Selling the Value
It was a wonderful day in the world of training. The sun was shining bright, and my learners were ready to engage in their learning experience with their favorite trainer (at least in my humble opinion). I could see the bright faces and sparkling eyes, ready to see how much fun I would be. They were ready for a dose of enterTrainment. All learners were waiting for me to introduce the content and do something like share some great news, teach a new skill, or provide a refresher, just to show them they “still got it.”
It started off well, and everyone was learning at a pace that I could foresee would allow me a little time for Q&A (which I love!). For a moment, I thought I was at a concert as their hands flew up, ready to answer questions as soon as I asked them. This was a perfect day for me as a trainer as I witnessed the transfer of knowledge in action!
I carefully but firmly made my way to the content portion of the training that covered customer service transfers to technical support. It historically was a touchy topic for customer service, as they had been painted by tech as the “agents who don’t want to troubleshoot.”
Let me clarify. There are two levels of support, Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 consists of what many see as basic troubleshooting, and is the responsibility of customer service. The common complaint from technical support is that they get these Tier 1 calls and end up “having to do the job” of customer service’s Tier 1 troubleshooting, along with their own job of Tier 2 troubleshooting.
My job was to deliver this unwelcome information, based on the proven statistics that customer service transfers calls to tech support. I was tasked with not only training agents on a new tool, but also informing them that this tool should be used entirely by customer service and would not constitute a transfer to technical support. I clearly told the agents, “This does not require a transfer to tech support.”
The sun immediately turned his back, wanting nothing to do with me, and the storm clouds made their grand entrance into my classroom. The learners’ eyes had this expression of “How could you?” And their body language screamed, “I don’t like where this is going.”
I had to do something…quick!
I immediately corrected my inner posture from a defensive posture, and leaned in to change the atmosphere. I posed a question, “How many of you have had a great call with a customer?”
Hands went up.
I went on, “How many of you got the customer to see things your way, because you built a great rapport, and then you had a Tier 2 issue and you had to hand it off to tech support?”
Everyone in the room raised their hand.
I explained how this tool would help them to resolve the customer’s issue while gaining credit for their hard work. I asked, “Why would you do all of that work and hand your survey off to someone else?”
They all looked confused. I proclaimed, “Get credit for your call! You are now empowered! Keep your survey, and pay yourself!”
And then, something happened… A light went off. I could hear, “Yeah,” and “I never thought of that” and “That’s a good point!” Immediately heads nodded as the learners looked at one another in agreement.
I had shifted their mindset with a simple, thought-provoking question. I took an unwanted conversation and explained how the tool was beneficial to the success of the call. I then dug in deep and showed them what their performance would look like when they hand off a call that they earned the right to get credit for. What credit you may ask? More than 20 percent of the learners’ customers take a survey at the end of the call, which accounts for 30 percent of their performance. That performance affects their pay, their schedule, and their overall ability to be promoted into another role. I sold the benefit of changing their behavior by speaking to this new mindset of call taking. As a result, the agents were open, ready, and willing to not only use the tool, but to engage with their customers with a sense of ownership, accountability, and willingness to see the customer to the end of the resolution on every call.
The What and the Why In anything you do, you must know the “what and the why”—meaning, it is important to know what you are presenting and the reason you are presenting that information. You must ask yourself some questions:
- What behavior am I encouraging?
- What skill am I training, coaching, or developing to?
- What message am I promoting?
- Who is this information going to benefit, and why?
If it is unwelcome information, how do we find the benefit, so we can shed light on what’s good about it? In order to sell the benefit, you must find value and believe in the product, service, or initiative you are presenting. Most importantly, you must believe in yourself and your ability to deliver results.
So let’s do an activity. Take a look around and find one thing you just don’t like about your environment. Now look at that same thing and find three things good about it. What is one benefit it can serve? Good job! You just found value! Value is not going to always show itself. Sometimes you have to work to find it. As long as you can identify the good in any situation, you can create an optimism that outshines opposition.
Today, I challenge you to change your mindset and evoke the power of positivity. Be fearless. Be confident. Find the benefit to your solution. Because only then will you see the value for yourself and be driven to sell the value with intent.
Joy Singfield started with Verizon Wireless in 2014 and has held various positions. She is currently a GOAL Trainer with Learning and Development, where she trains Technical Support, Customer Service, and Supervisors on new processes, soft skill techniques, and system development. She is a proud mom of two little girls ages 7 and 4 and enjoys teaching them the ethics of hard work and determination, mixed with a little fun and lots of laughter.