The GBC talked to Chris McDonell, President of McDonell Consulting Group, about why training is important for even experienced sales professionals and why changing perceptions about networking can be beneficial.
GBC: In your experience as a trainer, what have you determined to be the most commonly made mistake that even experienced sales professionals make?
McDonell: The biggest mistake is assuming. Assuming that they already know where the prospect is going to go. In the very beginning, just like in a game of chess, if you assume too much and make a wrong move, it will cause issues down the line. Not asking questions, not setting expectations, not finding out more about that particular prospect and where they have been and where they want to go is only going to set up issues in the future.
The September 26 seminar at the GBC is about preparing to make a sale. What level or type of professionals are the best fit for this training?
Experienced professionals — a sales leader, a corporate executive that runs sales teams, a sales professional that has a large book of business but is looking to grow their business. It could be someone who has been selling but is getting a lot of push back, a lot of think-it-overs from prospects, or a lot of delayed answers. They feel like they are constantly having to follow up to get a [deal to] close.
In the age where information is quickly available and networking has been made easier with social media, why is it important for companies to carve out time for employees to network?
One of the keys is that there is only a small difference between networking and not working. Some people go to networking events almost like they drew the short straw — because they have to go. They go to the event, eat the rubber chicken, talk to the same people and then leave. [What we’re talking about] is going out and meeting people, establishing relationships. If everyone is out looking for what they can gain, there is no effective networking. Get to know people … and see how you can help them make introductions [at the event]. I think a lot of people have their thought process inverted when it comes to networking.
Also see: Chris McDonell Training Client Summit video: