Are you Ready for Sales Marriage? (Part I)

I have been recruiting sales professionals for many years now, and while turnover is always something that you have to deal with, I have always sought to find the right candidate to avoid turnover as much as possible. I was actually reading an article from Lee Salz that inspired this article about sales marriage. Since the vows in this relationship, if taken seriously, can lead to a fantastic career here at TrueNorth, I thought I would start this section of the blog with the most important part of the relationship that we at TrueNorth Academy are seeking in our hiring practices.

Are you ready for sales marriage?

Funny as this may seem, finding sales professionals for me is kind of like bringing two people together to form a “sales marriage”. Appearance is usually enough to initiate a relationship (when I say appearance, I mean the appearance of the company I hire for), but if there is not a deep commitment and a common ground based on the needs and values of those involved, the future of the marriage is bleak. So before you consider a career in sales with TrueNorth or any organization for that matter, there are three areas of focus that you need to consider. Keep in mind as I present these three areas, I will be relating them to working here at TrueNorth specifically, but I believe strongly that the principles here can be applied to any career you are looking into.

Think about it: in the recruiting relationship with those I meet, YOU are interviewing us just as much as WE are interviewing you. So my goal is to find a match that makes sense. If it doesn’t make sense, then we part as networking friends. There is no reason not to stay in touch as you never know when our paths may cross again. Circumstances for all of us change throughout our life, so rather than be caught by surprise, let’s maintain a networking relationship so if the need arises, we have someone to turn to.

So here is the first area that you should consider. The remaining two will be discussed in future posts:

Characteristics of What You Will be

Selling

It is extremely important to keep in mind what it is you will be selling. If you do not or cannot have a passion about it, why pursue the courtship? Remember that the role of the sales person really is to facilitate the buying process such that it helps both sides determine if it makes sense to do business together. Not every person is going to want the business you have to sell, but by the same token, you may not want to sell the business to just anyone willing to buy. Seems odd at first, but how many of you have experienced a refund and a loss of a commission you were anticipating? What if you could have avoided the refund in the first place by selling it to the right person? Here at TrueNorth, we focus on personal coaching for clients within the investment industries such as Stock Investing, ForEx, & Options Trading. So here are some questions to ask to understand the characteristics of what is being sold to truly know if it is a right fit for you.– What is the nature of the product being sold?
– What is the nature of the buying relationship?
– What will the product accomplish for the end user?
– How recognizable is the product or the company in the marketplace of the buyers?
– In contrast to competitors, where is the pricing for the product? Advantages? Disadvantages?

TrueNorth Academy provides a service. The “service” is the personal coaching program. Think about it: how many times has someone purchased a book, CD, DVD, or attended a seminar on learning how to invest, only to see it land on a bookshelf after a few months to collect dust until it gets sold at a garage sale? TrueNorth has professional traders who have been trading for many years. These traders become a personal coach to these individuals on a one-on-one basis to not only fast-track their implementation of what they have been learning, but to help them overcome some of the pitfalls, fears, and embarrassments when getting started. Let’s face it…it can be scary to trade with REAL money knowing that you could lose it. This is a real fear for our clients. The great news is we can help eliminate this fear by having someone work with them to personalize their learning experience.

The buying relationship is simple: this particular sale is a one-time transaction. The program they sign up for will depend on the individual, but will last for 3-15 months. There are other programs they can pursue after their initial coaching program they sign up for, but this is for the coaches to handle at a later time. Your focus is in the next question.

The end user will become an active investor. When you speak to our clients, they are frustrated, scared, or eager and ambitious. Either way, they all have a major goal in mind: to learn to invest well enough that they can make a nice return every year. Even beyond this goal are a nice retirement income and the possibility to retire early because they understand the principles of their money making more money for them. Our sales professionals focus on asking the right questions and determining a fit to truly see if what the client wants matches with what the coaching programs can do for them. If the puzzle piece does not fit, don’t force it, just move on. Our clients already are very familiar with the product from the start. The nice part about TrueNorth is you work with clients who are already familiar with our partner client. They recognize the company and materials you will speak to them about, and they are already in the market of becoming educated in these investment fields which is why they made their initial purchase, attendance to a seminar, or request for more information in the first place. Not only that, but our partners include some of the more well known organizations in the country within these respective investing fields. We have a strong commitment to making their clients successful, and value the business relationship that we have with them.

In comparison to our competitors, we stand out. You see, most coaching organizations create their own product that they think is great for clients (which is in some cases) and then develop a system to sell it like crazy, and then follow-up to sell coaching and other products or services to increase revenue and go from there. Oftentimes though these products hit a peak, or fizzle out because what one person thought was great, the general populace did not feel the same way. The idea lasts for a time, but something always changes, and they are not ready for those changes. While I cannot go into specific details about how we are different, suffice it to say our partner clients already have a client base where our leads come from. Plus, they are well respected and well known in their fields. In fact, at a recent career fair, I spoke with one of the sales reps of a competitor to us who actually mentioned he refers his own clients to some of the partners that we work with. I faked a chuckle along with him because in my mind, I thanked him for sending us more business.

So in concluding this first series of a sales marriage, be aware of what it is you will be selling. In our case, you want to ask yourself: Do I truly believe in what TrueNorth sells and is it something I can be passionate about? If the answer is yes, then this relationship has already started on solid ground. You need to think about the organization that you are meeting with to start this process of answering these types of questions. Stay tuned for the next two articles on Sales Marriage!

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