At Carew International, we fully expect participants from our training programs to come away with insights, skills, methodologies and processes that dramatically improve their sales performance in the field. But there is an additional take away with great potential to boost sales effectiveness: the power of experiential learning.

Carew has always been committed to providing participants with a unique and memorable experience in our training programs, not just because it makes the training experience more enjoyable, but because it greatly improves the impact of the training. Experiential learning addresses a variety of learning styles and resonates in a way that the mere sharing of information could never do. Ben Franklin hit the nail on the head when he said,

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

The power of the experience also applies to our customers and our sales process. If we tell them the benefits of our products and services, they will forget; teach them and they learn. But if we can provide a memorable experience relative to our offerings and involve the customer in the process, our likelihood of success soars. That is why product demonstrations have always been a powerful selling tool. It's perhaps the purest form of a purchase experience.

Many of us sell products and services that do not lend themselves to demonstration, particularly one that fits in the context of a single sales call. That's when we need to get creative and look for ways to create an experience for the customer, if not directly related to your product or service, then related to doing business with you and your company. An athletic shoe manufacturer might take clients to the New York Marathon to experience their products in action. Part of that experience could also include going to a Yankees' game or dinner at a terrific NYC restaurant. On a smaller scale, the experience could include bringing clients to view your manufacturing facility, taking in a ball game in your local market, or any activity related to an interest or passion of your customer or which sheds light on the culture and commitment of your company.

When it comes to turning the sales process into a positive customer experience, the possibilities are endless. One thing is certain: creating a positive experience for your customers also creates an immediate competitive advantage for you.