I am often asked what sets CES apart from other energy sales companies. This is a very easy question for me to answer. It’s a one-word-answer. However, you most likely will not believe me if I tell you what that word is. So I’m going to give you a bit of CES history before I blurt it out so that you can begin to understand why the answer to that question is so simple and true.
Let me go over a few things that lead me down an interesting trail—a trail that has lead this company to unprecedented success even during hard economic times.
One day about 10 or 11 years ago, I was noticing that we had a few real gems working for us. Out of about 130 employees, we had less than 5 sales reps that could consistently produce high numbers. If one of them was out for a few days, we were really scrambling to keep sales in the range they needed to be. It could be very stressful financially if two of these sales reps were out at the same time!
I found myself repeatedly wishing that I could clone these guys. But everyone knows that in this industry it’s a numbers game. You just keep hiring people, keep that revolving back door open for when they don’t work out, and inevitably, once in a while you find one of those real gems.
Yes, everyone knows that’s how it’s done. You just have to trust the Fates, rub your lucky rabbit’s foot once in a while and think the right thoughts…
Anyone who knows me knows I’m not the kind of guy to carry around a lucky rabbit’s foot—I prefer to be at the top of my game and make things happen. But how could I make something happen in this arena?
Then it hit me! Well, why can’t I clone them?
This question started me down a path that lead to where we are today. But there have been many milestones along the way. And that first milestone was realizing I could clone them, or at least clone what they know and do.
My son had a research company and I decided to hire him. I had him come in and interview each of these 5 successful sales reps—thoroughly. We found out exactly what they did, how they did it, how they talked to customers, how they got people interested, what did they write in their notes, basically we found out how they did EVERYTHING.
And when we compared the successful actions of those 5 different reps, some things they ALL did began to emerge.
It was at this point we developed our first draft of a sales training program that was based on this research.
Right, wrong, or indifferent, what happened after that was interesting! As soon as we started putting other sales reps through this “training program,” the huge flow of unsuccessful failures going out that revolving back door began to slow down. New employees were catching on faster. Older employees were taking this training, using it and their numbers were going up. And we created a few more “gems.” Consequently CES’s overall numbers were going up. But we didn’t stop there.
This was only the beginning—the beginning of something big—the development of our unique training program at CES.
Yes, there is a one-word answer to the question, what sets CES apart from other Energy Sales Companies? That word is:
I would even make the claim that today our training program has evolved into the best in the industry!
Some of you may hear that answer and experience some skepticism because there is little debate that companies should invest in their people by offering job training and other educational opportunities. In the Energy Industry that’s another “everyone knows,” “duh,” kind of “answer” to the problems connected with finding those sales reps that can consistently produce. The ones who magically appear out of nowhere after you’ve hired and fired a couple hundred people…
Some business owners view training of employees as an expense. Smart business owners who use effective training methods view it as an investment. I am definitely a member of that second group of business owners. And our training is effective!
Any training program has to pass that timeless litmus test; did the training really work, produce long-lasting results, and raise the level of production? In our industry the question is, did the training produce more sales people who can close more deals?
And if you dare to dream, you also ask, can our training program train people who don’t know the industry and perhaps are the ones you’d normally see going through the revolving back door after they are hired and fail miserably?
Our early training program has evolved into a full-fledged course we call The Master Closer Course, The Fundamentals of Sales. We did a few case studies along the way. Here are the results from the final case study. Out of nearly 200 sales reps we randomly chose 25 to pilot The Master Closer Course. This included some of the best and worst salespeople and everything in between. We took their number of deals closed 4 weeks before their training and 4 weeks after they completed the training. After finishing their training, collectively, these 25 people went from 775 closed deals in 4 weeks to 1,737 closed deals in 4 weeks. 100% of the people increased their numbers! The average increase in individual production was 226%!
These results were spectacular! An effective training program SHOULD produce results—increased production that is measurable! Here’s an actual graph of befores and afters in this test group.
Economies have always relied on the sales person to keep business flowing. Without effective, honest sales people who are out helping solve others’ problems and filling their needs with products and services, the business world would collapse. Every industry needs great, ethical sales people and no amount of marketing efforts can ever replace this human element.
If people aren’t properly trained to sell, they will not enjoy it. They will dislike the whole activity, including other sales people. They may even resort to high-pressure tactics, further giving the sales activity a bad name. If people learn how to sell the right way, they will be successful at it. We have proven that at CES.
The people we have graduated from this course have taken their sales skills and increased their own production. That increased individual production rolls up hill—the company’s production has gone to highest ever ranges even in a down economy. Here’s what one employee recently said:
“People always said I was a good salesman. But I could never get it quite right. Now I know why—lack of training. I am succeeding now with the training at CES.” –M.M.
And here’s another one:
“The training and knowledge I got from the Master Closer Course is second to none and amazing. But it can be used in more ways than just energy sales. The positiveness, confidence and knowledge we gain from this training program can be used in all of life. This course has motivated me to want to learn again. I haven’t felt this way since High School. Thanks for everything.” –R.S.