When I signed up for Strategic Selling, I had no idea if I was going to walk away with any treasured nuggets of information. Skeptical? Yes! It was online after-all, and after a long day at the office, I wasn’t sure how engaged I could be with staring at a screen. That, coupled with my usual saying, “I have always been more of a face to face, in-class learner,” I really had not set the bar very high for myself.
What happened, and why should you care?
Three weeks later, I will say that I have thoroughly enjoyed this class and the online format was engaging. Having an invested instructor is critical. This went a long way in keeping me and I am sure many others engaged. Continuing Education classes are hard for all involved as it is on top of everything else. Instructors who find that extra gas in the tank to organize activities knowing that very few will either find the time, or have the time to attend must be disheartening. So those who do it, should be applauded and celebrated. It really is what got me over the finish line. Knowing that I am tired, but someone else is cheering for us all.
I skipped class, but thank goodness for technology!
I could not make the live zoom meeting; however, I did watch the recording and walked away, shaking my head over these stats:
· 75% of the time customers should talk, and salespeople should be listening
· 80% of successful sales takes at least five followup calls after the first meeting
· 44% of salespeople give up after the first followup call
Videos are an essential tool to add to our sales kit
The other thing that I enjoyed in this class, was the wide range of videos used to illustrate various points. The differing styles offered something for everyone’s taste. I think that it was a meaningful way to hold such a wide range of students’ interest levels. We all love Matthew McConaughey — need I say more. But the other video that I have already watch more than twice (that’s all I need to say) I Simon Sinek’s, start with why. It resonates and I know as I try to guide our leadership and sales team this video will do a far better job in explaining than I ever could.
It takes a village… or an online community
The thought of reading and posting intelligent comments online for marks did not have me jumping for glee. I thought I would struggle with the mountain of content to read. Like Jillian said, sometimes I get bored/overwhelmed when there is too much text (yay infographics). I found myself looking forward to reading the posts as I enjoyed the level of commitment to the various topics and discussions. I always appreciate throwing out my view and having others care enough to give another perspective that I can ponder…. So thank you all for that. Our online community was truly very smart, engaging and a pleasure to learn from.
Final thoughts and learnings
What was reinforced for me in this class is that anything worth doing has to be done well. In what will be known as ‘The COVID age’ we all need to work a little harder to reach our customers. Prospecting, profiling, followup, finding the right way to engage, is what it takes to be successful at sales. This is a LONG process, but the investment will reap worthwhile rewards. In the marketing role that I have, success comes when a concept is painstakingly thought through well past execution. This online course taught me that technology is available, let’s use it and include it in places that we wouldn’t usually find it. Examples of this were using Zoom, more frequently as well as the introduction of Medium as a place to step up our assignment game.
Time, planning and learning as we go, is what Sales, Marketing and Online learning have in common.
Robin.Guest lecturer, presenting at U of C Continuing Education, Summer 2020 Strategic Selling class.
Sinek, Simon. [TED]. (2009). Start with why — how great leaders inspire action. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/rrkrvAUbU9Y