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Stop Talking Start Asking Questions

IDEA: When training ask leading questions so that your sales team can learn faster.

When training salespeople, keep this in mind that however speaks the most learns the most. Many managers don’t get it; they think that training is talking. If you want your salespeople to learn fast, ask questions. For example, you want your team to reinforce a specific closing technique. Ask them, what is the process of using X closing technique? If they don’t get it, ask them leading questions until they can articulate what you want them to do.

At first, it will feel like you may be wasting your time. However, the more you can get your salespeople talking and answering questions, the faster they will own the material. Some powerful questions we use on an ongoing basis are: Why is it important? When will you use it? How is it different than what you are doing now?

The following article from Mark Hunter contains 3 tips on how to improve performance. All 3 has the salesperson take charge of the conversation.

TIP #1: Coach Toward Shared Learning

At the end of each day, ask your salespeople to share with everyone on the team the big thing they learned that day. Also, have them share their big goal for the next day. Having each person share creates accountability and allows for peer learning and motivation.

TIP #2 Use Awards to Inspire Salespeople

Create a “Salesperson of the Week” award, preferably with a very ugly trophy (to keep the presentation fun!). Each week the sales team votes on who deserves the award based on the results from the previous week and the help the winner gave to others. When the person receives the award, they share one tip that will help the rest of the team sell better. The award is a fun way to create a supportive culture and, at the same time, inspire people to learn from one another.

TIP # 3 Build a Reserve of GREAT Questions

Ask each salesperson to build a list of great questions they’ve asked customers. The objective is for each person to have a robust set of questions they can then share with others. This process allows people to see the value of questions and, at the same time, learn from each other.

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