Too often sales trainers will try to sell you how much fun sales can be. Don’t! Just don’t. Please?
Let me tell you why.
In one of the most successful talent driven sales training programs I’ve created, we typically get two types of sales professionals. On the one hand, we get the smartly dressed sales people we so typically associate with sales: zero fear of cold calling, highly extrovert and promotion focussed (thanks Heidi!). On the other hand however, this client also employs highly valuable sales staff in an account management role. They’re more introverted, prevention focussed and able to build and sustain a client relationship over a (very) long run. It has taken a bit of effort to convince my client to build just one sales program for both of these groups combined. From the perspective of their differences it may make sense to split the group, but from a talent perspective the story is markedly different. Where extroverts can inspire their more introverted colleagues with their fearlessness, relaxed demeanour and smooth talking, introverts hold the real kicker. Their thoroughness in preparation, their curiosity and ability to listen and to respond from insight, not babble, is one heck of an eye opener for their sharply dressed brethren (remember Ann?). When this magic happens, when both groups learn from and find inspiration in each others unique talents, real results are achieved.
I think sales is an incredible topic to be talent focussed in, and do you know why? Because I see most sales trainers fall square into the category of the smart dressed extrovert. They’ll sell you anything, including their own training and while this is engaging to those like them, it scares their relation focussed colleagues away.
So, dear sales training colleague. What is your profile? Are you an introvert, or an extrovert? Are you prevention or promotion focussed? Or are you perhaps an ambivert, able to switch swiftly between orientation and focus, able to tune into the widest possible variety of talents? I certainly hope so!