How To Build Lesson Plans For Your Prospects

Lesson plans aren't just for teachers. They're also incredibly helpful for sales professionals. While teachers and salespeople might perform distinctly different roles, they both must deliver information in a meaningful and helpful way. That's where lesson plans come in.

Mike Renahan, a staff writer for the HubSpot sales blog, says sales reps must provide context around the information they share in addition to teaching prospects about the features and capabilities of what they offer. Just as teachers develop lesson plans to educate their students, sales reps can build lesson plans to educate their prospects.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Renahan's tips for creating a teacher-modeled framework for your sales plan.

Declare a learning goal. When you call a prospect, what do you hope they take away from the conversation? The answer is your learning goal. Renahan says it's important for sales professionals to enter each meeting with a learning goal in mind. These goals could be helping your prospects understand your product offerings, how your offerings compare to a competitor's offerings, your service's ROI, or why one strategy is better than another.

Hone in on the important details. Teachers know the importance of not deluging their students with too much information all at once. Likewise, sales reps should focus on the key concepts and benefits they can provide. Renahan says that by doing this, you allow your prospects to latch on to crucial ideas regarding how your brand and product or service can support them. Before your next sales call, pause and consider the key points you want to make sure you get across to your prospects.

Include an assessment. When teachers give tests, they can see how much information their students are retaining. Sales reps can do the same—although not necessarily grilling prospects after a call or requiring them to write an essay. Instead, consider asking questions of your prospects to make sure they understand what you have told them.

Leave time for prospect questions. After you have asked some questions to gauge how well your prospects understand your offerings, let them ask questions. Is there anything they're not clear about? Now's the time to ensure they have the knowledge they need to move forward. Renahan says that just as teachers do not begin a new section or introduce a new topic before making sure students understand what they just discussed, sales reps should make sure to answer questions thoughtfully and thoroughly.

Ask for comments. Teachers want to make sure they deliver their material in a way that makes sense for their students. Sales reps can do the same by seeking feedback through customer surveys, post-meeting debriefs and questionnaires. By asking for comments, you can learn how to improve on future sales calls. For example, maybe you learn that you are speaking too quickly or not providing enough information about a certain aspect of your offerings.

You may not be in a classroom with a blackboard behind you. However, it's still your job to educate. Are you properly teaching your prospects about the value you bring and how you can help them? Consider thinking like a teacher and developing lesson plans for your sales calls.

Compiled Audrey Sellers

Source: Mike Renahan is a staff writer for HubSpot's sales blog.

filed under May 2020
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