The Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) can be a hugely beneficial tool for the sales part of any business. It provides insight that enables sales to be increased through:-
- Developing an enhanced ability to ‘read’ clients quickly and effectively, and to understand the approach and type of information that any client requires in order to achieve a sale
- Enabling sales team members to understand the impact of their own natural style and approach with clients – when this will work, when it might not, and how to notice that and do something different so that personal style doesn’t impact negatively on the possibility of a sale
- Developing greater flexibility in sales style so that sales team members are able to treat each individual client in the way that they want to be treated – even if this isn’t the natural approach of the sales team member. This will increase the possibility of clients wanting to do business with you, because your approach is truly flexible
- A greater ability to spot when a situation may be heading towards difficulty or potential conflict, and to make changes that will bring it back on track and turn what could have become a lost opportunity in to a success story
- Practice at handling different types of client, and real feedback on individual style and approach in an environment that provides insight and challenge, but that is also supportive and fun!
It was previously reported in the Independent On Sunday that Jaguar cars had increased their sales conversions from one in seven to one in five as a direct result of training their sales force in the use of SDI.
Sales team members would complete an online SDI questionnaire in advance of attending the one day session.
The day would then begin with sales team members reflecting on what types of client they find it easy to make a sale with, the sorts of client they like to work with, the sorts of personalities or behaviours that they find more challenging and how they react to these. Sales team members will also share what they feel their strengths are and what approaches work for them when developing business for T-Systems.
Participants would then be introduced to the Relationship Awareness Theory that the SDI is based on and the concept that even though we know that we are not all the same, we often treat people how we want to be treated – which will only work for a small percentage of clients who happen to be similar to you! The ensuing discussion will address the implications therefore of having a ‘sales routine’ – a standard approach that you use with every client and that you rely on to work, and how your sales can be increased by increasing your awareness and flexibility, and developing a much more sophisticated and effective sales approach as a result.
We will also explore the fact that we often tell ourselves that we are much more aware and flexible than we really are!
Participants will be taken on a ‘trip around the SDI triangle’, to understand each motivational value system (each represented by a different colour). They will then plot their position on the triangle and will explore what their value system means in terms of how they are likely to come across when doing business as clients – their strengths and the way that they may inadvertently come across to clients who have a different value system from themselves.
An interactive session will then allow participants to explore how they pick up on a client’s ‘colour’ and what each colour needs as a client or a potential client in order to be motivated to do business.
In the afternoon, participants will take part in interactive sessions which involve them holding sales conversations with clients of different colours, practicing identifying the type of client they are dealing with, and applying the most appropriate approach in order to achieve the sale. Participants will receive individual coaching and feedback from each other and the facilitator so that they leave the day with complete clarity about:-
- What they do that works well and when to do this
- What they could do differently in order to increase their sales success, and how to do this in practice
For added impact, we would recommend working with an actor during this session, who can play the role of different clients with different value systems and work with the facilitator so that participants receive meaningful feedback and practice implementing this feedback immediately. The use of an actor increases the impact of the practice because it provides participants with the opportunity to work with someone who is completely objective and will react in ways that are incredibly realistic, whilst at the same time being experienced and skilled in stepping out of character in order to provide feedback that is clear, makes sense and can be acted upon.
All sessions will be highly interactive and engaging, and the practice sessions, whilst challenging at times, are also fun!