Having been successfully involved in Direct Sales Training in two industries over many years I know the need and importance of training salespeople. Training should be provided through inside training via classes and live calls in the field where the trainee is accompanied by a sales trainer or manager. Training in the classroom is good for instilling the Eight basic skills which are: 1) Attitude, where you are taught the essential mind set and people skills. 2) Motivation, the skill that will keep you selling despite the rejections. 3) Goals, why they are necessary and how to set them . 4) Time, your most precious commodity and how to make the best use of it. 5) Prospecting, identifying better prospects and getting referred to them. 6) Objections, how to make them work for you instead of against you. 7) Presentation skills that will make your sales flow to a natural close. 8) Marketing, making sure your clients continue to Know, Like, Trust and Refer you. 9) All these skills are best taught in the classroom where mistakes are less expensive.
Role playing where the salesperson plays the part of the prospect and another makes the presentation, with a trainer/manager observing, provides the person doing the selling with the opportunity to experience some of the tension involved in a real live situation. It also allows practice in building a coherent presentation. Learning how to frame questions in order to test if an objection is valid is also best learned in the classroom. All the standard objections can be taught before a salesperson ventures forth into the real world of commerce. Fluency in presenting the standard objections and dealing with them before the prospect raises them is a valuble skill that will ease the flow of the sale to a natural close and avoids the harsh impact of using rebuttals. Training in the field is useful for ‘advanced sales training’. It is best done in two phases. In the first phase the trainer should demonstrate the whole proceedure of the Direct sale in front of real prospects. The trainee is just an observer. After each of these sales the trainer should review the actual event and explain how each element of the presentation came into play. In the second phase of the training the Salesperson makes the presentation with the trainer as the observer. Once again a critical review by the trainer is important, both to point out the errors or ommissions made by the salesperson and also to provide support and encouragment which is essential in the early days of the training process. Training should be a continuous process, because as salespeople progress they learn new methods and ideas. The gathering of the sales team for an exchange of ideas can speed up the learning process for the newer members. This works on the following basis. You enter the meeting with a new idea that has been successful for you You share that idea with the team. Other members also share ideas that have helped them. You leave the meeting with your own idea still intact, plus one or more new ideas you have learned from the other members. This is a win-win situation which I have seen working with great results in sales meetings , sales seminars and annual sales conventions.
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