Sales training for everyone who touches the customers

Everyone who works for a sales and service organization will eventually have some contact with clients or prospects. So everyone needs the confidence to present your business professionally in a way that will assist the sales process of the official sales team.

When running sales training I always suggest we invite,  anyone who wishes to consider a career move to selling. After the sales audit is complete we may choose a few to invite as well.

As an example of some of this content and an introduction to my sales style, you are welcome to download the first component of my sales training series. This first session is the broad view of selling and is not specific to any industry. All in-house training is fully tailored to your industry with industry-specific examples, techniques and tools.

I believe as sales staff we are not selling something ‘to’ people, rather that we are assisting people as they make decisions. In real estate, we are helping them with an incredibly important decision so the process is even more difficult to do well. If as salespeople we understand how people make decisions we are able to help them in a way that will make the most sense to each person we met rather than just repeatedly giving out information about our offering, leaving them to make sense of it themselves.

Most sales training is only focused on how we word our information or the ‘pitch’. Some courses even teach ‘magic’ words or phrases that they claim will improve your sales performance. As an example, you may have heard trainers’ advice we refer to the price as the ‘investment’. But this all assumes that every prospect has the same existing knowledge of your product/service and that they are all looking for exactly the same thing for exactly the same reason.

I have a degree in Psychology, providing sales training since 1994, and have merged my knowledge of practical selling with how the human brain makes stable decisions. Starting from understanding why they are searching for this product or service and on the journey to that decision they currently are before introducing your solution. To do this the salesperson needs thoroughly know about the role of emotions, especially fear, in the decision process and how to build trust before a decision is possible.

The first session, which I suggest everyone attends focuses on how the brain works and what our role in that is when we are selling. The following sessions use that decision model in situation-specific contexts.

To create a training schedule tailored to your business anywhere in the English-speaking world please email me at

Places I have trained include Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Canada and the US.

How we make decisions and the effect of fear in building trust

Finding your way through the decision maze.


No age limit for SIP

Question: Is it okay for a 15 year old to complete a SIP?

Answer: There are no age components in the Sales Inventory Profile or SIP.

SIP will give you as accurate a result regardless of how much experience in the business world you have, including none. The test has been developed to a middle level of English comprehensive so a native English speaking 12 year old will be able to fully understand the questions.

I asked my family and friends with teenage children to do the test some years ago when we were validating it before the launch in 2008 and so I know it works for teenagers. The legal age for working is, I believe, 14 and ¾ years, so again a 15 is ok. I don’t think there is anything on the SIP site that specifies age limitations. We do ask for their birthday as a way to validate their identify but it is not used in any way for the calculations. I don’t tell my clients to think about the age as such when considering people for job applications, rather the life circumstance of the individual and how that impacts their ability to perform your job.

I encourage our clients to offer the program to all local high schools and TAFEs (or any other full time school institutions in your area) whether they are themselves hiring or not as a community service for free. The process includes the families to come to your office to pick up the reports in person so we can verify their identity and we are not releasing reports to the wrong person or allowing them to be read by others.

I suggest you staple a ‘with complements’ style page with your branding over my report as this document will most likely end up in being saved in the house for years as the kids finish school and start applying for jobs.

Want to know more about SIP? Watch our short video or learn more about SIP’s Value and Advantage, a video on SIP Reporting or have a look at our pricing list here.

Einstein’s Theory of Selling

I love this quote from Einstein:

Everything is Energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not Philosophy. This is Physics.

Long before he and many other Physics Scientists proved this to be the truth and said so in public, we have known this to be intrinsically true because…well  it is true. It has become part of our consciousness long before anybody was able to articulate it quite so elegantly.

We know it as affinity or being able to relate to each other and being on each other’s wavelength. If you’re on somebody’s wavelength, you’re intuitively able to connect with them and understand them. There are lots of great phrases from the past such as “Walk a mile in my shoes” that tell us it’s important to be in sync with somebody.

How does this relate to selling?

Certainly, there is a very special definitive level of energy required for people to make purchases and sales buying decisions. A Sales person needs to be able to bring a prospect to that level of energy first before they start to close or for the prospect to be confident to buy. If a customer is confident and clear about what they’re doing then they will proceed with the sale and make a decision without having second thoughts and withdrawing later.

But if your prospect is confused, fearful and anxious or just nervous, they will resist making any decisions.  If you, the sales person is able to force a decision in that moment, maybe because of some extraordinary technique or external circumstances are forcing them to act faster than their abilities to confidently choose, that decision will be unstable. That customer will withdraw from the sale as soon as the circumstance, or the sales person, has changed. This is why many legal contracts now have a seven day ‘cooling off’ period.

