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Understanding Potential Barriers to Professional Development

Jeff Cochran

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Developing your workforce results in improved competence, production, and work satisfaction. It produces more well-rounded, experienced employees. However, some employees may be reluctant to take part in the training. Many widespread beliefs exist about training and development, which distorts your employees’ views and could lead to bad decisions. As the change agents in your company, your leaders need to understand these misconceptions, what truths they are founded on, and how best to educate your workforce and motivate them to take ownership of their training. Here are some of the most common training myths.

Employees Want to Separate Work from Personal Lives

Employers worry if their workers don’t have a strong work-life balance, stress and pressure will lead to burnout. However, instead of expecting to keep the two aspects of their life separate and distinct, people increasingly expect them to blend. Mobile devices and technology advances allow employees to stay connected to work when they’re at home and interact with family members when they’re at work. Instead of balancing, they juggle.

Research by IBM’s Kenexa shows workers are energized by tight deadlines and hard-to-reach goals. Stress increases, but so does engagement. The greater the challenge, the greater the personal satisfaction. Workers are willing to access training at work and during personal time, because it helps them meet their goals.

Employees Will Learn and Leave

Often employers feel if they invest in high-quality, engaging training, their high-potential employees will use that knowledge to negotiate a higher salary with a competitor. Employees are less likely to do so when they can put what they learned into practice. Create an environment where learning is prioritized then funneled into innovation.

Online Courses Are Easier Than Live Training

A common misconception about online learning is that employees can just click through without paying much attention. Employers worry they’ll pay for training that doesn’t result in employees learning critical skills. Online learning environments encourage engagement with sophisticated learning tools. They enable teams to collaborate in real time to assimilate knowledge and immediately put it into practice. Employers can access data on where employees struggled and what modules resulted in the most engagement to plan future training.

Training Participation Will Cost Sales

Businesses fear taking their corporate sales teams out of the field will result in losses, but training equips teams for even greater success. Research shows every dollar invested in training results in improved ongoing revenue. Even the most experienced salespeople can refine skills to stay ahead of the competition.

 

Transform Your Upselling with These Persuasion Tips

Jeff Cochran

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Upselling is popular in many industries – like a waiter encouraging a patron to have one more drink or an extra appetizer – it can persuade a customer to spend more, driving up sales. Upgrades and add-ons form a positive upsell strategy that build on a customer’s desire to have something better. However, this strategy can backfire if used at the wrong time or in the wrong way. Help your salesforce transform its upsell strategy with these industry tips.

Deliver More Value

Upsells often make a customer’s life easier. Your job is to help them see it. Sometimes products complement each other, so frame offers with the idea that the combination of items is worth even more than their individual value. For example, a customer who buys a camera gets more use out of it if he or she also buys a tripod, additional lenses, and a bigger memory card. When purchasing or developing products, plan for upselling by making choices that enhance the value of your current product or service.

Highlight Convenience

Instacart delivers groceries from local retailers, and TaskRabbit does things like yard work and furniture assembly because people just don’t have time to do it themselves – they’re willing to pay for convenience. Subscription services flourish for everything from meal preparation to underwear. Upsell additional products that make life more convenient.

Offer Incentives

Entice customers to spend a little more for a lot more value. While some stores offer free shipping across the board, most only give it to customers who order above a set dollar amount. Customers keep adding to their cart to gain the incentive.

Bundle Items to Increase Perceived Value

When customers add an item to their cart, major online retailers often show them items that are frequently bought with it, along with the price for the bundle. Cell phone companies package a phone, a case, a charger, and add-on items like virtual reality goggles; customers who would not normally purchase each item separately are attracted to the bundle. People often feel several items sold together are more valuable than they would be sold separately.

Use Scarcity

If there’s a limited quantity of the add-on you’re promoting, let customers know the available quantity. Boost sales with time-sensitive offers, low stock notifications, and last chance emails. If you provide a service, you can still use scarcity by advertising the limited number of customers to whom you are offering your services.

Shapiro Negotiations Institute implements training around your sales processes to maximize your team’s effectiveness. Contact us to learn more about sales optimization.

