Sales training Begins with The Dummy Curve

Say you’re good at something, and you need to get even better. You research, practice, and work at it. But, rather than getting better, you get worse.

I’ve seen this happen many times. It is the demoralizing impact of working hard and not getting the results to show for it.

It is what happens with lots of the salespeople we employ at FringeSport. We employ them because they have a record of sales success. We then train and accommodate them to the FringeSport manner of selling.

And they get worse.

They eventually become way better, however. But they must confront”The Dummy Curve” first.

…they must confront”The Dummy Curve”…

As it applies to selling, The Dummy Curve claims that lots of untrained employees have a basic ability to close sales. However, since they work on their technique (hopefully with a trainer ), the dollar volume of sales frequently goes down. As soon as they keep at it, practicing methodology, their earnings skill goes up, far beyond where they began. This is The Dummy Curve.

To put it differently, you begin with a moderate-to-high ability at something. You work at becoming better and, paradoxically, your skill temporarily decreases. But if you keep at it, your skill more than recovers.

The issue with The Dummy Curve is that salespeople want results — today. You see your earnings declining, even as you are working harder. It can be demoralizing. It’s easy to abandon the new methodology and revert to your old habits. But if you abandon too early, you are not likely to reap the gigantic rewards or gains which are often inevitable.

We utilize the Sandler sales methodology in FringeSport. The majority of the salespeople we employ are not Sandler-trained. Many have not heard of it.

We put them through a boot camp with Marketplace Sense, a Sandler coach here in Austin. And they fulfill The Dummy Curve.

The trick is to educate salespeople about The Dummy Curve until they encounter it. Then, as soon as they experience the down side effects, we explain how their earnings will improve on the opposite side.

Until then, however, they are often tempted to depart the instruction, or even quit. After all, the system doesn’t appear to work. It has made them less powerful. However, the training pays off in time.

I visit The Dummy Curve in several facets of life when learning a new skill.

We apply it in FringeSport once we present new technologies . Often a new technology makes matters worse, slower, or more complex — in the start. It can stall the execution procedure. However, with time and effort, you float through. You achieve substantial gains in productivity.

So how can we train salespeople at FringeSport? We reverse much of what they believe they know. It contributes to The Dummy Curve and then to new heights of success.

Most ecommerce business owners aren’t internet experts. We rely on service providers to direct us. Very similar to hiring accountants and attorneys, we frequently use ecommerce consultants and developers to assist with our online shop.

But can we trust them?

Unfortunately it’s not always easy to distinguish the cowboys from individuals who have your company’s best interest in mind. So-called experts try to bamboozle us into their way of thinking. It can cost us money andworse, seriously damage our business.

It may cost us money andworse,…

Free advice

I recently read arguments in forums concerning the best ecommerce platform. Two self-appointed”specialists” stood out. One argued passionately for custom, bespoke coding for making the most effective system. Such a system, he claimed, could minimize the use of machine tools and are lightning-fast. And by being bespoke, the system could just match a company’s needs.

Then he proceeded to reject WooCommerce and WordPress, stating that they had been poorly designed databases, not in any way suitable for ecommerce, and liable to be slowed by poor extensions. He suggested that if you had to use a content management system, Magento was better since it was created for ecommerce.

Another”pro” also rubbished WordPress for the exact reasons. He then stated that the obvious solution was a headless CMS using a front end like React, Angular, or Vue.js. Such a system, he wrote, may be made to match the requirements better.

These arguments are, by themselves, accurate. They are hard to refute particularly for a non-expert. But they miss the point.

The proposed solutions will likely be costly, which the”experts” had no issue with. But is the additional expense worth it? A very simple site using WooCommerce on WordPress may be put up for a fraction of the cost. To be certain, it will be less effective and possibly cover only 90 percent of their business’s requirements.

The actual question is which option is better for the organization.

Converting visitors

For the company, what matters is getting traffic to the site and converting them to clients. The fact that the website may require a little extra processing power, or take one extra second to load, is probably immaterial.

It’s so easy to trust consultants and accept their proposed solution is right. The secret is to ignore their rationale and develop realistic solutions. What do you actually want the system to perform?

Additionally it is a good idea to take a look at a consultant’s portfolios. What have they done for other merchants? I looked up the portfolio of both forum posters and wasn’t impressed.

The man who suggested a custom bespoke platform had one notable example, a driving instructor. The teacher had a four-page website marketing his driving school and prices. It was an appealing, static website — well designed, fast to load, and nothing fancy to divert the visitor. Very good content.

Nevertheless looking under the hood was a different story. The website used Magento! A enormous overkill. The website would have been easy to install using just HTML — no PHP, no database, no JavaScript. But that could have been much cheaper to construct. And much more economical to host. I question whether the programmer had the client’s interests in mind.

Another”expert” had no portfolio — all hat and no cattle, so to speak.

So the next time you hear a self-professed expert rubbish a solution and explain why it is bad, be skeptical. Has that person asked what is important for you and your company? In his list of recommended attributes, is there anything left when you’ve crossed out things that don’t affect customers? How much does it cost to get over his recommendation?

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