Why traditional sales training won’t work for Scottish Power

We have seen the news today that Scottish Power is being forced to pay customers £8.5M after a probe by OFGEM http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24620304

OFGEM said customers were misled during sales approaches due to Scottish Power’s failure to “adequately train and monitor” staff.

We are seeing an increasing number of issues like this in sales teams. Traditional sales training will focus on knowledge and skills for sellers. While knowledge and skills are extremely important when it comes to selling, we believe that there is another, arguably more important area to address: the behavioural approach.

Think about it for a minute, how often do you know what you should do, but for some reason avoid doing that thing?

It’s just the same with sellers’ approach to their customers. They very often know what to do, but, for some reason, they choose to do something else. “OFGEM’s investigation found no evidence of a strategy by Scottish Power to deliberately miss-sell to customers,” the energy regulator said in a statement.

So where does the breakdown in approach to selling happen?

It can quite often be the specific management approach, coupled with the behaviours of individuals and groups of sellers. Where they haven’t seen a soft-selling, ethical approach, the temptation is to cut corners and take a simple route to sale rather than adopting the right approach to build fantastic relationships with customers.
Where is the focus on the customer?  Where is the willingness to walk away from a sale where it puts a customer or a consumer in a worse place after the sale?

Sales often gets a bad name and with example like today’s news article we know and understand why. It’s time for more organisations to take a long hard look at their sales strategy and approach. It’s time to start encouraging our sales teams to focus on creating great outcomes for everyone they come in contact with. It’s time for more organisations to be focussed on delivering a great sales experience and interaction that leaves consumers or customers in a better position that when they first had contact with them.

We believe in creating an environment where your customers today will be your advocates tomorrow. Advocates who refer you to other potential customers, shout about how great your products and services are and will come back to you time and time again. The way to create this sustainable sales approach is simple: choose those behaviours that focus on your customer by delivering a great service and sale.

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