I attended a networking event the other evening and someone asked what I did. When I replied that I am a sales trainer, he said “that’s a great gig because no one can ever stop. It’s like being a shrink. You never feel like the work is quite done.”
Interesting perspective and if true, it would mean that my own business development initiatives could be rather sparse as all of my clients would be with me for extended periods of time. And while some of them certainly are, the vast majority of companies these days view sales training as an “event” rather than an ongoing process that provides for greater rewards and results over time.
You would never expect a star athlete to cease being coached and trained until the very last days of their career. Same with dancers and musicians for they also practice intensely until the end.
Sales? Not so. Training is often considered only when there is a precipitous dip in sales revenues or when there is some very strong competition biting at the ankles of the firm. Training is an event, sometimes with all manner of bells and whistles but an event that will not be repeated any time soon. And with that type of methodology the result is not very “sticky.”
In order for there to be lasting behavior skills change and improvement, training must be an ongoing initiative, one that is repeated, reinforced and measured. My very favorite clients are ones that truly “get this” and see sales training as part and parcel of the knowledge transfer experience in the firm.
As a sales trainer these are the very best companies with which to work because sales trainers WANT their trainees to succeed. We want to see short-term results but even more importantly, we want our clients to recognize revenue growth and long-term sales success.
And that doesn’t come about with a one-time sales training experience.