Worst salesperson in the world
It’s all your fault
How do you train and motivate your staff?

I was just at a Qwest kiosk in the mall. The mall is so empty, it looks like it’d been struck by an H-bomb; so any customers must be treated with delight.

While I was at the counter, a woman and her husband in their early ‘70s walked up. The woman goes, Is there an Alltel store here. Everyone present knew the Alltel kiosk closed.

Now how would this exceptional salesperson make the sale in a vacant mall? Easily.

Unfortunately Qwest still operates on the “monopoly” mindset they had 30 years ago.

The salesman, there’s one five kiosk down. The woman, they’re closed. The salesman, check with the customer service desk.

Honestly. No sales question. This guy evidently had NO motivation to make a sale. Qwest may just pay by the hour, not a commission as well.

We’ve discussed many times on this blog how your sales staff is your lifeblood. They run or ruin your organization. So this Qwest salesman is their fault. They haven’t trained him. They haven’t motivated him.

Every sales person needs a base, not a draw. If you’re not providing a base and a commission to your sales staff, you’ve hindered your own profits.

When I became executive editor of Dairy Magazine, they paid a flat 20 percent commission for each ad. Ads sold for a handsome price in those days. The sales staff – all three (I made them Vice Presidents – you going to see a salesperson or a vice president of sales?) would sell five ads each a month and go fishing for the next 20 days. They were well compensated so they weren’t driven to make more sales. I changed it to a tier. First ad, three percent, second ad, eight percent on up to the 20 percent they were used to making after they made eight sales that month. Immediately we had a 50 percent increase monthly in ad revenue; or 150 percent if you prefer that.

So let’s go back to the Qwest salesperson. He’s now motivated. He wants EVERY sale that comes his way. (I’ve had the ITT, Xerox and IBM sales workshops. The best sales training I’ve experienced was MCI.) Here’s his new approach

Woman: Where’s an Alltel?

Salesman: They used to be down there. They’ve closed. We’re still here and will be. Don’t know if you’re aware of this, Alltel was recently acquired by Verizon. We offer Verizon through a partnership.

Salesman: Were you looking for new service or did you have a question on your existing service?

How long do you have on your current contract?

We’re running a promotion. Let me explain it. Do you have about three minutes?

What about your husband? Does he have his own phone? Any children or family members you want to keep in contact with more? We have an excellent family plan. For a few dollars more per month you can add them and we have a phone special, too.

Now, here’s how you train your staff – always, always, go for the close. Will you be porting your numbers today or did you need new phone numbers? How many do you need?

Finally, your bread and butter – accessories. You’ll need a car charger for that, right? Do you travel a lot? How about an extra battery? You know, everyone downloads ringtones. You can upload them from your computer. I’ve got the right cord that will connect your computer and phone.