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The "Use Seasoned Sales Professionals As Trainers" Myth


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In some selling organizations, if formal sales training exists at all, it is often performed by seasoned sales representatives or top performers on the staff.

Big mistake!

Using your seasoned sales staff to teach or coach formal selling skills (not product knowledge) to new or less seasoned sales personnel seems logical on the surface, but usually creates a number of problems for the newer staff member being trained. Each sales professional is unique, with personality traits unlike any other member of your team. When less seasoned staff members try to emulate the selling style and methods used by your top producing representatives, they often become frustrated and demotivated. The selling style that works for one member of your team, may not work for anyone else on your staff.

Even though a representative has success, does not mean that he or she does not have a number of bad selling habits or use faulty selling methods. Often these bad selling habits or techniques get passed along to the newer staff member your seasoned representative has been assigned to train. In the seasoned staff member these faulty selling techniques may be overlooked by a prospect or client because of a unique personality. In a newer representative, with a different personality, the faulty selling method may become a roadblock to a sale. After hiring the right person, training is the second most important factor in achieving consistent sales success. Using a professional sales trainer who teaches a proven selling process. can pay big dividends and is never a bad decision.

VIRDEN THORNTON is the founder and President of The $elling Edge®, Inc. an Ohio consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training, personal coaching, advisory services and publishing. Clients have included Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Service Linen Supply, Bank One, Jefferson Wells International, and Wal-Mart to name a few. Virden is the author of the “best selling" Building & Closing the Sale, Prospecting: The Key To Sales Success and Close That Sale, a video/audio tape series published by Crisp Publications a division of Thompson Learning. He has also authored a client acclaimed Self-Directed Learning series of sales, coaching, telemarketing, and personal productivity manuals. To obtain a substantial discount on two of Virden's latest books, 101 Sales Myths or Organizing For Sales Success, go to:

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