Sales Assured V2.0

At the end of this training the sales person will understand the objectives of Sales Assured and understand their own obligations as a sales person to the customer

What will be covered

 

Module 1 – Overview of Sales Assured

Module 2 - Sales Assured Standards (including verification call standards module)

Module 3 - Breaches of Standards

Module 4 – Registration, Deregistration and Appeals

Module 5 – General and Summary

Overview

Sales Assured is:

A national initiative to ensure Sales agents/Contractors are recruited, trained and assessed in a consistent manner across industries – this helps to improve sales experiences for customers

A central Register of accredited Sales agents/Contractors where Sales agent/Contractor details and their history are stored (The Registry).

Standardised monitoring of Sales agent/Contractor behaviour such that a proven breach of the standards may result in disciplinary measures and deregistration of the Sales agent/Contractor for five years

Members may choose not to engage a Sales agent/Contractor who has been deregistered.

 

 

 

What does it mean?

Sales agents/Contractors who don’t comply with the standards will be disciplined and can be deregistered for 5 years – this means you may not be able to work for a Member of Sales Assured while you are deregistered

Even if a Sales agent/Contractor has left selling for a Member, and some time in the future it is found that you had a serious breach, you can be deregistered

Sales agents/Contractors who do the right thing can expect to make good quality sales and provide quality experiences for customers

Standardised sales behaviours apply across all members.

 

 

 

 

Benefits of the initiative for...............

Customers

Members

Customers will have greater confidence with face to face marketing

 

Reduced complaints means less costs in investigations and a better brand image

Sales agents/Contractors

ACCC

By following the standards and making good sales, you can be proud in helping customers make good choices and savings

Companies from many industries adopting the standards should reduce breaches of the Australian Consumer Law

What do customers need?

Consumers need to clearly understand what you are offering including the key terms and conditions

Consumers don’t always trust the information they receive. They dislike being approached by telesales and face to face marketers where high-pressure tactics can be used

Sometimes vulnerable customers may not be comfortable asking sales people to leave

You can help by ensuring you don’t use high-pressure sales tactics and you always abide by Do Not Knock notices. This applies to all customers.

Customers don’t always understand their consumer rights and protections

You can help by telling customers about the Sales Assured standards and by pointing out the rights of customers to make a complaint to the Company or relevant industry Ombudsman office (or Dept. of Fair Trading). You’ll find contact details on the Sales Assured marketing material you are asked to leave with customers.

Want to know more? See ACCC website for information from its “thanks, but no thanks” campaign. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0neRussp5H4

How do you get started?

By signing the Application for Provisional Registration form you agree to be part of the Sales Assured initiative and to abide by the Standards. You should make sure you read and understand the Terms and Conditions. If you have any questions, please see your Manager or Trainer

You need to provide proof of your identity and your address.

A representative from Urth Energy will need to sight your Drivers Licence. If you are completing the training online, then please provide a copy of your drivers licence when sending through the application.

You will start with an accreditation status of Provisional and will work with an Experienced Sales Assured accreditor then your accreditation status changes to Approved

 

What is the Register?

The Register is:

A comprehensive Register of all Sales agents/Contractors through a secure password protected web browser

Records key information including photo and other ID information

Allows Members to view your status as a Sales agent/Contractor

Sales agents/Contractors cannot be active in the field until they are registered

Formal assessments must be done prior to a Sales agent/Contractor meeting approved accreditation or an anniversary

Sales Assured logo affixed to ID Badge identifies Agents as being accredited and monitored

Accreditation Levels

Accreditation levels

Accreditation Status

Description

Duration of Status

Privileges

Provisional

Applies to new Sales agents/Contractors pending completion of training and passing the Competency Assessment Process.

Up to four weeks. The provisional status can be extended a further two weeks if required.

Can undertake Sales Activities under supervision by an Experienced Sales agent/Contractor after Off-job Training and Off-job Assessment have been successfully completed.

Can display SAL logo.

Approved

Sales agent/Contractor has passed a Formal Competency Assessment by an Assessor.

Sales agent/Contractor has passed an Annual Competency Assessment by an Assessor.

1 year.

Can undertake Sales Activities.

Can display SAL logo.

Development

Sales agent/Contractor has not passed a Formal Competency Assessment or has committed a Level 2 Breach of the Standards and is undergoing further training.

Up to 15 Business Days.

Can undertake Sales Activities under supervision by an Experienced Sales agent/Contractor.

Can display SAL logo.

Suspended

Sales agent/Contractor suspended from undertaking Sales Activities pending outcome of investigation and determination of a Deregistration Application as a result of an alleged Level 3 Breach of the Standards.

