I took a day break from my “paternity leave” to visit some clients this week. One of our software specialists was out from Ohio so I thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce her to some of my key contacts.
A topic that came up for discussion, and one I feel relates well to sales as much as it does anything else, is whether the tools available to them (the software) were being used properly.
This can happen in software, even if it’s not enterprise level. My mother (who is staying with us during this first week with baby) was telling me how much she dislikes the new Office 365 she is using. I have never used it but I have to believe it is a better product in many respects to previous Office releases.
However I’m sure my parents have taken zero professional training on how to use it correctly and to its fullest extent.
I’ve seen this before with customers as well. What happens when they first begin using the software is they get a good deal of training (standard during implementation) but as time passes the people who were trained move on to other opportunities.
And because they had already invested in previous training the company feels there is no need for further professional training. This is a big mistake because less is passed on with each generation of employees and eventually they are only using the bare minimum of the software.
Simply because they didn’t know what else the software could do. They were only shown what the other person used and thought they should know.
Let me give another example:
My wife has a nice Nikon camera that we’ve been using a lot since our son was born. I’ve been looking at a lot of photos that have been taken and I have to admit I am not too impressed.
I know it’s not the camera. The camera is great. The problem is user error.
I personally have never taken a photography class. I don’t know much about adjusting ISO settings or any of the technical aspects of using the camera. I also barely understand the basic fundamentals of photography. Most photo’s I take are on my iPhone. Just point and shoot.
The camera is a tool I am not using correctly and therefor not getting the results I want. It’s not the camera’s fault.
Don’t Go Looking For New Tools
As a professional you should always look for ways to do a little self improvement. But one thing I want you to consider is that you don’t always have to look outside your current skill set or tool kit to do that.
Sometimes you want to focus on mastery instead of discovery.
Look at your current skills, the ones you’re strong in and the ones you are weak in. In sales if you’re weak in prospecting then work to develop the skills you already have.
The phone is your tool. Work on your scripts. Work on the tone of your voice. Start smiling when you talk or stand up while dialing. Work on your timing and delivery. Work on your responses to objections. Failure in cold calling is not the phones fault. It is user error.
You don’t need to go looking for the next great prospecting method. Better develop the skills you already have so that you are able to use the tools you have to their fullest.
My customers don’t need to go looking for a different tool, I guarantee the one they have already can help them in many more ways then it currently is. What needs to happen is they need to have a better understanding of what features are new, available, and not being properly utilized.
My wife and I don’t need a new camera, we simply need to learn how to use the one we have better. On top of that learn some basics about photography so that when those special moments come, we’ll capture them with crystal clarity.
Tools are tools. Knowing how to use them is what will give you the results you need. It doesn’t matter if you have a Tesla Roadster or a Honda Accord, if you don’t know how to drive you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
To end this I want to challenge you to take a look at your current skills and see what area’s you’ve considered getting new tools when all you need is a little knowledge around using the tools you currently have.
~ Johnny Bravo
Image courtesy of sattva / FreeDigitalPhotos.net