123rf30143061 know the players largeI was recently waiting for the approval of a government-sanctioned grant program that we used to finance a sales training – needing only to get the sales training scheduled and the flights and hotels booked – when I received a call followed up with an emailed spreadsheet that dissected and scrutinized our proposal.

[quotes]I thought to myself, what the %$#$&*![/quotes] The company’s leadership team had given their approval two months ago and now we had someone in the HR department wanting to renegotiate, comparing the previous year’s training proposal to the current one.

As I went through the line items on the spreadsheet over the phone with the HR guy, answering the questions that came up. He’d point to a cell, ask a question, and I would answer; then he’d pick another cell and ask about the data there.

This went on for what felt like ages, so I stopped him. [quotesright]I pointed out that it seemed that we were getting bogged down in the minutia, [/quotesright] the insignificant details of the price rather than the long-term gains and results that were achieved in the first year’s training.

I also pointed out that there was an increase in sales revenue and that one individual grew so much that it was noticed by one of the partners of the company: he saw a 180-degree change in this team member in fewer than two months.

That same account manager set a goal to revisit past prospects that he hadn’t any success with. On the Friday after our “Fire Hose” Sales Success Intensive training process, he had set a goal of getting one new client by applying what he had learned and communicating in a new way. [quotes]Actually, he met his goal of one sale on that first Friday, he actually doubled his goal.[/quotesright]

I talked about another account manager who was able to shave a year off his original plan to achieve his personal sales goals. Best of all, he got an order for 100 percent of the fee for a contract vs just 75 percent of the sale he had projected.

Once I pointed these out to HR and asked what was more important the pennies saved or the increased revenue and value gained, he said he would complete the grant application; the round of training is under way with similar types of results being achieved.

[quotes]I had a KWINK moment,[/quotes] Knowing What I Now Know, what would I do differently? In other words, what can I do the next time I am involved in an opportunity to provide sales training? I would make sure that I knew who the key people were, who was responsible for what, and who would make the financial decisions.

[quotesright]With that information, I would be in control of the opportunity.[/quotesright] In this case we would have been half way through training instead of just getting started and the client would have had their results sooner.

Take Aways:

Build these into your next proposal and make sure you don’t have someone at the last minute delay the deal that you thought you had sold.


  • Who is involved?
  • What is their role?
  • Are they an approver or an influencer?

In sales, life, and business, applying the Knowing What I Now Know (KWINK) formula will dramatically change your success.

KWINK – Knowing what I now know:

  • What will I stop doing?
  • What Will I start doing?
  • What will I continue doing?

by Coach Phil Gilkes