In order to bring a customer to a level of confidence and clarity, there are lots of great sales processes to be followed. But any salesperson who attempts to close a prospect where that particular clarity or energy level isn’t present will in fact be creating more grief than it’s worth for themselves.

Using Einstein’s Theory of Energy, selling then becomes a process of ‘energy matching’ starting with recognition of the prospect’s level of certainty or uncertainty at the start of the sales conversation and effectively leading the client to the confident energy state required for buying.  As Einstein said, when you help your client “match the frequency of the reality (confidence) you want and you cannot help but get that reality (sale).”

Considering a career in sales?

You must read this article and check out what Eliza, our sales team member has to say about changing from being a Business Analyst to a Business Development Manager

What If the grass really were greener on the Other Side?

Should you be in Sales?

Have you ever looked around you at work and thought; Why am I doing so much for so little money whilst those folk in the Sales Department seem to do nothing and are raking it in? I think we have all wondered why sales people make so much more than the rest of us.

The reason is simple.

They bring money into the business and for that we are all grateful.

But their lot is not as easy as it looks from the outside. As a salesperson they get to have their emotional systems battered for a living. For every ‘yes’ they get they have to hear 9 ‘no’s’ and those no’s are not usually polite, reasonable ones. Those folk get battered. So why do they do it? Is it just the money?

May it’s the money; maybe it’s the thrill of the chase. Maybe it’s a lifelong need for…?? Who knows why they do it really! It is obvious though that only for a small number of people is this continuous rejection acceptable. What’s worse they seem to be having a ball at it despite the rejection. How is that possible?

Some people are well suited to the selling process and for whatever reason are really able to manage the rejection part of it.

Could this be you?

You don’t want to give up a reasonable and ultimately, safe pay packet to free fall from the dizzy heights of the selling cliff. Selling is a death or glory business. Those that can get loads of money and glory and those that cannot die a rapid death emotionally and ultimately, financially.

Now there is a safe and accurate way to work out if you could sell before you actually take up a Sales job.

It’s called SIP.

That stands for Sales Inventory Profile. It’s a questionnaire that is looking to see if you have the attributes that are needed to succeed in selling. It’s based on a well researched pool of attributes that all successful sales people have.

If you knew you had enough of these attributes then the initial struggle to establish yourself in selling would be well worth it?

Sure it would.

Firstly, we all expect a ‘training’ or an ‘apprentice’ period in a new job. Plus if you really were suited to selling then you have that unknown reason for accepting immediate rejection and thus failure for ultimate success. That means you’d survive being useless at it while you learn the ropes. If your new boss knew you had what it takes, they would survive you being useless for the apprenticeship period while you got fully into it.

Watch this interview with one of our Sales team members on her sales career journey





In the pale yellow row above all the candidates is a series of headings e.g.:

App Status    SP    Sc    Name    Exp. (years)    Industry     Report/Date

SP: this is their SIP Sales Potential Category 1 to 4, ie what sort of sales role are they suited to. We think this is the first issue to consider when short- listing candidates; what sort of sales person are/will they be?

Your SIP representative will also work with you to further define the category preference for your role to a specific score range. Contact


Consider in more detail the candidates who fall within your preferred Category and scoring range.

Have a look at their Report, and /or Details from the blue bar next to their name.

Report is their Comprehensive SIP Report, download or read online.

Details will tell you basic information like; name, where they live, contact details, experience, DOB etc.



  • Good candidates: mark as BOLD and send Interview Request email
  • After you interview a candidate mark them as Interviewed and write your thoughts in the Notes section
  • Unsuccessful candidates: send them a Send Sorry email
  • Candidates you are not sure about: leave as Standard and send Pending email


You need to get them off the list so you don’t waste your time. Here’s what to do to deal with people you don’t want to interview:

  1. Send them a SORRY email to notify them they are not on your short-list.
  • Click on the box next to the candidate (far left just before the empty App Status column) or to select them all click on the box to the left of App Status in the pale yellow row. Now all the candidates should be selected with a tick next to them.
  • Then select the Select Bulk Actions drop down box at the top of the page and select Send Sorry Email, then next to it select Do Action. Change subject headline to identify your business e.g. Sales Career at XYZ.
  • Then click Send. You have now advised all the Archived Candidates they have been unsuccessful.
  1. Mark them as ARCHIVED to remove them for your current view.
  • Click on the box next to the Candidate (far left just before the empty App Status column) or select all the candidates by clicking the Select All button on the immediate left of App Status in the pale yellow row above all the candidates.
  • Then select Select Bulk Actions drop down box at the top of the page and select Mark as Archived, then next to it select Do Action. After a few seconds all these unwanted candidates will have been removed from your Active Candidate list.
  • If you need to view them again for any reason select the blue Show Archived and in a few seconds the page will refresh, if you scroll down you will find a box called Archived Candidates.



