Sales Training Moments that Stick

Big moments in training with a lifetime impact on your results

In the last six weeks, I have been in front of five different audiences in the US and Canada.  I’d like to share a common experience that has occurred in all five of those and how it can help you or your sales team.  As a sales trainer, we love those moments when the light goes on with one or more of our attendees.  And, when this happens with almost everyone in the room, we know we struck a golden moment in our training.

Over the last six weeks, I saw this happen over and over and realized it might make a good topic for those that follow me on my weekly blog/podcast.

The first is called the “4 Why’s Exercise”. 

Every customer that you approach is asking themselves four questions:

  • Why should I buy from you?  (I mean you personally.  So, why should I buy from you, Steve? Nothing to do with your company.  Just you).
  • Why should I buy from your company?
  • Why should I change from what I am currently doing?
  • Why now?

The first two of those questions are most often the toughest to answer.  They require a lot of internal searching.  When answering the first question, many salespeople will begin talking about their company or their products.  I have to stop them and bring them back to the question.  “We’ll get to your company.  This question is focused on you and you only.”  Standing up front, I can often see a stunned or distant gaze in their eyes as they contemplate this question. 

Those are the moments I live for.  They make all the pre-work for the training worth it.  I know at that moment; those individuals will never look at their strengths the same.  In some cases, their mind goes blank and they have no answer.  Often, they have generic reasons such as: “I take care of my customers or I was a farmer so I know farming or I have been selling for 25 years.”  Those are all good things, but not specific enough to answer your customer’s question.

The reason those generic answers are not good enough is that your competitors have the same answers.  To your customer, you sound just like every other salesperson that drives down their driveway. 

So, I have them go back and dig deeper.  Why should your customer pay you more for the same products which they can buy from the competition at a cheaper price?  We have to come up with that answer or we have no other option than to match it.  “If you can’t answer this question, then how do you expect your customer to answer it?”

The engagement in the workshop really gets interesting when I have them add in the “Invoice Exercise”.  On a sheet of paper, I have them create an invoice for their best customer.  I ask them to invoice that customer at least three to five line items of those things you do for them which are above and beyond the actual products and services you provide.  And again, in all five of those training sessions, I had that awesome training moment when I see the distant gaze in many of their eyes. 

Over the many years of doing this, the first mistake most salespeople will make is not putting a price on the invoice line item.  For example, “I scout their fields whenever they are having a problem… price”.  I have to remind them that at no time in history did a customer send a check to pay an invoice that did not have a price on it.  It just doesn’t happen.  I have them go back and put a price on every line item.

Next comes the second most common mistake with this exercise.  They underprice themselves.  As we debrief in the room, most will hear what others think they should be charging.  And most will realize they should be charging more. 

The biggest takeaway from these two exercises is when each of those salespeople gain confidence in what they do for their customers and what that is actually worth.

As we work through the rest of the 4 Why questions, the learning and discovery continue to open the eyes of those salespeople.  In this one exercise, they are changing their sales approach with their customers in a completely new way.   Or at least in a way that gives them the confidence to sell.

And for a sales trainer and coach, you really can’t ask for more.

If this sounds like something you would like to explore with your team, reach out and let’s have a discussion. 

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