The glamour of a sales career can be so beguiling that we tend to forget the intense efforts the best sales people put in to achieve consistent results. Preparing for sales calls can be similar to preparing for battle, though in mental terms! A sales person must be ready to communicate persuasively in a variety of situations. An angry customer, full of objections, is the hardest to manage, but selling to a person who is indifferent and disinterested can be equally challenging.
Amateur sales people can never figure out why they are not able to close deals and satisfy customers. Professional and the most successful sales people have observers watch the selling process, and some even record sales interviews on audio and videotapes for later analyses. Interrupting a customer, not listening intently, disruptive mannerisms, and inadequate product knowledge are some of the common pitfalls that neutral observers can make of selling situations, and which the best sales people can recognize in themselves during reviews.
Most customers do not like sales interviews being recorded. Additionally, they may act out of the ordinary, because they are conscious that an interview is being observed and recorded. One can also get volunteers to act as customers, but again, they may not be able to represent typical and important customers, in terms of information needs, responses, and other key variables of sales communication.
There are a variety of sales recruiters that have developed proprietary and branded methods, which simulates real-life sales situations to perfection. Recording can easily be unobtrusive, so the selling process takes place. oblivious of glaring cameras and large microphones. Specially trained and highly experienced staff act as customers in a most realistic manner. This gives you a realistic playing field in which you can practice effective selling in a variety of simulated conditions. When you work with a full-service recruiting agency, you have the benefit of objective advice from the best trainers and analysts in the field who watch you selling, and you can study your own behaviour on tape or CD at your leisure, as well.
Sales professionals and companies alike need to consider the level of recording and simulation services available through recruitment agencies. Some sales recruiters are still committed to more traditional methods of training and assessment that work for some professionals. However, there are a number of cutting edge agencies that combine these older methods with the tools that are needed for success in the sales field for tomorrow.
Scott Deane is the Marketing Manager of meta-morphose international, a specialist Sales Simulations agency. The company have graduate jobs in the UK and Internationally.