Go Forward with Geoff Fitchett
Expert Training and Consultancy services from a sales genius

  • What’s Philosophy got to do with anything?

    Are all your people speaking the same language?
    Are they rowing in the same direction?
    Is everyone singing off the same hymn sheet?

    Training provides one important part of the business jig-saw, but like all the other pieces (marketing, management, recruitment, pay-schemes, merchandising, product line-up and pricing policy, it has to fit together.
    (Jig-saw illustration here)
    In 1989 I started providing training for a company that was number two in its field. Three years later they were number one and a few years after that I was invited to the boardroom of the (now) number two operation. Their pushy and hard-selling style had been relegated into runner-up slot by an altogether more intelligent, long-term, customer-caring and transparent approach to doing business. They had already reacted by changing their training message but so far, it hadn’t given them back their primary position nationally and there were no signs whatsoever of my client losing their grip.
    Maybe now they wanted to know what invisible ingredient was different and thought they’d get it from the horse’s mouth. I obliged by attending. There’s nothing secret about it and being entirely external, I can be hired by the competition unless there is an exclusivity arrangement in place. In a highly convivial meeting in a most impressive boardroom I outlined the training messages and as much as possible of the philosophy behind it. This was met with a flat response from the board and the general message to me was, “We do all that.”
    Actually, they didn’t. True, their training message was much updated and now very similar to mine, almost eerily so in fact. This seemed to have support of at least a couple of people on the board. But the sales philosophy at the point where it met customer enquiries hadn’t evolved one iota. Sales Managers used high levels of control to keep salespeople in a state of stress, needing the next sale and fearful for their positions. Commissions rewarded hurriedly closed sales beyond all other considerations and salespeople who thought more about receiving a fat pay packet this month than a long career, a clear conscience and a good night’s sleep were still occupying the best positions.
    Until sales managers believed in the new direction the company claimed to be taking nothing would change. Until it impacted on recruitment, the same culture would prevail. Until pay schemes supported a different approach a different type of individual would not apply for the vacancy in any case and none of it would work unless the products, services, pricing policy, customer-care and support, marketing and merchandising all slotted into place.
    I too have had motivated, energised salespeople leave my courses only to be told by sales managers to forget what they have learned. In four days they have recognised wisdom over folly, psychology over cheap tricks, truth over fabrication. Finally they understand that good values can earn them real profitable business which is less likely to cancel, more likely to repeat and to generate referrals. By insidiously attempting to undermine the training, the dim-witted sales manager does not win his robot pawn back, he only serves to perpetuate confusion. It’s too late to unlearn just like once you’ve learned to ride a bicycle, you can’t forget how and it isn’t that I am so influential that four days with me trumps months with a charismatic sales manager with several years of trickery under his belt, it’s just that eventually, the truth always wins. Spinoza nailed it when he said,

    “He who has a true idea,
    knows spontaneously that he has a true idea.”

    Falsehoods can prevail when there is no known alternative and people can be led up the wrong path by someone clever enough to manipulate others but we know the wisdom of truth when we hear it.

    I could go on but you’ve probably figured out in which column your business currently fits. Incidentally, businesses which operate on philosophies which support the right hand column style of operation can be fixed, just not by a brief training intervention.

    Sales Philosophy

    • The aim is to develop a relationship with the client which will produce sales over the long-term with repeat business and referrals being a natural part
    • Salespeople must not only know their intimately, but also have a passion for it
    • Good salespeople don’t focus on selling, they focus on helping people buy
    • Enquiries deserve a response instantly or very soon afterwards
    • Enthusiasm, belief, tenacity and courage support the salesperson’s behaviour
    • The aim is for the customer to ask to purchase. Closing is only necessary when that doesn’t happen
    • Price objections are a reflection of a lack of desire for ownership
    • Most objections are rooted in the psyche of the salespeople
    • It’s important to stay in touch with the customer beyond the purchase, beyond the decision not to purchase and beyond the purchase of a competitor’s product. The door remains open to future business

    Customer Service Philosophy

      • Profitability follows satisfied customers. Without good service even the best sales operation will soon fail
      • The ability to deliver exceptional service rests with frontline staff. They need the resources to make it happen every time
      • If you make people feel good, they’ll come back.” Walt Disney
      • There is no customer care without staff care. The first follows the second
      • Good products are needed for customer satisfaction. Poor products and good service will not result in happy customers
      • Front line processes are often the weak link in the customer service chain. Good people on both sides of the counter become frustrated with head office diktats
      • Only happy staff do their best work

    Management Philosophy

    • Recruit attitude and train skill. It’s much, much easier than trying to do the reverse
    • Few managers are ready for the job. Most have excelled at the roles they now manage and rely on past role-models for their new position. Training and
      development can make all the difference
    • The bottleneck is usually at the top.” There is no substitute for good management
    • There is a place for carrot and stick. Plenty of carrots and an awareness that the stick exists is all that’s needed to create an environment where healthy feel a little pressure and a lot of motivation
    • Recruit good people, issue the challenge, provide the support and resources, train-in knowledge and skill, use the best processes, monitor, feedback and reward
    • Every staff needs to feel some sense of ownership, managers more than most

Tel: +44 (0) 7885 722822
Email: geoff@geofffitchett.com

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United Kingdom

Geoff Fitchett is a leading provider of sales training and consultancy courses. Get in touch today to discuss how Geoff Fitchett can move your business forward.