Have you ever had this experience: You are talking with an employee in a business and they help get you the information you are asking for, but at the end, you can almost see them squirm with discomfort at the thought of asking you to purchase?
Think about your own company. Have you empowered your non-sales staff in helping you sell more?
Here are 6 simple ways to get your non-sales staff adding to your revenues.
1. Educate your team that selling is everyone's job.
Too many employees have never made the connection between their role and sales for their company. Not only is it your responsibility to help them connect the dots, but you need to also help them see how increasing sales benefits everyone, creating security, opportunity, and stability for them.
So start by explaining this to your team. Share stories of how people in the company helped do just that. Celebrate the successes of non-sales staff who help generate more business. Reinforce this into the culture of your company.
2. Teach your team to "recommend" or "share" their favorites.
Ever wonder why the waiter at a good restaurant share's his favorite appetizer? After all, why should a total stranger's opinion matter to what you order?
The answer is that it does matter. We are social beings. We care and are influenced by what other people like or do. Social psychologists call this "social proof".
Train your team to recommend a specific product, or service, or solution to any prospect they run into in the course of business.
What's more, when you frame selling as "recommending" or "sharing", this dissolves the internal barriers that many non-sales people have with the very idea of sales (and the potential rejection they fear.)
3. Train your team how to spot new sales opportunities.
Every team member in your company should continuously be on the look out for new sales opportunities. We call this activity, "Lead Spotting".
What are the signals that hint at a good opportunity? What situations are you best primed to solve for a prospect? What clues indicate urgency, need, and budget?
Train your team to ask a few gentle probing questions and then make sure you have given your staff a simple process to hand these leads over to your sales team. This could be a web form they fill out, a lead card they hand to your sales staff, or an email address they send all lead possibilities to.
Train your sales staff to "close the loop" by telling the referring team member what happened with the lead they handed in, this will encourage your staff to be on the lookout for even more sales opportunities.
4. Train your non-sales staff in how to appealingly and succinctly give your best scripted elevator pitch for what you do when they meet potential customers.
Don't leave this one to chance. Left to their own, they'll likely ramble off a mind-numbing description, our mutter an obscure 5 word description of what you do, and a great opportunity will be lost forever.
Here is a powerful formula for an easy and effective "elevator pitch" when meeting a potential customer. Script this out and then repeatedly role play this with your team.
Formula: "You know how __[insert #1 biggest pain point of your target market that you solve]___, what we do is ___[insert your biggest solution and benefit to that pain point]___."
Here's an example we use at Maui Mastermind with our Business Coaching Program:
"You know how most business owners end up trapped in their business, with no time freedom and their business totally dependent on them? What we do is help business owners grow their companies and get their lives back by building a business, not a job for themselves. In fact, our average business coaching client not only grows by 32.4% per year, but she also has reduced her company's reliance on her by over 80%."
The most important part to this is to make sure you train your team through actual role play to use the powerful scripting your marketing team has likely already created.
5. Systematize how your non-sales staff can get key customer data and feedback to other parts of your company.
Did a customer make a good suggestion for new features? Make sure this information gets to your product team.
Did your client share a big win they enjoyed based on using your service? Make sure that your sales and marketing teams hear about it. Your marketing team might have a subject for your next case study; your sales team may have a reason to ask for referrals.
All too often as companies grow information from one section of the company doesn't flow to other areas. You need to have a process for how your team shares important customer and market feedback and data.
6. Help your team learn to ask for prospects to buy.
I wanted to end with what might be the most important suggestion of all - training your team to get more comfortable and willing to ask for the sale.
This last suggestion isn't rocket science, but it is rock solid.
Role play with your team, helping them get repetitive practice at asking for a prospect to purchase. Don't try to teach them 10 different sales closes, rather, train them in one simple "best practice" that will work in the widest number of sales situations. And rehearse that one best practice of asking for the sale over and over and over. This way when they are scared they will fall back on the default that they have practiced so often.
For more tools to help you increase sales and reduce your business's reliance on you, click here and access our free Scale Tool Kit. You'll get immediate access to over a dozen training videos (15-60 minutes in length) and several of our most powerful pdf tools to grow your company. Enjoy.