Sell it to the salesman first

Sell it to the salesman first

While researching this issue's feature on sales training, we discovered some interesting facts. Not the least of these was how little emphasis many resellers place on learning how to sell. In fact, many resellers admitted they'd never thought of sales training until we called them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that everyone who sells in this industry has to be trained to do it. In many areas technical knowledge about what you sell is much more important than when to pitch and when to close. You don't win much repeat business by foisting the wrong products on the wrong customer.

But having said that, sales training isn't just about ways to separate people from their money. It's also about learning to listen to what people really want, about giving service when they need it and not just when it suits you, and about admitting when you perhaps aren't the best person to give the customer what he wants.

Sales training is also about building confidence and pride in what you sell, and that's something that isn't always present. It's all very well using incentives and rewards to get a salesperson to meet quota, but how do you make someone feel good about what they sell? After all, I presume you do believe in your products and services.

While some types of sales training are of the "get-'em-all-fired-up" variety, and that may be just what you need in your business, we were impressed to learn that other sales trainers only work by coming in to your business, analysing what you do and what you want to do, and only then preparing a training program.

In future issues we're going to spend more time looking at training and job opportunities in the IT field. We'd appreciate your feedback or suggestions of interesting people to talk to.

Bare Patch

And speaking of interesting people, we're pleased to welcome a new, regular writer to the ARN pages. Sir Dennis Patch is well known in IT circles, sitting on a number of boards and advisory panels, and having steered standards committees on topics such as AS574660 "Size and shape of the 'enter' key".

Patch is a dedicated purveyor of the "truth in accuracy, accuracy in truth" school of business as practised by several Asian leaders of the past two decades. Please turn to page 36 for some timely advice.

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