Up to 15 Business Days or until the Deregistration Application is finally determined.

The Suspension can be extended for a further 15 days where additional consideration is necessary.

May still be engaged by a Member to undertake Sales Activities but cannot display SAL logo.

Deregistered

Agent has been deregistered.

5 Years.

May still be engaged by a Member to undertake Sales Activities but cannot display SAL logo.

Inactive

Sales agent/Contractor on authorised leave.

Up to 3 Months.

Cannot display SAL logo.

Leaver

Sales agent/Contractor is no longer engaged by Member or is “Inactive” for more than 3 months.

Indefinite.

Cannot display SAL logo.

Impact of Complaints

Impacts of complaints

  • Individually, if you don’t follow the standards, you can be disciplined - including being deregistered
  • When a Member receives a complaint, they investigate what occurred and ensure the matter is resolved for the customer –calling the customer and calling other customers to check if they had any similar issues from the Sales agent/Contractor
  • Sometimes, the customer might be entitled to compensation for the Sales agent's/Contractor's error, so the company may have to pay money to the customer
  • If the complaint goes to the ombudsman’s office or a regulator, there are more requirements for investigation and reporting which impact the company. There can also be costs to be paid
  • Members invest in their brand and actions by Sales agents/Contractors can damage their brand
  • Continued bad sales practices by one or more Sales agents/Contractors also place the member at risk of attracting negative attention from the regulators, with the possibility of fines or more serious enforcement action, depending on the nature of the breach.

Impact of Complaints cont...

Impacts of complaints cont

Always do the right thing!

Make every sale a good sale.

There is a lot more at stake than whether you make a single sale!

Poor sales practices, or poor choices by you, can have consequences for the customer, for yourself, for your mates and for the Member

 

Standards of Behaviour - General

Sales agents/Contractors must:

be courteous and professional, honest, upfront and truthful

Do not provide the consumer with information that is misleading or deceptive. This is particularly important for information about:

Purpose of the visit

Potential savings

False assumptions about the product

Consumer’s rights and obligations (including any cooling off period)

 

Do not engage in unconscionable conduct

Ensure the consumer is capable of understanding if they are entering into a contract

Do not engage in the use of high pressure tactics (such as coercion or harassment)

Abide by any type of Do Not Knock or No Canvassing signs

 

 

Standards - Consumer Contact

STANDARD

WHAT THE STANDARD MEANS

Must only make sales calls during permitted hours which for door to door sales does not include:

Any time on a Sunday or public holiday

Any time before 9am on any other day; or any time after 6 pm on any other day (or 5pm if the other day is a Saturday) .

A Sales agent/Contractor cannot visit or make appointments outside of these times unless a prior appointment has been made by an independent person (not the Sales agent/Contractor)

 

EXCLUDES KIOSKS FOR THESE HOURS, HOWEVER, YOUR COMPANY MAY HAVE REQUIREMENTS ABOUT HOW FAR YOU CAN MOVE OUTSIDE OF THE KIOSK AREA, PLEASE ENSURE YOU COMPLY WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS

 

Respect notices which clearly state that sales activity is not allowed

 

 

Respect customer requests not to market

 

This is for both government issued and/or other types of stickers or notices and where the property is shown as not to knock on walksheet or territory plan. ANY AGENT WHO IGNORES ANY TYPE OF DO NOT KNOCK STICKER OR NOTICE OR INSTRUCTION ON WALKSHEET/TERRITORY PLAN RISKS DEREGISTRATION. If you realise there is a sticker after commencing the sale, apologise to the customer AND WALK AWAY. Do not continue to make the sale. If the customer wishes to proceed with the offer, they should be encouraged to contact the member by phone or online.

As soon as possible on making contact, identify yourself, the Member you represent and the reason you’re there.

 

You must not misrepresent yourself and you must state that the purpose of your visit is to seek the consumer’s agreement for the offer.

 

IT IS NEVER OKAY TO SAY YOU ARE REPRESENTING THE GOVERNMENT

The customer needs to clearly understand the purpose of the sales call and who you represent. The reason must include that you are talking to the consumer about taking up an offer.

 

Stick to the script you learn at training. It is not sufficient for example to say you are checking on eligibility for savings/discounts/on correct rate/getting all your rebates just so you can see a bill. You also cannot say you are not there to sell anything.

 

It must be explained to the customer upfront they would need to accept the agreement for the savings/discounts, etc.

Standards - Consumer Contact cont...

Produce an identity card which clearly displays the Member’s name, your name and photo, the business address of the Member and their contact details.

 

The Sales Assured logo and expiry date for the validity of the card must be clearly displayed on your ID Badge.

