Secrets of a Successful Sales Trainer

When you are going to train your people, there are several things for you to think about before you decide how you’re going to go about it. First, I always start with the end in mind. Why are they not already doing what you want them to? Lack of skill? Attitude? They think they’re already doing what is required. They think that what you’re telling them is not really that important. Are their any reasons why they can’t apply what they have learned?

Whatever the reason is for them not performing, every reason will have a different solution. Maybe it’s attitude. They have been doing this for a long time and think they know better. Then you had better include some experiential exercises so they discover they are not as skilled as they first thought.

Lack of skill is perhaps the easiest one to counter. Although while you can give them skills, you also have to create the attitude so they will want to apply what they have learned. And in my opinion, that happens at the start of the training. The first 20 minutes will dictate whether they will work with you or resist you. You have to connect, you have to be relevant to the challenges they are facing, and they have to feel that you understand and can help. Usually, this involves being very aware of your language. If you use the wrong language, they will instantly reject everything you are trying to train them to do.

My experience would indicate that in most cases, sales training works better as experiential training. In other words, they discover for themselves what they don’t know. This is usually a big surprise to most people as they think they know what they do and say when face to face with a customer. So, telling them to do something different is a waste of everyone’s time.
Shirley McKinnon


Business Planning and chaos

Can you really plan in today’s turbulent and unpredictable business environment? In the book, Chaos Theory and Business Planning by Schwartz & Wilkinson, an old classic,┬áthe business planning process is described as “Proceeding from unreliable date through a process of illogical reasoning employing untenable assumptions to arrive at ridiculous conclusions.”

When you do a business plan, you have to allow for Factor X, the problem being, you never know what Factor X is until it hits. And while we are becoming more global by the day, a dramatic Factor X on the other side of the world, can have a devastating impact on your business. So, how to prepare?

Try to allocate funds for long-term plans and for an emergency situation. By putting on-going small amounts into an account, you give yourself a buffer and the security of knowing that you are secure if chaos hits. Ensure that you book regular back-ups for all your systems. If they are booked into your dairy, you are more likely to do them. Good intentions have got many businesses into strife. These are all taken for granted in bigger businesses but often over-looked in the busy focus on survival for small businesses. And yet a small amount of planning, can save a lot of grief and even the business itself.

Am I a great believer that business plans are vital for the success of the business? Most are not working documents, and research shows that most small businesses are too busy doing the doing, to do the planning. I believe the document itself is not the reason for a business plan. As the famous saying goes, the plan itself was not that useful, but the planning process was invaluable.