The old saying that “practice makes perfect” is often attributed to America’s second President, John Adams. Whether or not he was the first to lay claim to this idea, it is undoubtedly something that proves itself to someone willing to put in the necessary time and effort it takes to perfect something they are trying to learn.
Anyone who is involved in training or education knows the value that repetition brings to the learning process. The more you do something repetitively, the easier it becomes to make it a natural part of your thoughts and actions.
As managers, we need to reiterate the same process over and over when training our staff. By having them repeat the same verbiage and statements, using the same movements and actions that go along with what you are trying to teach them, they can learn how to imitate the action into perfection. This is a powerful tool for developing what is known as Muscle Memory Management.
One More Time!
The way you do this is to pick a topic you want your staff to learn and then follow a repetitive process of memorization. For instance, you may want to teach your people how to overcome the objection: “I want to go home and think about it.”
You first want to break them up into groups of five and be prepared to meet with them every day for 10 minutes. The first day you take each person in the group and have them share their response to the objection: “I want to go home and think about it.”
The idea is that the second person will do better than the first, and the third person will do better than the second and so on. Each time they do this, they will get better and better until they come up with the best response to that objection.
Using the same objection, repeat the exact same words and movements over and over every day for two or three weeks in a row. Do not move on to another topic but instead, use the same one every day over and over again. In this way, they can perfect this objection response through the process of repetition and Muscle Memory Management.
Just think how powerful it will be for your salespeople to have perfected this response so well that it is a natural process for them to respond to this objection in a reasonable and logical way that sounds natural to the customer. If you are a manager who does training, there is no better way to develop high-quality responses in your salespeople for the most common objections and obstacles presented by customers during the sales process.
Negative Muscle Memories
A long-running problem in the car sales business is that we have been teaching the same methods of pressure and manipulation for so long that our salespeople have developed negative muscle memories that are offensive to the new informed customers we deal with today.
If salespeople hold on to old ideas like buyers are liars or some such negative thinking, they will continue to view the sales process as a form of combat rather than an effort to serve customers as the valuable commodity they are. This will mean fewer sales, more dissatisfied customers and a continuation of the very processes that have caused us to have such a negative reputation in the public eye.
Because we have passed these negative sales techniques down for decades and many still continue to do things “the way they’ve always done it,” most of our salespeople still sell using some of these learned negative processes. By using repetition to create new verbal statements and techniques designed to inspire customers rather than intimidate them, we can reverse these offensive techniques and find better ways to earn our customers’ business through memorizing and using the right methods and verbiage.
Value of Repetition
The value of such training methods should not be underestimated. By the use of role-playing and repetitive practice techniques anyone can improve their abilities to respond consistently and persuasively to customers when they have objections that are based on unrealistic fears or past negative buying experiences.
Helping our customers achieve their purchasing goals is part of building a long-term loyal business relationship. Training your salespeople in these methods can be genuinely beneficial to the customer and can increase selling success at the same time. That is a good thing for both your company and your customers.