The identity badge must be current, it must be your own badge and it must be clearly visible.

 

If a customer asks you to leave marketing information behind about the offer, you must do so.

As per the Australian Consumer law, the sales agent must provide an Energy Price Fact Sheet. It is not acceptable to have run out of stock. (Alternatively, you may have arrangements for information to be emailed eg when using iPads)

 

Customer needs to understand that they can ask you to leave at any time.

You need to let the customer know upfront that they can ask you to leave. This must be done for every customer contact.

 

Immediately cease contact when the consumer asks you to leave or indicates that contact is inconvenient, unwelcome or inappropriate.

If you are asked to leave or the customer indicates in any way that the sales call is unwelcome….YOU MUST LEAVE.

 

If the consumer asks you to leave or indicates the sales call is unwelcome, record ‘no contact information’ and the date on the walk-sheet.

The law does not allow further contact with the consumer for 30 days after the request to cease the sales call was made.

Advise the consumer that you can not remain on their premise for more than one hour unless they consent for you to do so in writing. You must keep a record of this

Keep an eye on the time to ensure you are not staying over an hour.

Standards - Entering into a Contract

Standards – entering into a Contract

STANDARD

WHAT THE STANDARD MEANS

You must ascertain whether the person that is entering into the contract has authority to do so. This applies to both residential and business customers.

 

You cannot sign up anyone who does not have the authority. Must be over 18 and not appear to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs

Provide, in writing, before completing a contract the information about the cooling off period and the way a consumer can terminate the agreement

 

The cooling off period must be explained and provided in writing BEFORE the customer signs up.

 

The cooling off period MUST NOT be used as a sales pitch for pushing a hesitant customer to sign up on the basis that they can change their mind

Provide the consumer with the following essential information:

  • Customer must understand that they are entering into a contract if that is the case
    • All prices, charges, early termination fees, penalties, security deposits, service levels, concessions or rebates, billing and payment arrangements must be disclosed
    • All prices must include GST
    • The commencement date and duration of the contract
    • Consumer’s right to complain
    • That the Sales agent/Contractor may receive a commission or fee if the consumer enters into a contract.
The customer has to clearly understand this information.  It is your responsibility to ensure the customer understands the contract and its terms before consenting.  

Standards - Entering into a Contract cont....

You must provide the consumers with the following documentation:

  • A copy of the contract which contains the essential provisions of the terms of supply including the prices.
  • The right for a consumer to terminate the contract
  • A notice that may be used by the consumer to terminate the contract
  • The full name, ABN or ACN, address, email address, phone number and fax number of the member
  • The Sales agent's/Contractor's name, ID number and the marketer’s name, if employed by them on behalf of the Member
  • Information about the Member’s complaints handling process including details of the relevant ombudsman (or Dept of fair Trading) and;.

These must be provided to every customer who signs up.

 

 

 

 

 

Verification Call

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Termination fees

 

 

Explicit Informed Consent

You must complete a verification call for every sale. The customer must complete the call in person. You may not coach the customer or provide the customer with answers to the verification call questions.

 

Falsifying a verification call, coaching a customer or coercing a customer to make the verification call will lead to deregistration. Falsifying a verification call is fraud and is reportable to the Police.

 

Customer should check with current provider if any termination fees apply.

 

The customer needs to be able to provide Explicit Informed Consent and understand that they are changing their electricity retailer from their current provider to a new provider.

Explicit Informed Consent

 

  • The AER is concerned about the increasing number of energy retailers reporting that the have breached the Explicit informed Consent provisions of the National Energy Retail Law

 

  • Customers are to fully understand energy offers, and must have the ability to give valid consent to enter into energy plans. Considerations are: Age, Disability or literacy skills.

 

  • If in any doubt about a customers capacity to understand and make an informed decision, dealings with that customer should stop, and you should NOT enter them into an energy plan.

General Rules - Verification Calls

DO

  • Ensure that you have fully explained the offer to the customer before proceeding
  • Make sure the customer speaks sufficient English to be able to agree to the contract
  • Ensure the customer is authorised to enter into the contract
  • Explain the purpose of the call
  • Explain the kinds of questions the customer will be asked

**Urth Energy will conduct the verification call**

DON’T

  • Make the call on behalf of the customer (or get someone else to do it)
  • Coach the customer during the call

(your company may have rules such as that the telephone must not be on the speaker setting or that you may not be present during the call. Please follow any of the rules set by your organisation)

  • Write the answers down for the customer or indicate the answers to a customer (eg by nodding, shaking your head etc)
  • If a customer doesn’t speak sufficient English to understand the offer, DON’T proceed with the sale

Verification Calls

Verification call

  • A verification call is required to be made by the customer for every sale. This will be done by Urth Energy on Day 8 of the cooling off period.
  • The verification call ensures that the customer understands that they are entering into a contract, that they have a cooling off period, that they understand what will happen when they switch retailers.
  • It checks that the customer understands the offer and is giving their explicit informed consent
  • Coaching the customer during the call is not permitted (Level 3 breach)
  • Your verification calls will be checked from time to time as part of the Member’s quality assurance process
  • Verification call centre operators can report calls where they believe correct procedures may not have been followed.

