Written by Sean McPheat |
Our open sales training courses are always full and we are kept busy following up on the coaching we offer to sales people after they have returned to their businesses and started putting the ideas discussed into operation.
We’re often asked what they can do to make the training as effective as possible, so they don’t go away thinking they’ve had ‘a good couple of days’ and then go back to the normal routine.
Here’s what you can do to make sure the application is carried through and the benefits are seen as quickly as possible:
1) Before attending, agree with your manager what the key learning points should be and what areas you need to concentrate on specifically. This will help you achieve your goals more confidently, and arm you with questions to ask on the course.
2) For the time you are away, make sure all business-related matters are cleared up. You don’t want to attend while worrying about a specific client or wondering whether a message got through ok. This will detract from your learning experience and you will be less engaged. By all means keep in touch with the office, but make sure you are able to keep your concentration in the room.
3) Connect the learning with the real world for you. If necessary, ask how the ideas discussed can be applied in your industry or with your type of customers. Selling theory is all well and good, but if you don’t see the connection between the real world and what you do in practice, you will quickly forget it all.
4) Immediately afterwards, discuss with your manager how the ideas can be implemented and set some actions together that can measure the effectiveness of some of the changes you are practicing. If you have colleagues, discuss with them what you’ve learned and try out some of them together through safe role plays.
5) Set a target for yourself to achieve based on the new concepts picked up on the course. It will help you see the value of the learning and identify what else you may need to learn in order to create a development plan for yourself over a longer period.
6) Think about how you can be coached to improve. Maybe your manager can act as your mentor, bouncing ideas around as you learn on the job. Put some measurables into your job, so you can see the effectiveness of any training and coaching. This will enable you to find areas that you still need to develop and can create a good analysis of future training needs.
Remember, the training course should be the first step on the long development journey you have to undertake in sales. It might seem a daunting task, but it is worth it in the long run. Promise me you won’t let the opportunities that training opens up for you go to waste!
Originally published: 20 May, 2011
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