Training Sales Staff - Part Two!

posted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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Now that we've hit on the four specific areas of training, how do we make sure that training is as effective as it possibly can? There is a saying, "Practice makes perfect", but others will tell you that perfect practice makes perfect. The same could be said for training a new salesperson; if the training is done right, the chances are much higher that your new salesperson will be successful.

Training must begin right from the start of employment - Start with the information that your new employee needs immediately to begin selling. The fringe stuff can be addressed as you go along. I would not allow a salesperson to begin selling until they've demonstrated their knowledge of customer service policies, sales philosophy, operations and some basic knowledge of the goods and services we are selling.

Your training must be consistent - It is vital that you provide the same high level of training to everyone in your organization. In order to help you in making it consistent, make sure you have a training checklist for everyone to assure that all are receiving the same training.

Your training must be done in a specific order - You would not train someone how to schedule a delivery before teaching him or her how to write up an order, because writing up the order obviously occurs before a delivery can be scheduled. Your training should occur in the same order that it will take place in "real life."

You must provide a checklist of all items in which salespeople need training - In addition to providing the training necessary, your other primary goal is to ensure that all of the items are being covered. The easiest way to do that is off of a checklist. No matter how many times you've trained someone, you want to make sure that nothing gets overlooked.

Your training must be fun and not boring - People in general learn more and are engaged more when they are enjoying what they are doing. There are many things on which a new salesperson needs to be trained, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. Mix things up, talk about product knowledge for an hour and sales techniques for another hour. Involve them in their training as well, make it interactive and you will both get more from the training.

We will continue our look at effective training next time.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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