Ready to sign the advertising contract, I called the sales rep to verify the numbers and get a premium ad position but the rep was out of the office for sales training. How ironic! Unavailable to close the sale to attend training to learn how to sell?
Football players invest extra time studying film midweek – they don’t wait until kickoff. Waiters get to the restaurant early to memorize the menu – they don’t wait for the dinner rush to figure out how to upsell the drink specials. Musicians practice and practice and practice just to be sharp for the rehearsal – they certainly don’t put off learning a new song until the curtain rises on a live performance.
Yet it’s common for companies to schedule training during traditional business hours when their sales people could be out calling on customers – or taking calls from customers. Shouldn’t sales people be expected to practice and prepare before they step on the field – before they get in front of a prospect or customer? Many successful sales people study their product specs, pricing, marketing materials and competition outside of traditional business hours. They don’t wait until they’re in front of a prospect or customer to learn the details of their products or how to sell them successfully. And if sales training must be done during business hours, then, please let’s train the administrative staff to manage the phone calls in a way that doesn’t lose the sale and squander all of the hard work that had been invested to get to the point where the prospect wanted to buy.