Chapter 20

Acronyms Are Not Enough

Breathing New Life into Sales Training

People tend to talk about products in the abstract, but when you make it about the customer, it becomes more impactful. It’s more satisfying for the sales rep.

—Rick Russell Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Sunovion Pharmaceuticals

Earlier in the book you read The Dirty Little Secret About Sales Training, where you learned that well-intentioned sales training is often forgotten in the field because salespeople (and their managers) haven’t made the Noble Sales Purpose (NSP) mindset shift required for the skills to stick.

Bad sales training can erode your NSP, but good sales training can reinforce it. Here’s an example of what not to do, followed by an example of what you should do.

Several years ago, I was waiting outside a hotel conference room for a client who was the head of sales training for a major telecom firm. He was running a session for his team at the hotel. We were meeting during their lunch break.

While waiting for him, I happened to overhear another sales training session from the banquet room across the hall. It was a program for sales managers of car dealerships.

Here’s what I overheard:

The sales trainer asked the sales managers, “How many times have you heard your salesperson say, ‘But the customer wants . . . ?’ ”

The dealers all raised their hands.

The trainer went on, “That’s what salespeople always say. But the customer wants this; the customer wants that” (said in ...

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