For best sales results: learn slowly and consistently

Friday, June 21, 2019

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I was thinking about the ways most organizations invest in sales training. Which tend to be events.

– Hire a Keynote speaker for an hour-long talk at your SKO.
– Bring in an expert to conduct a half-day training seminar.
– Retain a trainer to conduct 2-day training workshop.
– Subject new hires to an accelerated 30-day on-boarding process.

Then I came across this passage from a very interesting book titled Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, by David Epstein.

Epstein writes that in the course of researching his book, learning experts pointed him to:

“an enormous and too often ignored body of work demonstrating that learning itself is best done slowly to accumulate lasting knowledge, even when that means performing poorly on tests of immediate progress. That is, the most effective learning looks inefficient;…”

Sales leaders want to fulfill their obligation to train their sellers. Yet, wonder why “event” sales training doesn’t stick…doesn’t move the needle…doesn’t have lasting impact.

They’re too impatient. They want something for nothing. Sellers often do too.

For optimal results, learning about sales needs to become a daily habit; not an infrequent event.

How do you ensure sellers invest the time to learn?

As my friend Mike Weinberg wrote in his new book Sales Truths, time for all essential sales activities has to be blocked out on your calendar.

For an individual seller, learning how to improve their ability to sell is at least as important as any sales activity they do. If not more so.

Therefore, every seller must block out learning time on their calendar. Time that can be used for nothing except learning.

Look. if we want to drag sales training into the 21st century, we have to change the paradigm from events to daily learning.

Making this happen starts with Sales leaders. They have the responsibility to create a true culture of learning that incentivizes and rewards sellers for learning. And improving.

-Andy