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Confidence Trumps Sales Training EVERY Time

by | Sales & Marketing

salestraining2Thousands of bank executives are waking up saying, “SALES training! Of course! It’s SALES training we need.”

Yeah, well sometimes the first thing that pops into our heads isn’t a keeper. Sales training is fine, but it’s NOT what you need to solve your problem and create a sustainable solution.

You don’t have a sales training issue…you have a confidence issue.

How many thousands of banks have spent a half million or more on the pipe dream of sales training, only to wake up in the same shape or even worse than before?

Sales may go up for a month or two, but when they go down again—and they usually do—they often go down even more.

That’s when the real tragedy happens. Your people feel like trained monkeys whose act is getting old. They don’t want to sell. And the customers feel violated by the “salesy” approach anyway. Nobody’s happy. Now what? You can’t do sales training again because you don’t dare make things even worse…so you’re stuck.

What’s going on here? A few slick tricks called “sales training” slam head-on into two belief systems your people hold unconsciously: They don’t want to sell…and they don’t want to risk rejection. It all adds up to a confidence issue.

What are the telltale signs that you have a confidence issue?

• Your salespeople don’t block time to be out on calls. They’re always too busy doing the low-return activities.

• When met with a competitor’s pricing, your lenders have no confidence to defend your value, so they ask to match the rate.

• Personal bankers don’t have the confidence to call on large core deposit accounts, so they stick with little blue-haired ladies’ CD accounts all day every day.

Let’s go to the underlying reason why people who are fully capable of making a shift don’t shift.

Ready for it? It’s because people are scary.

That’s right. People are really, really scary. They reject. They are unkind. They act like you are a friend and then bid you out against others to put you into the “vendor” category.

What lender hasn’t had a business owner tell them “beat it loser—you turned down my great granddaddy McCoy and there ain’t no way we’re doing business with you slime balls.”

Too scary. So instead, the personal bankers sit in the office all day long feigning exhaustion from the paperwork of opening up CDs, and the commercial lenders are busy creating files for loans that are B and C quality in the hopes that something will make it through the credit committee.

The sad part is that they’re so busy churning out a level of unproductive work that they actually start to believe their beautifully crafted “story” that they are too busy to do the most important parts of their jobs.

It doesn’t even occur to them that they should have a full pipeline of A+ quality credits and that any activities other than closing those are just noise.

So, how do you build confidence? In layers, and through integrated systems.

If you’ve seen a toddler learn to walk, you’ve seen the ultimate example of building confidence in layers. First there’s standing while holding on to the crib for dear wobbly life. Once the child is confident standing, she lets go of the crib—and goes wobbly all over again. But soon she’s mastered that too, and it’s time for the first step, then two, then that wide-eyed, leaning stumble into the parent’s arms. Add 14 years of confidence-building, layer by layer, and she’s an Olympic gymnast.

But you don’t go straight from spaghetti-legged standing to the tumbling run. There are countless steps first, and the need to gain confidence in each one.

There are 42 steps to getting the sales process to stick for good…and the first step is the equivalent of taking your literal first step. That’s why having some trainers come on site never works. It’s NOT about the training. It’s about all 42 steps…starting with Step One.

Nobody wants to start with that first step. It’s “too boring,” it’s “too basic.” We’re all too smart for that. But when they skip the basics and go right into the tumbling run, they’ve lost any chance of real, sustainable mastery. And nothing will take a bigger hit when they fall hard on their faces than their confidence.

Just as important is having integrated systems. Sales skills by themselves are worthless without identifying and warming top prospects, management skills to hold people accountable, clear deployment of the key initiatives to build further value, and a system to keep it all visible that ties together a process where every element incorporates the magic four: motivation, accountability, visibility, and follow-through.

All those layers have different strategies and levels of sophistication. As your lenders get better, your Top 100 and Top 1000 strategies need more segmentation and sophistication.

Bottom line: Don’t solve the wrong problem! You don’t have a sales training problem, you have a confidence problem. Address it as such, then watch the revenue flow.

Want to learn how to tie your “sales shoes” before everyone else to get ahead of the game? Visit www.EmmerichFinancial.com/PRS to download a free chapter from Roxanne’s book Profit-Rich Sales and discover the basics of building confidence within a proven sales system.

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