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My Favorite Sales Training Complaint


Thu Aug 01 2013

My Favorite Sales Training Complaint

This is post #2 in the Ultimate Selling Skills series. For post 1 Click here

Perhaps you are thinking, “I don’t have time to train a whole selling system!” If so, Mr. or Ms. Complainer, you have arrived at the right blog post.


Here are the top three training modules, in terms of importance for your team.

  1. Refuse to chase poor prospects. As early as possible in your relationship with a buyer, you need a list of criteria to match that buyer to determine if she is a “perfect prospect.” By asking specific questions, you and the buyer can identify whether you should be working together.

These potent questions cover such issues as money, timeframe to purchase, criteria for purchasing, knowing all the decision makers, and more. These questions will keep you from wasting time, energy, money, and time (uh, that wasn’t repeated by accident—try to get time back you’ve lost – you can’t). So, this is your “Qualifying and Disqualifying” training module. 

  1. Show agility in adjusting how your sales pros sell, depending on each buyer. Recent research on cognitive psychology reveals that people are motivated to make decisions by either attaining good things and goals (the benefits or GAIN buyer), or they are motivated to eliminate problems in the present or future (the problem solver or PAIN buyer). So those of us who grew up with the benefits-based sales have seen the advent the past 20 years of the pain-based selling approach. We now know each strategy works, as long as you use them with the buyer who is motivated properly.

A common question (thankfully, not a complaint) when people hear this  is, “What about presenting to a team or multiple decision makers?” Then you have to adopt both approaches, mixing your language and literature choices to reach both buyer types. I love this because it’s just two things to know—much less complex than things like DISC, Myers Briggs, and so forth. You get the picture.

  1. Recognize that opening is more critical than closing. In my training, this module is called “One Great Opening Is Worth 10,000 Closes (because if you don’t open well you’ll never get close to the close).” Here’s why this is important to you. How many times have you gotten to the end of a buyer meeting, a good buyer meeting, and they said “Great, get back to me next week. I need to talk to X or review your numbers or whatever.” And when you call, they are missing in action…no return calls. No response to your emails.

This is because sellers too often don’t set great outcomes at the start of their sales conversations. So, they get to the end and no outcome comes of it. In other words, there’s no guarantee of a happy ending—you’ve figured out that selling isn’t like a fairy tale. This technique helps you take change of the buyer/seller dialogue, in order to help that buyer agree how you two will work together in order to know if we’ll partner or walk away. 

These are your three training modules. I’d teach one at a time, and have your team show proof that they’re applying these tactics for a month (or even two) before moving on to the next. They’ll then get great at what matters most. But wait there’s more!


Bonus complaint eliminator (okay, there are really four things that are critical): Build an objection-handling tool in order to reduce, even eliminate, resistance from buyers. We’ll give you the details on that after the next post, Weird Sales Training Experience.

So, you can focus on improving sales team performance, one training module at a time. And you don’t really need a selling system the length of a freight train in order to get your people to sell well. However, you should have a complete selling system crafted for your company. As eventually, you’ll want your sales pros to attain excellence in every step of the selling process.

Could it be time to design or re-design your sales training? Then invest two days with my and your peers in Chicago, in September for the ASTD Ultimate Selling Skills experience. Details here: http://astd.org/salesworkshop

ASTD’s Ultimate Selling Skills: Creating a High-Impact Sales Training Program

What Does Every Sales Team Really Need?


The key to high-performing sales teams is selling skills. Every organization knows this, but how many of them have the training in place to make sure each salesperson can consistently meet their goals? How do you make sure that your training fits for your team?

This workshop’s approach is critical to creating selling skills programs that drive consistent sales team success. You’ll learn more about 10 critical selling skills your team needs to know, and how you can quickly design training material for each of them.

Who Should Attend?

This workshop is best for sales trainers, sales managers, and anyone who is tasked with designing and/or delivering sales training.

What’s In It for You?

  • Build a foundational training program that uses 10 key selling skills your team needs to know.

  • Leave with fresh ideas, potent techniques, demonstrated best practices, and actionable takeaways.

Receive a complimentary copy of Dan Seidman’s book, The Ultimate Guide to Sales Training.

For more information and to register visit http://astd.org/salesworkshop

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