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Standing Out, Who You Are

In my last blog, I mentioned I have been attending the National Speakers Association conference. What an experience! During three days we worked on keynote content, learned new ideas on platform delivery and observed some of the top professional speakers in the world. So, what does that have to do with sales management or my sales training programs?

Almost from the moment I arrived to the very last break-out meeting, the most common questions were: "What is your expertise?" or "What do you speak on?" It was wonderful to hear how many people could clearly articulate their value proposition or message. Unfortunately, there were others that simply struggled with expressing their message. It was absolutely clear who were the true professionals and who knew their business.

In the 12 years of consulting with partners, we believe the inability for salespeople to "stand up" and clearly and simply describe what their company does and why prospects should purchase from them is the No. 2 problem in the channel. As sales managers, we must build into our sales training programs, on a recurring basis, a process to keep your messages top of mind. The best training we recommend is to videotape each salesperson giving the company'svalue proposition. This should be done privately -- one salesperson at a time. At your next sales training meeting, play each of the salesperson's videos in front of your entire sales team. In most situations it will expose anyone whose message has an obvious lack of clarity. After that meeting, give everyone two weeks to rehearse and practice and then perform the videotaped exercise again. You will be amazed at the results. As sales leaders, it's important to perform this sales training exercise twice a year.

Hint: We also highly recommend you post a sign or banner in your office with your message and work to reinforce this message to all of your employees.

You might also like to know about our upcoming Sales Leadership Summit, from Aug. 11-12, at Davidson Village Inn in Charlotte, North Carolina; for questions send me an e-mail or call 800-792-8346.

Ken Thoreson is managing director of the Acumen Management Group Ltd., a North American consulting organization focused on improving sales management functions within growing and transitional organizations internationally. Ken also motivates organizations with enlightening keynotes.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on July 30, 2009