Recently, I attended a networking event where someone asked me what I did for a living. When I told him I was a sales trainer, he replied, “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. If true, it might mean that my own business development initiatives could be rather sparse because all my clients would be with me for extended periods of time. And while some of them certainly have been, these days the vast majority view sales training as an “event” rather than an ongoing process that provides greater rewards and results over time.
You would never expect star athletes to cease being coached and trained in their sports. The same goes for dancers and musicians who practice intensely until the very ends of their careers.
But, in sales the same rules do not apply. Training is often considered only when there is a precipitous dip in sales revenues or when there is some very strong competition biting at one’s ankles. Training becomes an event with all manner of bells and whistles — an event that will not soon be repeated. With that approach, the effect of sales training turns out not to be “sticky.”
In order to achieve a lasting improvement, training must become an ongoing initiative, one that is repeated, reinforced and measured. My very favorite clients are the ones who truly “get” this and see sales training as a transfer of valuable knowledge and hard-won experience.
As a sales trainer, I find that the very best companies truly want their trainees to succeed and take definitive steps to make sure they achieve that goal. As a sales trainer, I aim not just for the short-term revenue goals of my clients but also for their long-term sales success.
And that just can’t happen with a one-time sales training “experience.”
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Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.