Planning a kick-off event or sales meeting? If you want to really engage your sales personnel, provide whiteboard selling skills and watch energy soar.

More and more sales departments are turning to whiteboard presenting and selling. Why? It works. Communicating at the whiteboard is a very low-cost way to produce dramatic results.

Recently I taught visual communication skills to a group of new sales reps. They were running fast to grasp new product knowledge, learn the ropes of selling, and understand interactive presenting. Guess what helped them in all three areas? Whiteboard skills.

In a fast-paced full-day training, these sales reps discovered what many expert presenters never understand. The power of interactive visual selling. After one day they emerged confident. They knew exactly how to present, draw and write at the whiteboard—while the audience watches.

Curious what they learned to wake up their story selling skills?

Here are six areas new reps needed to master. Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced pro, you may want to grab a pencil and paper to sketch out notes as you read.

1. Product knowledge
New reps need to understand the entire product line, upsells and cross sells. Plus, let’s face the biggest obstacle. Reps must know how to describe the product(s) in terms that make sense to the customer.

Why is this a big deal? Simple really. Eager reps want to impress their boss. They want to show off their knowledge. This often leads to over-emphasizing features. Enthusiastic reps start speaking in acronyms, jargon and insider lingo. They talk in terms that are meaningful to the company—and not to the client.

2. Sales cycle and process
If you’re fresh out of college and starting out, understanding the process of selling is critical. But, don’t stop if you’ve been selling for decades. There’s always something to learn and some new insight to gain about selling.

After you’ve been selling or involved in business transactions for years, it is very valuable to look at the selling process with fresh eyes.

3. On the spot interaction
Nothing is more important than the conversation. Interacting with clients, prospects and internal audiences is where you’ll start to see dynamic discussions and remarkable results.

If you have been avoiding interaction in order to stay to a precise script, it’s time to rethink the value of that choice. If interacting on the spot seems scary or risky, it only means one thing. You could use more resources, skills and training.

Fortunately, it is easier to develop expertise at interaction via online learning. Telling, showing and interacting are vital parts of being effective at the whiteboard.

4. Legible writing
Simply, people buy what they can understand. If they can’t even understand your writing, well…that’s a big obstacle. If you’re writing is illegible chicken scratch, leans heavily to one side, or is more vertical than horizontal—your lettering is working against you.

But good news here. With a few pointers, you can correct the most common problems in writing and help audiences understand your solutions.

5. Visual vocabulary
Much like speaking, selling at the whiteboard works best when you have a solid vocabulary. Only in this case, we’re talking about a visual vocabulary. These are icons, shapes and visual representations for concepts.

Don’t worry here. This doesn’t mean you need to go to school for a degree in cartooning or graphic arts. Most business concepts are simple to illustrate—especially when you have a cheat-sheet guide of frequently used concepts.

6. Visual frameworks
How should you organize your sales message? Many experts routinely do this in a single way: a list, a grid or a pie chart. But to master whiteboard selling, you need to be fully prepared.

If everyone of your team is always using a list…your clients will be very impressed when your competitor shows the same information as a drawing or metaphor. It won’t be that their solution or product is better—just that their sales staff presented things in a more engaging way.

Understanding visual frameworks may be the least used aspect of whiteboarding skills. That’s why visual frameworks unleash tremendous competitive advantage.

Arm your sales force with the most valuable skills in your next sales meeting or kick off event. Whiteboard selling training is the smartest decision to achieve an unstoppable competitive edge.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: