How Much Sales Training Have You Done?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Training wordsLet me ask you a question: up to this moment, how much time have you spent on perfecting and learning your craft as a professional sales person?

I mean, if you added up all of the time you spent in sales training classes and all of the time you spent reading sales training material and books and every minute you invested in doing your own homework on your industry and competition and on your product, if you added all of those hours up, how much would it come to?

Think about that carefully, and please, don’t lie to yourself.

You can lie to me or your boss or your spouse, but don’t lie to yourself. Add up all of the time you believe you have spent on learning the profession of selling. This does not have to be with only one company, either. Add up all of the sales training and sales related learning you have done in your whole career.

How many hours does your actual training come to?

Forty hours? Fifty? A hundred? Now divide that by the number of years you have been in the business and what do you get? Do you know that I spend on average around 30 – 40 days per year in improving my skills? Yes, you heard it right – I spend 30 – 40 days per year. Here’s how.

On average, I spend 1 hour in my car traveling to work and to appointments each day and on every single occasion without fail my friend I listen to sales improvement CD’s, personal development programmes, leadership, management, marketing, strategic planning, NLP – you name it! And then there are the courses and seminars that I attend too. You see, I take my own self development very seriously. I want to be the best and therefore I train to be the best.

I would even imagine that the average sales person only spends about 10 to 20 hours a year or so on actual training for their profession. And that includes listening to programs like this. Now, remember I said quite boldly that the average entry-level sales person should earn more than the average entry-level lawyer or doctor. So, let’s look at the doctor and the lawyer in retrospect.

How many hours do you think the average medical doctor or lawyer spends learning their craft and training in their profession by the time they reach five years in the business?

Well, first of all, we are looking at about a few years in actual schooling and internship BEFORE they earn the degrees needed to practice their profession. So, if you look at going to University or College for 3 years and attending classes at least 200 days per year, and sitting in class at least four hours a day, not counting homework, then we are talking about roughly 800 to 1,000 hours! per year. And that is before they go to work!! By the time these people reach five years in business, you’re talking about around 4 to 5,000 hours of training and learning. And they continue to learn, with many going on to earn PHDs in their field totaling twelve years or some 10,000 hours of very specific and directed learning and training in their profession.

Now, does it make any sense that you, with a whopping 40 hours of learning, that you should earn what a person with 10,000 hours dedicated to his or her profession earns? Can you see why you don’t earn what other professionals earn? You see, the amount of time that you invest into perfecting your craft has a direct correlation on what you earn.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 28 March, 2008

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