Sales Training: Empowerment beyond “Just Because” or “Because I Told You So”

whywhywhy2When I was a child, I was the question asking machine.  Now that I am an adult, I am the question asking machine.  Not because I want to be annoying.  I really want to understand why.  Knowing the why helps me deliver on expectations.  Understanding why gives me access to understand the process and how each step is critical for the next step.  I become a motivated participant when I understand the why and not the “just because” or the “because I told you so”.  I see the big picture and how I fit into the puzzle, as well as how my teammates and their roles play into progress.

Consequently, not understanding the why leads to breakdowns in process for not only the individual, but often the whole team.  For example, during a department head meeting, I asked a fellow manager to have their department participate in posting on social media.  This resulted in a half-hearted attempt and then abandonment of this request, as it was seen as additional work with little return.  At the next department head meeting, I asked the same manager if they were aware that I push their content into other social media channels.  Their response was they were not aware.  I asked if they remembered a special campaign I had done for their department that required attention to a special niche.  The manager did recall that difficult campaign.  I demonstrated online that I had pushed that campaign to several social media channels and that on those channels it had been shared, commented and otherwise interacted with.  I asked if that department had previous access to this audience.  After a quick glance, the answer was no.  I also asked if they had seen the review written on one of the social media channels.  They were unaware of this positive review.  I reminded the manager that they were currently working on a similar campaign for a different client.  They agreed that indeed they were.  I showed them in our CRM where the inbound lead for this new client had come from.  The notes for this lead stated that the client had seen a re-posting of our content on one of their vendor’s social media feeds.  The client had similar specific needs and was delighted to learn that there is a company out there that can help.  Point made, the big picture never came into focus on how their sharing on social media can bolster brand visibility and clarity of provided services, which in turn brings in leads that become additional campaigns that affect the financial growth of their department.  Today, I have a fully enrolled team who post on social media and inquire often on progress.

The lesson learned, understanding the why of a process often provides the motivation for fully participating in a process.  When teaching automotive sales training process, demonstrate the why.  Ask and answer the questions your team may be afraid to ask or may not understand the importance of asking.  Lay out each brick in the pathway of a process, even when that brick lies in the territory of another department.  Take regular breaks in training to ask if there are any questions.  Create an environment in which asking a question is a positive and rewarded experience.  Check back often with your team during training to confirm they understand the why by literally asking them to tell you why this step is part of the process.  If they are missing the mark, re-teach that point with an emphasis on the why.  Engage in spiral learning with your team by going back to previous steps in the process and tying them to the current lesson with an explanation of how and why these two steps influence each other.

The Manus Group Stephanie YoungAbout the Author

Stephanie Young is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Manus Group, where she is an active blogger, social media contributor and spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading automotive recruiting and training firms. In here spare time, Stephanie mentors and encourages  young woman to pursue their interests in STEM field careers and is the driving force in her “Share the Love…Be a Volunteer” program.

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Copyright © 2016, Stephanie Young All rights reserved.

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