Example of Level 1 Breaches

Level 1 Breach

Minor breach

Requires coaching or retraining

 

Examples of potential breaches:

Sales agent/Contractor did not display ID badge

failure to provide consumer with complete details of Sales Assured

information on walk sheets not properly completed

Sales agent/Contractor was flippant or rude to the consumer

Sales agent/Contractor misplaced consumer’s personal information

 

 

Example of Level 2 Breaches

Level 2 Breach

Serious or Persistent breach

Requires retraining and must change status in Register to “Development”

 

Examples of potential breaches:

Two level 1 breaches in the course of 3 consecutive months

only allowing the Consumer information if they sign a contract

misinforming, by genuine mistake, incorrect information about termination fees

promising, by genuine mistake, a discount that doesn’t apply

commenting inappropriately about another supplier or their prices or offers including early termination fees

Examples of Level 3 Breaches

Level 3 Breach

Wilful or Gross Misconduct

Agent is put on “Suspension” and a “Deregistration” application sent to CEO. CEO reviews evidence and deregisters the Agent if a proven breach.

Examples of potential breaches:

Two level 2 breaches in the course of 6 consecutive months

taking advantage of a consumer’s circumstances (unconscionable conduct)

intentionally misleading or deceptive conduct. Engages in gross or wilful misconduct.

Knowingly selling to a person not authorised to enter into a contract with you.

entering a consumer’s premise without permission

Ignoring a Do Not Knock notice

Privacy breaches

Coaching during a verification call

 

 

 

 

Investigating Breaches

If you have a level 3 breach (even after ceasing working for the Member), the Member will arrange for you to be marked as Suspended, will notify you that you are suspended while the investigation proceeds. The Member investigation can take up to 15 days and occasionally longer.

If the Member finds that you have committed the breach, they will notify you and send an application for your deregistration to Sales Assured

A breach can be discovered through the Member’s quality assurance checks – it does not need to be the result of a customer complaint

Sales Assured will conduct an investigation and advise within 10 days if you are to be deregistered or if the application is denied. If you have not provided a statement to the Member previously, Sales Assured will invite you to make a statement and give you five days to respond. This will be considered with the evidence provided by the Member

If you are deregistered by the CEO, you can appeal the decision to the Independent Panel member.

Remember that a number of Level 1 and Level 2 breaches can accumulate to a Level 3 breach

Deregistration and Appeal Process

To appeal a deregistration determination, the following steps should be taken:

The Notice of Appeal form needs to be completed and provided to the CEO within 10 days of the issue of the Deregistration Notice

  • Details of your appeal must be provided along with the form *
  • Your payment must be lodged with Sales Assured at the time the form is submitted. This fee is refundable only if your appeal is successful.

* An appeal shall be on one or more of the following grounds, but no other:

  • (a) the CEO’s discretion was not exercised reasonably;
    • (b) the Appellant was denied natural justice; or
    • (c) new and material evidence has come into the possession of the Appellant at a time such that it was not possible for the new and material evidence to be provided to the CEO for his or her consideration prior to the determination of the Complaint.

The CEO must refer the appeal to the Independent Panel Member for determination, within 5 Business Days of receiving the Notice of Appeal, and the Panel Member must determine the appeal within 10 Business Days of his receipt of the Notice of Appeal.

An Independent Panel will hear appeals from Agents if they have been deregistered. An agent can be deregistered to up to 5 years

Summary

Sales Assured aims to improve standards of face to face marketing - remember, any proven Level 3 breach can result in Deregistration

Ensure you understand the Sales Assured scheme and can inform customers

Always abide by Do Not Knock notices

Make sure you complete walk-sheets correctly

Clearly state the purpose of your visit

Make sure customers know they can ask you to leave and how they can make a complaint

Treat customers with respect, make sure they understand they have the right to say “No”

Don’t “cross the line” with your behaviour to make a sale

Don’t make things up – you could inadvertently mislead a customer. Be truthful and, if you don’t know, contact your manager

Make sure you understand your responsibilities and avoid activities which breach the standards