Send them a REQUEST FOR INTERVIEW email, so that they ring you to organise a suitable time to meet them in person

  • Click on the box next to the candidate (far left just before the empty App Status column) or select multiple candidates.
  • Then select Select Bulk Actions drop down box at the top of the page and select Mark as Favourite, then next to it select Do Action. In a few seconds all these candidate(s) will be Bolded to stand out so you can find them quickly.


  • Just leave them until you are. They are not Bolded (strong candidate) and they are not yet in the Archived Candidates (candidates you don’t want).
  • Get back to candidates at least within 7 days of them applying. If you are not sure within that period they are most likely not suitable, better to wait even if it means advertising again then waste time of candidates who already don’t look good.


Send them a PENDING message.

Either click the box left of their name or if you want to communicate with the entire Active Candidates list click the Select All button on the immediate left of App Status in the pale yellow row above all the candidates.

Once selected click on Select Bulk Action from the drop down box. Select Send Pending Email Select Do Action

The message headline for the email defaults to your account name and you can over type this if you prefer, then select Send

Now all the candidates know they are still under consideration. This is important as many employers DON’T communicate with candidates very well, this creates bad will and they will apply for other jobs even if they preferred to wait to hear about yours!


Should you need to move anyone from Archived to Active Candidates simply:

  • Select Bulk Actions from the drop down box at the top of the page and select Mark as Standard, and then next to it select Do Action.


What to do: Writing Notes on our site in the tab labelled ‘notes’ on the name row for each candidate.

Every email sent from our site is automatically copied in here, I suggest you copy any replies you get into here and delete them from your email system.

All summaries by a SIP staff member will be written in here and you will receive an email letting you when it’s ready.

I suggest you also put into here:

  • Any emails you get from candidates directly to your email system into here and delete them from your email system.
  • Notes on when they are due for an interview, were they punctual etc.
  • Notes on your thoughts on them following the interview.
  • Other information or communications (eg by phone) you have about this candidate, like feedback from referee’s


Everything to do with this candidate is in one place FOREVER, this can be important for legal reasons as well as making things simpler on the way through the recruitment process.

Everyone on the recruitment project can see where you are up to (other relevant managers, the SIP support staff, your HR manager, your biz partner etc) and we won’t have to chase you if any of us need to pitch in and help like if you are away etc.


There are two ways to keep track of this.

  • Look in the Notes in the Blue Bar. Here are all the messages you have sent.
  • Under App Status there are codes that tell you what the last action was with this candidate. The codes are:
  • ISSUE: They need to do the test again. Most likely because they didn’t finish it.
  • CUS: You sent them a custom message of your own, perhaps asking for more information
  • PEND: Let them know they are still in the running.
  • REJ: They have been unsuccessful and are no longer being considered for your role
  • INT: Interview
  • CV: Resume
  • REQ: Request


By selecting Search either inside your PRK (group of candidates) or at the top of the page you can customise your search criteria e.g. show me anyone who took the test between certain dates, like two weeks ago, or people that speak Chinese in Hurstville etc.

Once you have entered your criteria click Search then Close at the bottom of the Pink Search page. Any candidates meeting your search will be displayed.


When you wish to return all candidates after you complete the Search, click on the Blue Show All at the top of the page.


The system has provided candidates the option to upload both a résumé and cover letter. If they have done this then the tabs on the row with their names will show the words résumé and cover letter in red type.

If the candidate has uploaded a RÉSUMÉ this can be downloaded by selecting RÉSUMÉ in the blue tabs.

Do not be discouraged if they do not have a resume. Some of the best candidates for your role way not have a resume written for good reason and you don’t want to wait for them to do this and apply for other jobs where they will be taken seriously.

Also some of the worst sales people have magnificent resumes full of interesting details (sometimes true even) well formatted and spelled checked.

Relying on resumes is not necessary to short-list your candidate and action their application, that is bring them in for an interview.

Cold calling still the leading light in new business sales

Real estate agents are not earning enough. Despite the real estate industry having some of the highest income earners in the country only a small number of real estate agents earn over $250,000 per year.With some many offices around the country why are there so few individuals at this level of personal success? Is it really that the way we do business has changed so much that our old ways do not work and we are yet to find our feet in the brave new economy?

A common path to success that has worked for years is cold calling. The question is whether this tried and true approach is still appropriate in today’s web-based sales world. A new study from the Keller Center at Baylor University reaches some interesting conclusions about this important issue.

