(By Rick Fink) Are you training your sales team to get better every day? Don’t let this scare you, I didn’t ask are you training every day, I asked if you’re training them to “get better every day.”
If you’re in charge of training, you know how difficult it is to come up with something fresh, meaningful, and exciting enough to hold the attention of your sales team week in and week out.
Let’s start there. Do you call your sales meetings “sales meetings” or “training meetings”? I prefer the term training as it implies getting better. Don’t get me wrong, there is a need for sales meetings, but the term can have a negative connotation, especially if they’re mundane, boring sales meetings.
So, back to getting better every day. This doesn’t apply just to their job as sales or media reps, it applies to everyday life as well. Are you training your team to get healthier, like eating better, being a proponent of exercise, sleeping better, all in all simply taking care of the most important thing we have, our human body? If we are getting healthier, we are getting better! It only makes sense to have a healthier team. You may even consider providing memberships to a fitness center. That’s putting your money where your mouth is. I can assure you, some will take advantage of it and some won’t, but they all will appreciate it and you have sent the message of good health. If corporate won’t approve this budget line, trade it out.
Are you training them to educate themselves? Encourage them to read books, articles, learn the pros and cons of the other advertising mediums. One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Twain, “The person who does not read, has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” It doesn’t have to be solely on advertising and marketing, simply read and put new words into your brain. The more you read the smarter you become. However, reading and learning about our trade is surely encouraged. Guide them to become well read on all aspects of advertising and marketing, whether it’s magazines, articles, blogs, or videos. Give them information on what makes a good core customer or direct mail piece. Provide information on billboards, TV, radio, magazines, digital, etc. As marketing professionals, it’s our duty to understand all mediums, not just our own.
Are you motivating them? Yeah, I mean the rah-rah type of motivation. Inspire them! It’s our job to encourage them to encourage themselves to get better. They’ll make more money, have more fun, and I can assure you their families and friends will like them better too. You don’t have to be a rah-rah person yourself. There are thousands of videos on YouTube that can do that for you: Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Les Brown, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Nick Vujicic. If Nick doesn’t inspire your team, nothing will. Some they will connect with and some they won’t. But be warned: you must train as well. As Jim Rohn so cleverly stated, “Motivation alone is not enough, if you have an idiot and motivate them, all you have is a motivated idiot.” On the other hand, Aristotle is quoted as saying, “Educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all.”
The moral of the story, train relentlessly! You don’t have to train every day but start to train your team to train themselves to “get better every day.”
Rick Fink at ENS Media can be reached at 605-310-2062 or [email protected]