Effective sales training is like Weight Watchers. It’s not an event, it’s a process. Ineffective sales training can be compared to crash diets where you gain short term momentum, but the results cannot be sustained.
Think about it. Whenever people decide to lose weight quickly, it never seems to stick. Why? Because they didn’t alter their lifestyle. They relied on a short-term solution to get a long-term effect, and honestly, it never works.
The same is true for Sales Training, especially in a consultative sales environment. Consultative Selling is a philosophy – a corporate “lifestyle” – and it needs to be embraced by everybody within the organization, ideally from the top down, and bottom up.
People (especially adults) don’t learn in a day or two and changing our behavior takes a long time. Only if we apply and practice on a daily basis will we be able to change the way we eat, exercise, sell, you name it.
There are good dietary concepts available and also good sales training programs that last a day or two, but the challenge is to stick with it.
It is the constant application of best practices that will shift the way we do things.
Every single time we call on a prospect, we should do our research first and prepare to ask strategic questions.
Preparation is key. When we actually have an objective for every single call/meeting, we will be able to work toward a goal. We will also be able to gauge our success. If the goal for a call is to gain commitment for a follow-up step, then we will quickly discover if we met that objective.
Preparation is also important when it comes to lifestyle changes, such as weight loss. Having healthy foods available (whether it’s at home, in the office or on the go) is also part of preparation. It’s easier to reach into your purse and grab a bag of nuts than to be tempted to buy a hot dog on the street, because you feel starved.
The goal is to get to a point where what we do is deeply engrained in our thinking that it becomes second nature. I like to compare it to driving a car with stick-shift. As long as we think about shifting the gears, we are not able to pay attention to traffic, pedestrians, etc.
The lesson here is that you can teach an old dog new tricks, but only over time.
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