The details of the study

“134 agents from 10 different geographic areas were divided into two groups. Each group was asked to set aside a different hour each day, for seven days to make cold calls. They used the same script and were asked to record the results of their calls in an on-line form so that the data could be collected in real time. For this study, cold calling was defined as dialing random numbers, from a certain farm area not previously marketed to by the agent. The result was 14 hours of lead generation over 14 days.”

The goal of the study

“The goal was to determine if cold calling as a baseline lead generation activity – cold meaning no experience, no contacts, no database, no marketing, no listings, and no ‘just-solds’ – would generate appointments for agents.”

The Results

71.6 % of all calls failed to reach a live person.
28.4% the agent did connect with a live person with the following results,

  • 14.8 % said they weren’t interested,
  • 2.1 % the agent to call back later.
  • 11.3% agreed to either an appointment or gave a referral
  • It took 208 calls (including all the wrong numbers and no answers)  to get an appointment or referral.

This means for every 60 people the agent actually reached, the agent would either receive a referral or schedule an appointment.

Conclusions from the results

1. If an agent can make 50 calls per hour, speaking with 15 people, it will take them approximately 6 hours to achieve one appointment.

2. Anecdotal evidence of conversion rate suggests a 2-to-1 appointment to closing (listing) ratio. That means for every 12 hours of calls, an agent can expect to achieve 1 listing.

Who can do it?

By the time the sample agents had spent 11 hours cold calling, all 134 had quit calling. Yet the data showed that it takes 12 hours of cold calling to generate a closed deal. In other words, the agents quit one hour short of reaching the 12-hour revenue generating goal.

What does this mean for you and your business?

The conversion ratios from the Baylor study show that 12 hours of cold calling consistently yields one listing. Or if you want to close one listing a week that’s 144 minutes, just on 2 hours, of prospecting a day, 5 days a week.

Is It Worth the Price?

The Baylor study concludes with this important point: “Spending 3 hours a day, cold calling, Monday through Friday can potentially yield $290,063 in total commissions in a year.” This is based on a single listing being worth $4,800 to the agent.

The question it would seem to be; are you willing to work 12 hours a week on the phone to make almost $250,000 personal income.  The answer for most agents is “No.”

But the research from own study of sales ability in Australia is that it is not a question of being willing to cold call but rather; ‘Are you able to Cold Call?’.

The assumption in this study was all sales people are equally able and that they simply  don’t have the inner fortitude. The assumption is if they just showed a bit more backbone or energy or ‘millionaire mindset’ or changed something easy within themselves then they really could do it. They just don’t want to make the extra effort. The assumption is we can change ourselves, or our staff, into effective prospectors with just a little more effort.

So we have focused our attention on hiring staff who want the money in the hope they will want to make the effort. But what if no amount of ‘wanting’ can make the difference when they simple are not suited to it.

As we discussed in a previous article Are your staff to scared to cold call, less than 15 % of people no matter how willing, how well trained or how well managed still CANNOT.

The issue then is not whether cold calling works but whether the individual can cold call. That’s something our Sales IQ Inventory can answer for you and your team.

More on calling:  Are your staff too scared to cold call?

But are your staff too scared to cold call?

Can Sales Managers change sales results in their staff?

I absolutely disagree that managing people differently will yield significantly different performances. They either have it or they don’t and most people who take on sales roles are earnestly trying their best, so bullying them or bribing them with awards, or tricking them with team activities into more sales results does not work.

If there is a sales person who has it in them, but they are still under-performing, then there are a few very different causes and these need to be addressed differently to allow the person to sell more.

1. Lack of skill – Category 1 i.e. the pure Hunters will eventually work it out without training but while they work it out they will make mistakes which cost them sales and your office it’s reputation. The other selling style staff will always need to be taught how best to sell a particular product before they are able to start selling alone. While selling capacity comes naturally to SIP selected people the process needs to be taught for that capacity to translate into skills and therefore sales.

Sales Management Solution:

a. Training in the specific selling techniques that suit your industry and product

b. Time to practice. This varies between industries. As an example in real estate the average learning time to translate knowledge into effective skills is two years

2. Lack of motivation – even with the very best attributed and trained sales people  they need to WANT THE MONEY. Selling takes energy and if you don’t need the money, even if you could make more, you won’t bother to exert themselves to the level required for sustained success. If they don’t want the money they need their own highly demanding reason to succeed and we (as managers and coaches) cannot give them a reason (i.e. externally set goals). It must be something they really want for themselves.

