Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sales and Networking

used car salesmanAs I mentioned before, I took a lunchtime sales seminar from Joe Marr, the local franchisee of the Sandler Sales Institute. What I learned in that two-hour class excited me so much, that I enrolled for the full sales training with him. Why did I sign up? I had several reasons.

  • I had no real sales skills. I had never had any formal training and prior to going full-time on my business, I had never needed any. Most of my business came looking for me.
  • I have no sales staff. (yet) I'm still the chief cook and bottlewasher for Cyber Data Solutions. That means that I am entrepreneur, manager, technician, and, yes, salesperson. Perhaps one day I will grow my business to a size where I have separate people for each of those jobs, but before that happens, I'll need to earn a little cash.
  • They teach sales like networking.
That last one might seem a little confusing. After all, isn't sales all about getting people to buy, no matter what? I always thought so, which is probably why I never learned anything about sales. The way Joe teaches sales, though, it's really all about asking questions and finding out more about the prospect and the challenges they face.

This sounds more like the lessons I learned in the Certified Networker training course than the kind of things you see car salespeople doing.

Of course, the goals are slightly different. In networking you are trying to build strong relationships for mutual benefit. Using the Sandler sales techniques, the goal is to determine whether a prospect has a need for your product or service, and, if they do, to provide it to them for a fee.

Hmm. I guess when you get down to it, they are *both* about building good relationships for mutual benefit. No wonder I feel comfortable with this training!

So, what was the most recent training course that you took?

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