A small percentage of sales people are truly creative thinkers; below are some constructive ideas that may help.
It is probably safe to say that a relatively small percentage of sales people are truly creative thinkers. Assuming this is true what can we do to develop creative thinking in your sales team? Below are some constructive ideas that may help.
1. Management should encourage improvements on a daily basis. This might be concentrating on just one selling skill each week. At the end of each week assemble the sales team and bounce a few ideas and assess what the sales team had done differently and what effect did it have. Open up discussion on sales solutions and gather in suggestions on improvement and discuss and expand each idea.
2. Brainstorming sessions can help bring about sales solutions. Put up a board and encourage the sales team to suggest solutions to a particular problem. On the board put a recent sales problem. Take suggestions and challenge the team to come up with sales solutions. Brainstorming in a group can bring about sales solutions. Working in small teams can accelerate the process. Brainstorming sessions should be in smallish groups between five to ten sales people working together. Start by writing down the current sales problem. Have someone write down everyone’s answer. If you have five or more people try for 10 ideas. One of those ideas will contribute to solving a current problem.
3. Some organizations hold an ‘idea lottery’. This could be held in a number of different ways. Ideas could be put in a box and the sales person with the best sales solution could be rewarded with a small but worthwhile prize.
4. Let’s imagine you are unable to think of a reasonable reason to get back to a prospect that is likely to make a decision whether or not to buy one of your products. The answer is to reverse the question. The sales person should ask himself what reason would he give to avoid speaking to a sales person. It is probable all sorts of reason will come to him. Armed with this information the sales person should find a sales solution.
5. Consult an imaginary mentor. Try to imagine a top sales person, entrepreneur, or business director you know. Now imagine you’re sat at there table asking for advice. What would their suggestions be?
6. The use of mind maps are very useful for solving sales solutions. Use a blank piece of paper and jot down an image that typifies your sales problem and draw a circle around it. Now identify the best solutions and draw branches for each idea. Mark down descriptions along the branches and use sub branches to reflect related ideas. Pictures will demonstrate your thoughts and ideas. This will heighten your visual thinking which will help you come up with sales solutions. Use a different color pen for different ideas or to highlight your best ideas.
7. Try selecting a random word from a dictionary. The idea is to think about the word and how it might apply to your problem and a solution for your problem. This is an established tool for inspiring ideas and was thought up by a scientist Edward De Bono in his quest to improve lateral thinking.
The above ideas for finding sales solutions are far from exhaustive. Nevertheless, give them a try and see which is the most effective. Also incorporate some ideas of your own not mentioned here. It is hoped that with positive thinking some problems can be overcome with a little thought and creativity.
Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.