Is your sales staff having trouble hitting their monthly targets? Have they mastered the fine art of negotiation? In this article, we’ll share 5 tips to facilitate persuasion skills in your sales online training course.
How To Facilitate Persuasion Skills In Sales Online Training
Persuading employees to persuade others feels a little like a fox chasing its tail. This is even more problematic in the world of sales online training. The reason many people shy away from sales jobs is that they are often stereotyped. It feels a bit like they’re trying to force people to buy something they don’t want or need. However, a truly successful salesperson steers clear of manipulation. Instead, they use communication and active listening skills to find the right products for their target consumers.
Here are 5 top tips to facilitate persuasion skills in sales online training.
1. Set The Example
Think back to your youth. Sometimes, you had to talk your parents into something. You always approached the situation strategically. You’d gauge their mood, figure out the best time of day, or do a favor. Your sales employees can apply these same techniques in the workplace. Teach them to plan their approach, using similar persuasion skills. A humorous video demo is a great way to do this. After the clip, break the lesson down, showing the specific tactics presented. They might include tone of voice, body language and so on.
Then, apply the lesson showing how these persuasion skills can be transferred to a sales prospect. You can also create an online training simulation that features customer personas. Then explore different sales techniques and persuasive approaches based on the customers’ needs and personality traits.
2. Be A Yes-Man (Or Woman)
It’s human nature to focus on the negative. When you tell someone “don’t think about elephants”, they will immediately focus on elephants. In some situations, this form of reverse psychology is helpful. Unfortunately, we are so attuned to it that we guard against it, especially in sales situations.
Whichever selling approach you use, reverse psychology will ping their radars, so teach sales employees to use affirmative statements instead. Use repetitive, quick-fire, multiple choice drills. It’s always better to say “This product is great” instead of “Don’t you think this product is great?”
3. Develop Healthy Conflict
Creating conflict might seem like a contradiction of the previous point, but it’s all a matter of context. We are sometimes advised to get customers to agree with us. But if the customer says “yes” too often, they may get their defenses up. Instead, get them to seemingly disagree with you. This makes them feel they are in control. After four or five no’s, they’ll want to give you a small concession, which could lead to a sale.
Offer different ways to get a point across. You might suggest ideas on drawing out a prospect. For example, “I’m sure you have every car accessory you could ever want”, or “A woman can never have too many shoes”. These make prospects reflexively want to one-up the salesperson. The longer they engage with you, the better your chances of a closing a sale.
4. Offer Body Language Online Training
The benefits of confident posture are well documented. It’s easy to teach that in an online training course because online learners’ attention is rapt. In-person courses offer a wide variety of stimuli, and that can be distracting. Online learners are often focused on sight and sound. Use clear, visual demonstrations to explore body language and non-verbal cues.
Videos are an ideal online training tool. Show a short clip, ideally one or two minutes. Then play it again, using text prompts and voice-overs to dissect the body language. Get sales staff to see the hand gestures, posture and facial expressions that create the overall effect. Show your sales employees the body movements of each video character, so that they can learn how to mimic them. The emphasis should be on projecting confidence and masking anxiety. After the lesson, they can have live video sessions with an online instructor where they can practice non-verbal communication.
5. Schedule Online Debates
Video calls, teleconferencing, and webinars are a useful part of online training courses. Use them to your advantage by setting up online debates. They should be brief, ten minutes the most, with an online instructor moderating. Give your sales staff a topic beforehand and set up basic ground rules. Review persuasion tactics, then encourage sales employees to use them during their live discussion session. Award points for effective debating, and deduct marks for infringement.
Online debates allow your sales staff to practice their theory, increase knowledge retention, and engender healthy competition. It’s also a good way to spot and work around cultural differences in multinational sales teams. After each online debate, run a debriefing session to review what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve overall.
Persuasion skills are a tricky thing to teach, especially without face-to-face feedback. But these 5 tips can help you create powerful online training courses for your remote sales team. Online training simulations, real-world examples, and social learning activities can impart valuable sales experience.
Just remember that the fine art of persuasion isn’t about manipulation but identifying customers’ wants and needs, then finding the ideal solution to their pressing problem.
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