20 Tips to Strengthen Your Sales TeamJanuary 22nd, 2014 by Editor
As many automotive and residential window film installation leads tend to get a little sluggish during the off-season, dealers may be wondering what they can do during this time. The slow winter months are a time in which many window film dealers can use the quieter schedule to train and strengthen existing sales teams. Whether you’re a dealer who sells directly to consumers or an owner looking to boost your sales team performance, using this winter stall to train can be an effective use of your time.
In a recent webinar, competitive performance expert Christine Corelli of Christine Corelli and Associates offered “20 Tips in 20 Minutes” to help attendees develop a more enthusiastic and assertive sales team.
According to Corelli, “businesses don’t do business, people do business.” Working to strengthen morale as well as further develop selling strategies can help your window film business win more contracts. Having a strong value system within your company and making sure your employees know and subscribe to that same moral code is the foundation to having a strong sales team she says. “Your values drive everything you do in business,” Corelli states. “When you hire people, make sure they know your values.”
Here are 20 fast tips she says can help your team grow:
- “Have an event, a training event or an event where the entire company can talk about how to improve its sales team,” she says.
- Focus on a Skill of the Month – “I hear so many small businesses saying they don’t have time … you can train them on a skill of the month.” This tip can work for owners who do the selling in their company as well. Choose a skill to hone each month and focus closely on improving in that area.
- Set selling standards – Hold a contest among salespeople offering a standard in which they should strive to reach. Selling owners can also benefit from this by setting individual goals; once the goal is achieved, make it the minimum standard for yourself.
- Merchandise complimentary products alongside each other. “Make sure you can upsell easily,” she says.
- Never be out of stock of top-selling products.
- Stock and sell accessories in sync with your area.
- Provide credit to your own business. “Have a store credit printed out … provide credit to your own business rather than their credit card,” Corelli notes.
- Host events for clients and customers. “Have a football event such as Monday Night Football. Rent out a restaurant and host the event. Have women’s days. There are an abundance of events that will pull people in,” she states.
- Show, don’t tell. “Telling them [customers] alone can sometimes cause sticker shock,” says Corelli, “but if you bring them over and show them, you’re helping them and educating them.” Bulk up your showroom—if you have one—with strong displays and marketing materials. If you’re an owner who is the only member of the sales team with no showroom, make sure you carry plenty of samples as well as any effective tools that can help you show customers how the window film products work.
- Market and promote to the community. “Be very active in your community.” Being actively involved in your community can help you learn about upcoming projects more quickly.
- Outshine your competitors with a wow factor. “Walk women to their cars, open doors,” she says. Corelli also mentions turning your customer lounge into a refuge, similar to the casual dining experience popularized by Starbucks and Panera Bread. Have free WiFi and refreshments available. Offer a free car wash as part of the service.
- Document all complaints. She says you should, “Ask yourself how we could have prevented that complaint from happening?” Even if you don’t have a sales team with which to review, having a documented series of any complaints you receive holds you accountable.
- Have weekly meetings. “Discuss the hits, runs and misses … talk about where you hit a homerun, where you scored and where you dropped the ball.” If you’re the only member of your sales team, spend some time once a week evaluating your performance and finding areas in which you succeeded as well as areas in which you can improve.
- Fill out problem resolution report. “Every time there is a problem a great practice is to have someone turn in a problem resolution report that talks about a specific problem that occurred and how it was resolved,” she says. For solo sellers, having this file can offer you a reference should you encounter a similar problem in the future.
- Overcompensate when you err. “If you make a mistake make sure you do something for the customer so they keep coming back,” she adds.
- Hold more contests. Have customer service-improving contests that encourage the staff to step up and compete to be the best.
- Have a system for customer service measurement. “Have a customer service satisfaction survey in conjunction with an employee satisfaction survey,” Corelli notes, “the two go hand in hand.”
- Establish accountability.
- Establish processes and procedures that work.
- Sit down with your team and create guiding principles; how you’re going to lead your employees. You want to create a culture in which they enjoy coming to work each day. Also, discuss how you’ll treat each other each day. Even if you are both the owner and salesperson, having a set of guiding principles to which you can refer will help reinforce those values.