At the Big50 conference, Bryan Flanagan talked about creating and building a sales professional.
Kristen Speights At the Big50 conference, Bryan Flanagan talked about creating and building a sales professional.

In his dynamic presentation during the Remodeling Leadership Conference, speaker Bryan Flanagan of Flanagan Training Group used humor and memorable catch phrases to inspire attendees to use systems to improve sales presentations. Several attendees commented that the "stand-up comedy" approach was both amusing and educational. Flanagan said that working on sales systems will help remodelers survive during tough times. “Personality only carries you so far,” he said. “Having processes takes the pressure off the person.”

He offered these four stages of growth as a starting point for creating a training program:

  1. Unconsciously Incompetent
  2. Consciously Incompetent
  3. Consciously Competent
  4. Unconsciously Competent
Flanagan uses a volunteer from the audience who did not know how to thumb wrestle to demonstrate the four stages of growth. The volunteer started at the unconsciously incompetent stage. After Flanagan demonstrated the game, he quickly moved to consciously incompetent.
Kristen Speights Flanagan uses a volunteer from the audience who did not know how to thumb wrestle to demonstrate the four stages of growth. The volunteer started at the unconsciously incompetent stage. After Flanagan demonstrated the game, he quickly moved to consciously incompetent.

He says that the fourth stage is often innate for natural salespeople. It’s the stage that athletes call “the zone” when their instincts take over and allow them to perform without thinking. However, those who get to this stage without being taught find it difficult to teach others. Flanagan said it’s better to use processes to help salespeople reach this stage. He said the fourth stage should be the model, but that owners should coach from stages two and three: Consciously Incompetent and Consciously Competent.

Attendees at Flanagan's session enjoy a game of thumb wrestling and learn where they stand with the game when it comes to the stages of growth.
Kristen Speights Attendees at Flanagan's session enjoy a game of thumb wrestling and learn where they stand with the game when it comes to the stages of growth.

Since owners usually train sales staff, the company owners should create a chart with six to eight skills needed for sales success, then rate themselves on those skills using these four stages of growth. The chart will pinpoint where systems are needed. “If you do this, you have created a training program for your sales staff,” he said. Another way to improve sales systems, Flanagan said, is to think about the disconnection between what you sell and what your customers want. He asked attendees to list three products or services that they provide, and list three things that customers want. “If the services you provide do not match with the items your prospects want, your salespeople go to a house and show up and throw up. They are not selling what the homeowner wants,” he said.

As directed by Bryan Flanagan during his session, remodelers discuss their behavioral styles.
Kristen Speights As directed by Bryan Flanagan during his session, remodelers discuss their behavioral styles.

He said that the selling process is not complicated — the basic process boils down to just listening and explaining. “Find out their goals and give them a vehicle, the method or means, to reach their goals.” He advised remodelers not to reduce what they do to a commodity. “To make your business fit, make it value fit,” he said. “Don’t quote price until you have established value.”