A year ago, Jim Wilcox had a new business, one employee besides himself, and a firm belief in the sales techniques he teaches. Since then, Wilcox & Associates’ client roster has more than doubled, allowing Wilcox to expand his team to include an associate partner and a director of customer care, as well as a second office located in South Bend.
“One of the things I love about this business,” says Wilcox, “is that we’re a product of our own product. We live it every day.”
His product is Sandler sales management and business development training—a nearly 50-year-old set of sales process improvement techniques that revolve around reinforcement-based behaviors and attitudes to help companies accelerate revenue generation. The training is not intended to rescue foundering organizations, but rather to help companies looking to reach the next level of professional excellence.
“It’s about growing companies and developing people,” emphasizes Wilcox.
Kelly Ambriole, director of customer care at Wilcox & Associates, is quick to note that Sandler training applies well beyond the traditional sales force. In fact, her primary role in the company is to focus on customer service training.
“Anybody on the front lines who makes contact with the customer can make or break a sale,” says Ambriole. “We help people understand the role they play and train them to think strategically to achieve results that drive top-line growth.”
Effective communication resides at the heart of it all. Essentially, Sandler training works to build rapport and level the conversational playing field between the salesperson and the prospect or client. Both are held accountable to a series of “upfront contracts” that define time, agenda and outcome. According to Ambriole, the concept is simple. “When you communicate effectively, everything else happens naturally,” she explains.
It is no coincidence that both Wilcox and his associate partner, Derek Laliberte, both started as clients of Sandler training. Their own experiences “doing the behaviors” (as they call it) led them to helping others realize the same success. More than a selling technique, they say it has become a lifestyle.
“I’ve fully incorporated it into all aspects of my life,” stresses Laliberte, “not just the sales side of it.”
Wilcox firmly believes that his company’s success is due to the fact that he and his team have been practicing the Sandler techniques themselves. “Success has come because we’re following what we’re teaching,” stresses Wilcox. “We’re immersed in it and the results are evident.”
Owner(s): Jim Wilcox
Address: 8211 W. Jefferson Blvd. Ste. 309 Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804
Phone: (574) 320-7360
Years in Business: 1
Number of Employees: 4
Products & Services: Classroom-based training for individuals, customized programs for organizations, executive briefings, competency and personality assessments for companies to assist in personnel development and team dynamics.