Hello and thank you for visiting my blog.
What does it take to succeed?
How does a star athlete become a star? Why have some people improved their skills more rapidly than others?
Since I was young I have played a lot of sports. I was on the Swedish youth baseball team, I played floorball, soccer, hockey, badminton, kung fu and tai chi.
Every week I would have between 5-10 practices. Before school, after school, during school.
When I was done in school and decided to focus on making myself a career in sales; I got no practice.
Often we draw parallels between sports and sales. It is the same mentality, the same hard work. The same need for practice!
But we don’t often practice sales. Mostly we just play games (to draw a parallel of my own).
My first year of sales was all about reinventing the wheel, I learned, on my own, things that the seasoned salesmen already new. But there was no way for me to get to know it without discovering it myself.
My second year I had reached a level where I commanded the respect of other salesmen and could start asking our senior salesmen about what they did that I didn’t.
I learned a lot!
When I become a sales manager I decided that I would do things differently. No longer would my salesmen have to make it all up themselves. I knew a lot and what I didn’t know, others did.
The last few years we have been trying a lot of different things at my firm and it is a tough balance between wasting sales time and utilizing skill to become more effective in the future.
What I have found that fits me, my department and our industry, it is daily training.
Everyday we run each salesman quickly through a few hoops, have them work on arguments, closing techniques and so on. Important is that it doesn’t get to theoretical. The daily practice is about working on techniques and getting real time feedback.
Once a week though we run a 1-2 hour workshop. On the workshops we do more theoretical things, discussing the sales process, people can get feedback on questions and problems they have had and so on.
If they want to improve more they can practice at home, something most of them do. Most of our salesmen will each day after work practice between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
So far it has really worked and our salesmen are reaching new heights and our new recruits are reaching great numbers in a short period of time.
But what do you do if you (like me) don’t get sales training from the company you work for?
Luckily, there is a lot you can do.
First of all, you have my blog!
To be honest you can do a lot more. There are books you can read. A lot of very smart people have written a lot of very good books on the subject of sales.
One I can recommend is “The Sweet Spot”, it is great if you want to learn more about customer insights. Read more about it in a earlier post I wrote Putting Yourself In Your Customers Shoes.
Take a look at sites like www.amazon.com and see if they have any book that interests you.
You can also find lots of sales training programs, both over the internet and at different educational institutes.
Educational videos or audio coaching might also be alternatives.
Or maybe a seminar or two.
It is all about investing in your own skill. I wrote about it in an earlier article: Invest In Yourself Your Most Important Financial Asset
The more you do and the more you practice, the better you will become.
Just the fact that you are here, reading my blog, getting my tips, is a step in the right direction. Use this in conjunction with other educational sources and you will find that you quickly will improve and when you have and you colleagues or even your bosses ask you how you have improved so fast, you can tell them about the value of sales training. Giving you the chance to get even more training at work.
Good luck to you!
At your business, how do you train? Is it like most sales companies (very little) or do you have a good program?