Have you recently attended many of the published sales training workshops, seminars or read some of the published books on sales training coaching?
- Did they appear to have the “elephant gun to kill a fly” perspective?
- Did you feel like you bought an elephant gun when all you needed was a fly swatter?
- Did you find the topics to be too generic and not specific enough to your current situation?
Maybe part of the reason why the elephant gun to kill a fly sales training coaching still continues is because most of it (probably over 80% in my opinion) has evolved from delivering services to Fortune 500 to 1000 businesses that can pay the arm and the leg for these learning engagements. Yet today’s marketplace is crowded with far more non-employed small business owners (sole proprietors, independent contractors) and far less larger firms having a workforce of 100 or more employees.
The US Census Bureau reported in 2008 a total 27,281,452 firms in the US with 21,351,320 having no employees or approximately 78%. By adding firms with less than 100 employees, this increases to 26,646,290 or 98%.
In other words, the majority of sales training objectives are based upon just 2% of the business population. What this means for the small business owners to sales professionals is probably what they need to be successful in the local small business market place that is still highly competitive probably is not being discussed in many of these “arm and a leg” sales training coaching workshops or seminars.
“Don I do a lot of reading and also in my own time I have found out that the most successful people are the ones that become experts in their field. What measures can a salesperson take to perfect their craft? Any ideas? “
Another colleague, S. Anthony Iannarino, addressed this question in his blog entitled “No Experience Required.” What Anthony did was to share 11 key attributes and 10 necessary sales skills. In reading these, many of them are not covered in the traditional sales training coaching curriculum based upon the 2% and delivered to the 98%.
Additionally to perfect any craft requires practice as described by Gordon’s Learning Ladder. Without an opportunity for practice and feedback, the ability to hone that recently developed or new sales skill will not happen. Trial and error is substantial part of how we learn. Even if role playing is part of the sales training coaching workshop or seminar, unless there is opportunity for real world practice meaning “let me go out, apply what I learn and come back in seven to 14 days,” the learning will not stick.
If I were to answer the question shared by Don, my first response would be to have a proven performance appraisal diagnostic taken from a strength based perspective. This provides a solid foundation to “believe in one’s self” as colleague Robert Terson writes.
From my experience, most people including those who earn a living by selling truly do not know their strengths because of early education conditioning places way too much energy on their weaknesses. From that collected data, then determine what sales skills or talents require ongoing reinforcement and what may benefit from further development.
By using a proven performance appraisal diagnostic is the first step to avoid using an elephant gun to kill a fly sales training coaching program.
P.S. If you are seeking some affordable sales training coaching, consider the Sales Summer School.