Self gratification

In this instance I suspect that ‘self gratification’ means something different to what you are thinking.

It doesn’t happen very often that a trainer gets to see his (or her) work actually come to fruition.  But last week I was in the lucky position to see just that.

You see, a franchisee from Edinburgh recently graduated from one of our training courses.  We’ve stayed in touch since the course and he seemed to be doing pretty well, building a business and making a few sales.

But, lo and behold, we recently felt the need of this guy’s services in our office,

I couldn’t believe how nervous I was waiting for our colleague to arrive to talk through what we needed and I don’t know why it was that I felt that way.  Actually, yes I do.  It was a test of our training programme and the sales process we teach.  After all, if he could sell to me, he could sell to anyone.

The moment arrived and the meeting started.

What a relief.  It all worked.  Our colleague spent a few minutes building rapport before exploring our needs.  He then went on to explain why we should buy from him, before giving us a price and asking for the business.

It was text book.

And half way through I forgot that this was someone who had been on a course with us.  In fact, I forgot that we were in any kind of sales process.  It felt natural and not at all as though we were being flogged anything at all.

Ah, I hear you ask.  But did you buy anything?

Well, actually, yes we did.  Our colleague came up with some very sensible suggestions based very much on the needs he had explored just a few minutes earlier and we went for them.

All of this is well and good, but it meant a lot to me.  It meant that the process we teach works.  (Something we always knew, but it’s always good to have your convictions confirmed).  It also meant that people (or at least a person) was listening and applying what he learned.

After the sales meeting I asked our colleague (and now our supplier, too) how he had found the meeting.  ‘Terrifying’, said he.  ‘I knew it had to be done by the book and I was determined to make sure I did it as you taught.’

‘Ah,’ says I.  ‘So you’d usually do it differently, would you?’

‘No, no.  I always do it that way, but if I did it the way you taught us and you didn’t buy from me, my confidence would have taken a real knock.’

Responsibility, it would seem, is a double edged sword.

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