Sales Training Iguanas

In early January, when a national deep freeze extended even to the Florida Keys, iguanas fell into their natural hibernation-like torpor, and some compassionate Floridians, unaccustomed to seeing iguanas that appeared nearly dead, took them indoors to warm them up, which is a mistake. The owner of the veterinary clinic in Marathon said one “sweet lady” called him about the five-footer she had dragged inside. “When it woke up,” said the vet, “she couldn’t understand why it seemed to be coming after her. When they warm up, they go back to being a wild animal.” [Keynoter (Key West), 1-7-08]

If you facilitate or oversee sales coaching and education, here’s a question for you…

What are you dragging into your training house that doesn’t belong there?

Too much of traditional sales training is based on strategies that are no longer as effective as they were in the 70s and 80s.

You know this is true, too. Prospects have heard all of our closes and when we offer up some of these common comments, it comes across as pre-planned, perhaps even manipulative. Many of them today are much smarter than we are.

We also know a great deal more about buyers than we knew in the old “blast ’em with features and benefits” days (i.e., “I’m praying one thing on this laundry list of benefits will strike a chord and cause that guy to buy”).

In fact, with sales teams I’ve managed or been hired to train, I teach them how to eat lunch. Think about it. Do you want reps crashing around 2pm every day, tanking productivity and diminishing morale in the office or out in the field?

A holistic approach might also include giving some budgeting skills to reps whose income might fluctuate as erratically as John Travolta’s acting career.

So drag those old, five foot lizard-like ideas out of the house. Replace them with smart new strategies that increase the quality of your training and the quality of your sales team.

Do it quick before your sales continue to hibernate. Call me directly for help or ideas, I’d be happy to talk about this with other corporate sales training pros.

Dan Seidman, dan@salesautopsy.com or 1-847-359-7860.

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