Making sure that delegates have enough time to practice what they have learnt from you during a course whether it be the ‘Welcome Handshake’, ‘Dealing with Objections’, ‘Summarising the Call’, ‘Handling a Difficult Call’, ‘Chasing up an outstanding debt’ is absolutely vital to the long term confidence and success of that person, let alone the wider impact on the business and the customer.
Talking about what to do on the phone and how to say it is all well and good but it just doesn’t register enough to someone. And working in 3s with one person as ‘the caller’, one ‘the agent’ and one listening/observing and then giving feedback will not embed the learning enough. We can all receive quality feedback but in the case of TELEPHONE skills you need to hear the call back to completely register what you did well and what you need to work on during the next call. Then you take more ownership for what happened!
A trainer recently asked me how she could maximise the time the delegates had on an upcoming Telephone Sales course to practice. There are 12 in the group. These were my recommendations using the equipment:
* 6 are ‘callers’, 6 are ‘receivers’ – all have appropriate briefs on the scenario. 6 stay in the room, 6 go outside the room/next door each with their handset/headset
* When ready the callers ring the receivers so that EVERYONE is role-playing/practising that scenario all at the same time and each call is being recorded via the laptop provided
* Just like real life lots of buzz/people on the phones, and no-one waiting their turn
In this way, for example
- The call itself might take around 5 minutes
- Each pair then plays their own call down their phones and makes notes on how it went = 5 minutes
- The trainer then picks out one or two pairs to hear via the loudspeaker so that the group can learn from each other – this might take around 30 minutes in total
- = 40 minutes. In two hours, the trainer can do 3 role-plays, each time the delegate is building their confidence, knowledge and skills, ready to face these scenarios at work.
- And can be done in any room, anywhere, (just plug into a wall socket)
The trainer used this method and was staggered at the amount of things that came out of each role-play for the delegates (huge ‘lightbulb moments’), and the impact it had when they went back to their jobs in terms of increased confidence, first call resolution, more sales.
‘The difference it makes to the delegates is phenomenal. It provides me with tangible evidence of the improvements that delegates can make when we coach them through the ideal sales call. This embeds the learning and shows people how much they can achieve with practice. They can listen to themselves in a safe environment as many times as they like’