PARA Knows Best
Sales Training that's a Phone Call Away
By Natalie Hope McDonald
Don't tell her the dog ate your homework, because Tracy Verrall, trainer for PARA's Get Clients NOW! program, won't believe it. This native Canadian is heading the phone-based seminar program designed to improve marketing and sales on a case-by-case basis. The goal belongs to PARA, the industry organization that set out to tackle what's been described as an underserved inside sales market.
Based on C.J. Hayden's book by the same name, Get Clients NOW! is broken into several steps that involve teleconferences and independent work. According to Verrall, participants set their own goals. The phone calls and advice letting is designed to see them through those goals. In different cases, she says, a participant may want to generate more business, get more referrals or learn how to approach potential clients. "The majority of the people enrolled are outside sales reps on calls, as well as a fair amount of owners and managers in the custom division," says Verrall. "If they're on call, they're more accountable."
The author uses a cookbook approach designed to court new clients. According to Verrall, one of the most popular aspects of the program is teaching users how to develop their own marketing plans that can be customized with specific goals in mind, such as how many clients a professional wishes to grow within a time frame. Hayden's own company, Wings Business Coaching, specializes in working with business owners, self-employed professionals, and people in marketing and sales.
By the time a participant dials into a scheduled conference call, Verrall has already done plenty of her own homework to determine what participants and PARA leaders should be teamed. The plan is to get six to eight members of PARA on the phone in a conference call so that enrolled trainees can discuss business questions and concerns in a forum. Verrall stresses that it's one way of taking what's addressed in the book and making it practical. All participants are asked to purchase the book for about $15 in addition to paying a fee. For PARA members it's $199, for everyone else, $349, plus the cost of calls.