products being sold. Some of the best salespersons have had some kind of service related background in the industry.”
Twenty, maybe 30 years ago. There was another T.
A finely polished “how’s your golf game” could yield fine results. Not any more.
“The customer today does not have time to chat about the weather or (their) golf game,” Bill Thomas, manager of sales and soft products training for the Mack Trucks Academy, says. “(They are) running a business to make a profit and the sales person must come to the call prepared to ask questions that help identify root issues so they may develop a solution that truly delivers value to the customer.”
Finally, when you wrap it all together – when you become Mr. 3T – you’ve become something special.
“When the customer trusts, then everything you have to say about the product, the dealership, yourself, support services will help push to a close,” says Campbell Freightliner Dealer Principal Scott Campbell.
At the end of the month, or whenever your commission check comes, I think you’ll find Mr. 3T has a little more discretionary spending than Mr. T – and he’ll be the one pitying the foo’.