This is an article that appeared in Tribu, the magazine for Commercial Directors of France
How to turn your sales people into sales performers? By Sylvaine MESSICA
Crisis drives business excellence
In a purchasing decision, what makes the difference, at equivalent quality between two competing brands, is the seller. This is even more true in times of crisis, when trade relations are even more important than price. Buy cheaper, yes, but not at any price! Of course the crisis is the main objection of the customer, which can falsely lead our salesman to sell his price, by pressure of objectives, instead of arguing his offer.
The salesman, the performer's return
By observing the salesmen in the training courses, I notice that the crisis has the quality to give back their good image to the profession and to the most motivated. Developing performance is strategic for the company and vital for the sales force. Our “anti-crisis” sales representative is therefore more an intuitive sales sportsman than a technician. He must act in the moment in front of the unexpected of the client who traps or who doubts. The permanent structural changes he manages with his clients require him to be more adaptable.
Improvisation, team sport communication
The performance of theatrical improvisation requires: Co-construct, find solutions and create together a common, unique, coherent and innovative story. The metaphor is powerful with the company which by transposition becomes a productive team which Co-constructs a project by developing the added value of each one. The technique of improvisation develops behavioral skills. Used alone, it is insufficient. Included in a training, it becomes "Applied Improvisation", training approach by the experience of improvisation.
What does improvisation in sales and negotiation develop?
In sales and negotiation, you have to create a common story with a client. Applied improvisation develops the mind, cooperation, listening and action in resonance with the client, observation, repartee, stress control, emotions, time, conclusion, the ability to innovate in a difficult situation and of course the strength of conviction. When we have learned to be serene in the face of the unexpected, it greatly reassures the client who feels it.
Le Match de Negotiation ©: improvisation applied to negotiation
The Negotiation Match © is a game bringing together two teams in a formation which effectively trains and produces a strong cohesion. It's a mix of an improvisation game and negotiation training. The games are very animated, healthy competition leads the players to appeal to their intuition and creativity to find solutions in the moment. After such an experience, the difficulties on the ground are de-dramatized. The company had a strong and formative experience without taking any risk.
Negotiation match ©: a sales force of a major luxury brand
“The negotiation match ©” allowed us to achieve + 23% turnover after the training! "" An unforgettable experience that restores cohesion and breaks down barriers.
Clients applying improvisation to management: 1000 commercial managers trained in commercial management ”. I am impressed by the efficiency and accessibility of theatrical improvisation, which applies particularly to our problems. I see better the solutions to bring to my management on a daily basis because I practice them directly ”,“ we readjust our behaviors immediately. The acquisition is fast and we live strong moments ”. A famous sports brand: “Our business executives must retain their critical thinking and creativity to move the business forward, this approach is concrete, effective and builds cohesion. This playful and pragmatic approach shapes and motivates sales people in a lasting way. This methodology develops confidence, performance and motivation. All sales force and management issues can be dealt with in a global manner. The real advantage is the gain of time and efficiency, it is an intensive training that produces long-lasting results and eliminates mutual misunderstandings.
Conditions for successful professional training using improvisation
The practicum must include all business contributions and specific objectives. Run by a single double-expert sales / management and improvisation consultant, this one is called an applied improvisation consultant. He must have as much experience in conventional training as in improvisation training to facilitate this rich and demanding pedagogy.