Training inexperienced salespeople can be difficult. So Richard Cucco, chief operating officer of Camadon Inc., a $25-million seller of fax machines and copiers in Pewaukee, Wis., invites customers or prospective customers into training classes to talk about how purchasing decisions are made. Some keys to a successful session: trainees prepare their questions in advance, and everyone remembers the meeting will not be used for selling.
What customers have to say has great credibility with students. And customers tend to be flattered by the company's interest. "They're talking about themselves for an hour and a half, which everybody likes to do," says Cucco.