As a CEO, one of your most valuable assets is your staff—especially when you sell a service.  And the sharper your staff is, the more successful your business will be.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… and it probably has a face, a name, and two legs.  In other words, there are members of your staff that do what you expect of them, but you wouldn’t necessarily let them lose in the wild.  They’re sharp enough, and, in essence, a neutral third party that neither hurts nor helps the success of your business.

This doesn’t have to be the case, though.  If you teach your employees how to build up the following two skills, you’ll start to notice a definite change in how your prospects perceive you and how your current clients promote you.

Can each of your employees successfully pitch your product?

Go around your office and ask each of your employees to sell you on your product in 60 seconds or less.  You might be surprised to learn that many of your employees won’t be able to do this.  They might even add a few new features to your existing product base.  And be prepared—the spiel will definitely get messier the further down the org chart you travel.

It’s important to take steps to make sure everyone—from the receptionist to the account manager to the helpdesk—can accurately and successfully pitch your product.  This will involve work, time, and maybe even a little money, but the outcome will be well worth the effort.  A simple idea would be to schedule an employee lunch on a quarterly basis to discuss your existing product base—what’s new, what’s out, and what’s coming up.

When each of your employees know the ins and outs of your product, they can add substantially more value to your business—both on and off the clock.  It can be something as simple as telling someone about what they do.  Suddenly, “I’m a receptionist” morphs into, “I’m a receptionist for a really cool company that specializes in data backup and disaster recovery…”  This skill can also be useful if they get stuck selling your product in 60 seconds or less to a bonafide prospect.

Can each of your employees back up their opinions with facts?

This skill is a little harder to teach, and at this point, you might not even have the ability to do this.  But if you can somehow teach your employees to speak more with facts and less with opinions, your current clients will forever appreciate you and your potential clients will definitely respect you.

Teaching this skill starts with the previous skill—knowing your business and responding to clients with hardcore facts. However, there’s much more to this than just your product.  Does your staff know SLAs?  Does your staff know which job duties belong to which people?  Do your employees know how to direct internal and external complaints based on the given org chart?

In this case, the more your employees know about the overall structure and the baseline processes of your business, the more they can react to clients, vendors, partners, and staff members with confidence.  And what does all this do for your business?  It makes you look more professional than your competition.