 

Keep a Salesforce Fresh with These New Trends in Sales Training

Jeff Cochran

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To stay ahead in the industry, you need a strong salesforce. To ensure you have this, you need a sales training program that will enable your workforce to adapt to the ever-changing markets. In the last decade, we witnessed a revolution in training, with e-learning and virtual reality providing the kind of force multipliers that transform workforce development with an eye on the future. Read on to learn how to take advantage of what the latest workforce training offers your company.

Sales Manager Enablement

A ship’s captain doesn’t just need a handful of willing sailors. He or she needs a ship, an ocean, a destination, cargo and working knowledge that adapts to any challenge to keep the ship on course. A sales manager captains the sales team, interacting with them every day to motivate, counsel and train. In many companies, they receive minimal training when they reach their position, but after that they’re on their own.

Manager enablement provides them with tools, resources and knowledge to be more successful. They develop existing skills and add new ones, like how to use analytics, successful hiring and presentation techniques, and more. Manager enablement allows them to accomplish performance KPIs like revenue plan attainment and win rates for ever-improving results.

Training Utilizes Augmented and Virtual Reality

As new equipment develops, companies are using virtual reality (VR) to expose new employees to real-world situations. Wal-Mart partnered with startup STRIVR to offer virtual reality training at 31 of its training academies, and expects to use it in all training facilities by the end of the year.

Oil companies have been using VR to train for oil rig positions, and hospitals use it to let physicians practice complex procedures. Job seekers use VR to bridge experience gaps and develop more marketable skills, and employers provide cost-effective training that keeps employees engaged for improved retention.

Companies Prioritize Teamwork

Industries across the board recognize teamwork makes them more competitive. More than 90% of companies place organizational design at the top of their priority list, restructuring to create high-performing teams. Teamwork training programs like workshops, seminars, and mentoring can turn individuals into an efficient unit with high levels of productivity.

Modern Learners Expect Modern Learning Experiences

With millennials making up over a third of the workforce, employers are embracing training methods they’re most comfortable with. High-quality, customized e-learning attracts millennial workers and keeps them productive and fulfilled.

Shapiro Negotiations Institute offers training, consulting, speakers, and e-learning. Contact us to find out how we can provide customized training solutions for your business.

What Their Body Is Saying While Negotiating

Jeff Cochran

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A negotiation begins before greetings or opening remarks – if you know what to look for. How each person carries his or her self, sits, and interacts with others can say more than all the words spoken during that meeting. Learning to read these signals gives insight into that person, information you can use to close the deal. From opened or closed postures to mimicry of motion, this negotiation training will show you how to bring that deal home.

Understanding Body Language

Albert Mehrabian, a renowned psychology professor at UCLA, concluded these three elements make up verbal communication:

  • Words
  • Voice tone
  • Nonverbal language

Mehrabian says each element accounts for a different percentage of the communication. Only 7% of what people say is verbal. Tone accounts for 38% of the meaning conveyed, and body language carries the other 55% of the message. The listener might say they accept what you’re telling them, but if their arms are crossed, they avoid eye contact and one leg is bouncing with impatience, their body language disagrees. Here are some of the ways the body transmits meaning.

Smiling

Smiling is a learned behavior. People smile because they’re being polite, because they’re nervous, or to mask uncertainty. A real smile goes all the way to the eyes, causing the corners to crinkle. If you suspect a smile is fake, ask for feedback. You shouldn’t fake smiling either, lest you appear untrustworthy.

Closed Body Language

During negotiations, if stakeholders cross their arms across their chest, it may indicate tension or resistance. It often means the person is not willing to be persuaded.

Fidgeting, Doodling or Slumping

At the beginning of your presentation, your audience was sitting up straight in their chairs with their eyes on you. If later you notice them moving restlessly in their chairs or shifting their focus to items on the table, they’re bored. Assess your delivery and find a way to reengage.

Mimicry

If you notice when you uncross your ankles, the person listening does the same, you know they feel a connection with what you’re saying. Nod to show agreement and you’ll notice they don’t just nod back, they actually feel agreement with what you’re saying. Mimicry is a natural behavior that improves negotiating success.

When reading body language, use common sense. Some people just have a hard time sitting still, others cross their arms when they’re cold. Look for groups of cues instead of just one at a time to read what your audience is feeling for more successful negotiations.