There are many sales motivational speakers in South Africa. It seems like top sales professionals think they can train other sales people to do what they did to be successful.
This is called modelling. The idea is that if sales professionals follow a certain model, they should also be successful.
Whilst in theory this should work, in practice it seldom does.
Nassim Taleb in his book, Antifragile – Things that gain from disorder said that randomness has a big part to play in any success. No matter how much you model a ‘successful’ person, it doesn’t mean you’ll be successful.
Sales Motivational Speakers Get It Wrong
Many sales motivational speakers come off the mountain like Moses and read out the law and think that this will work.
It is naive to think that a one-hour keynote address or even a day’s sales training will be able to shift your sales force into high gear. Of course it would be fantastic if as a result of having a sales motivational speaker address your team, they will close more deals more consistently.
So, if sales motivational speakers aren’t the answer, what is?
I’m not saying they aren’t the answer. Sales motivational speakers are part of the answer. All they can really do is give a bunch of concepts. Things like:
- Building rapport
- Needs analysis
- Overcoming objections
- Closing techniques
- Customer relationship management
- Goal setting
- Key account management
- Ratios management
- Calling cycles
- Territory management
- Time management
They real trick to any sales training intervention is what happens after the session. A professional sales motivational speaker will warn the client that the one-hour keynote or training intervention really just sells the concepts of selling. The real work comes afterwards. And, here’s where most sales motivational speakers lose their courage … they don’t say that the keynote or training probably will have little affect because they’re afraid that they’ll lose the deal.
In my opinion, they should warn the prospective client of this. What they should try and do is sell consulting and follow up training and coaching. Of course, if the client understands that they’re only selling concept and that the keynote or training is not a panacea for all that ails the team and still hires the sales motivational speaker, then that’s cool.
I always try and add some kind of consulting and coaching element after a talk or training. It is to the benefit of my client. Today, there are many ways to add value after a training session:
- Online learning
- Membership sites with sales tips
- Face-to-face coaching
- Online coaching via Skype
- Consulting – going out with the sales team in the field and really getting to grips with the real challenges
- Email support – sending sales tips every week
- Peer to Peer Training
My process when I sign up a potential client who wants a sales motivational speaker more or less follows the same path every time:
- Introductory meeting where we educate each other. This is where I find out the real needs and also find out if we are a fit for each other
- I’ll send out a survey to the sales team to hear what their challenges are. From the ‘horses mouth’ so to speak
- Based on the survey, I’ll come up with a solution
- Based on budgets, time-constraints and the like, I may very well just do the day’s training or the hour-long sales motivational keynote
- But, I’d always recommend some kind of follow up training, coaching or consulting
- So, rather than a training session, I’m giving a process which in the long-term is more effective, in my opinion
How do you hire a sales motivational speaker?
Ok, so here’s the reality. The most junior sales motivational speaker can probably put on a good show for an hour or even for a day if he or she is good at reading. It’s not that hard to figure out the 7 or so sales steps:
- Build rapport
- Give a general benefit statement
- Discovery process
- Present your unique solution
- Overcome objections
- Get a commitment to a next step
- Ask for referrals
So, clearly it’s not rocket science. If the sales motivational speaker has a flare for presenting and a half-decent Keynote or PowerPoint presentation, he or she can pull it off. And, many sales training companies have trainers who know how to train the sales material but have little experience. And, that’s ok because it is doubtful that the delegates will ask difficult questions that will trip the trainer up. It is of course advantageous to have someone who has some sales experience so that they also know what it’s like to sell and be rejected. What it’s like in the sales trenches.
But, when it comes to the deep detail and follow up, this is where the sales motivational speaker’s shortcomings become apparent
So, what are you looking for in a sales motivational speaker if you want someone to help you in the long run?
- What actual sales experience does the person have?
- Has the person ever managed a sales team?
- Does the person have testimonials?
- Can you phone past clients for references?
Your sales motivational speaker should …
- Be passionate about selling
- Be passionate about imparting knowledge
- Be passionate about people
- Did I say, “be passionate”?
Passion and enthusiasm will go a long way in any presentation. And, over the long haul, a sales motivational speaker with experience is a bonus, that’s for sure.