Sales Management Solution:

a. Help them identify real highly personal reasons to excel

3. Lack of available energy – people’s attention is distracted or energy can be consumed by other issues in their life (divorce, illness and even hobbies) that simply don’t leave them enough juice in the tank to fuel their selling activities. Selling cannot be done well by anyone as an afterthought or secondary focus. This is why  so called ‘selling rock stars’ lose their mojo. I’ve heard so many stories of sales people who ‘used’ to be good. If they really were any good but are mediocre or poor now then there must be something in their lives now that is consuming their energy.

Sales Management Solution:

a. Wait for the external issue to be resolved (or very significantly reduced)

b. Help them manage the external issue better. This is a very low yield solution even with a professional Coach or Psychologist.

c. Consider managing them out of the business. Your energy as a manager can be better spent

For more information on Sales Training, check out our blog here

Sales staff who can ‘Hit The Ground Running’ are bad for your business

staff running

There is a belief in the corporate sales world that to hire sales staff who are capable of “hitting the ground running” is a good idea. I’d like to suggest that it’s bad for your business.  Having staff who, the moment they turn up or really soon thereafter, are out there doing their thing without you and without any clear directions, training or preparation is actually detrimental.  Why is this? Well consider this, staff that are capable of ‘hitting the ground running’, without pre-existing product knowledge are also usually capable of creating or choosing outcome.

es that are not in your company’s best interest, because it ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ and they have the confidence to act alone.

To have the courage to perform alone in an environment where you don’t have all the facts and you don’t have all the answers and you haven’t rehearsed or seen in action the practicalities and details of various alternatives, means that you’re going to go with what seems like a good idea on the day.  The sales rep who is capable of picking up the phone, ‘having a go’ and has good energy for prospecting and creating new opportunities, needs to be well armed before they start.

If you’ve managed to hire such a person, that person is precious and rare, and there are very few of them in the world as a percentage.  If you have one, you need to prepare them.  They need to have the entire product knowledge ready at their disposal.  So, spend a month or two, or depending upon the technical complexity of your product, 3 to 4 months, training that person, teaching that person, having them sit quietly on the corner of another person’s sales call learning; what sort of answers to give, what sort of questions that they will need to ask, and sorts of answers that other reps who do know the product and who have had correct industry experience in your products, will come up with. Don’t leave your company’s sales success resting on what the new person with enthusiasm and energy, bravery and courage is capable of thinking up on the spot.

Sales people who are capable of going out and prospecting, winging it and improvising, are great for new business roles.  They are the sort that every company wants and I encourage you to use the Sales Inventory Profile (SIP) recruitment process to locate yourself some of those people.  But I don’t encourage you to set them free without product knowledge and practise because the ramifications of that is that they will make way more mistakes as they will engage in way more opportunities than the other sorts of reps who need more help and haven’t started without the training.  Sales staff that can’t possibly start without preparation will do very little for you in the first 6 months, but they will do it correctly and precisely later on.

The net effect might be marginally better for the new business style person in terms of closed business, but the bloodshed, for both your clients and for them, could be huge.  If these are prospects and not existing clients, you might never know what the ramifications for the prospects were and by the time anybody else thinks to call on them, if you’re lucky, it would be well and truly forgotten.

The greatest damage to your firm is the effect on your new sales person, as they are much scarcer than prospects in most industries.

The consequences for your sales person who is being demoralised and defeated and denied success regularly at the beginning of their career with you, could be huge in terms of their energy to persist and stay in your business. If you lose this person you haven’t just lost 2 or 5 or even 20 sales in the early stages, but have lost 5 years of on-target sales.

Your new person isn’t going to say “Well, I am an awful sales person and therefore, I should stop selling.”  They are going to say “This product is useless” or “My manager is useless.” Or even worse “My company is useless.” They will be saying to this to themselves to make themselves feel better and to everyone who will listen.  Not only might they give up early on and find themselves a new job, and you have lost somebody really good, but they will project that negative energy during their sales calls before they leave you and long after when talking to others about their old job.

There is a period between when they are all enthusiastic, they are willing to do the job, they are happy to go out, make new clients and they have no fear…all before that point of dissolution and defeat.  So, you need to catch them while they are still fresh and enthusiastic and keen, and teach them well. Teach them about your product, teach them about your industry, teach them the subtleties of closing your sale so that they make only a few mistakes, close a lot of business for you, and feel fabulous about themselves.

So if you think you’re up for having new business reps who really can sell, who really can prospect, who really can hustle, I’d like to encourage you to contact me, Maya Saric at Corporate Coach (0407 005 290) and use the Sales Inventory Profile (SIP) system to recruit some of those people for your team.

For more articles on sales staff and training: Why your receptionist may be your next sales star…