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What is Your Source of Education in Sales?

Here's a topic that seems sparse on this forum, with a few notable exceptions:

What is your source of education in sales?

Curious as to formal training, indoctrinations into specific methodologies, actual mentoring, etc.,

What books, for instance, were used as a course of study? Which systems have you actually adopted or worked under (SPIN, High Probability Selling, Action Selling, etc)? - by Ace Coldiron
I like this....

My Dad sent me to a Dale Carnegie Course when I was 12 or 13 to offer me alternative to my usual afterschool condition. Some of this may have contributed.

I started by being given a book called the Richest Man in Babylon by a guy brought me into the Life Insurance Business. Along the way I read from Bettger, Savage, Tom Wolfe, then the Think and Grow Rich, Power of Positive Thinking, How to Win Friends and Influence People triad... and later, Tom Hopkins, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Mark Victor Hanson, Herb True, Joe Girard, and a truly despotic writing called Twenty Steps to Power, Influence and Control over people and currently I'm adopting a process of Action Selling which I've found to be a structured setting that I need.

I'm sure I've missed some other influences as well.

Much Aloha... Tom :cool: - by rattus58
That book on Power and Control--was that the one where the author talked about "thwarting" as a technique?

If so, I read it many many years ago, and I am still put off by people who attempt to use the techniques that were described. - by Ace Coldiron
I'm not sure... He had so many off the wall ideas about control it was almost ethereal. If by Thwarting, you mean to foil, frustrate or cross associates and partners... most assuredly... and a host of other blatant schemes that would be funny if the auther didn't mean them seriously.

The neighbor from Hell.

Aloha... shds; ;bg - by rattus58
Tom, as I recall from your posts, you also took training from Action Selling as a result of your relationship with AFLAC. Is that correct? - by Ace Coldiron
That's right. It helps the like of ME by having an identifiable process/track for me to follow simply, easily, and so far is paying off.

What it does is simply my approach with people and is a great sales process for the UNSOPHISTICATED such as me. I've reduced their process to an EIRA memonic, Explore, Identify, Recommend, Agree. Action Selling has 9 actual steps.

Where this has helped me the most is keeping me on track. Questioning to find areas where our products and services might relate and then making recommendations that because of this process allows me to rewind easily if we miss agreement... which is if we agree on a job well done.

Thank you for asking... it relates to many other fine processes and in my opinion, anyone would benefit by its simplicity and could build with sophistication of other sales formats.

Much Aloha.... Tom shds; ;bg - by rattus58
As an internal trainer, we've been given our training material developed by a gentlemen named Frank Romano (I'm not going to give you his history if you're wondering who is this bloke) which has a distinct NLP flavour to it.

I've served a year apprenticeship under another trainer who has gone on to become a State Manager of the largest pay-tv client in Australia.

This year I'll be going through a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, otherwise what I'm doing is a mixture of what I've learned internally and manipulated with my University degree majoring in Theatre. - by MrCharisma
My source of education in sales as in life was and still is the "School of Hard Knocks." - by MPrince
I have studied the Sandler Sales Institute, Action Selling, High Probability Selling, SPIN Selling, Miller-Heiman, Zig Ziglar, Tom Hopkins, Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, and countless others I've read or listened to via audio. I am constantly searching for complementary sources of information to continually add to my knowledge base in an effort to refine, enhance, and improve my skills and performance. - by airxprt
My source of education in sales as in life was and still is the "School of Hard Knocks."
Welcome BACK, Martha!! - by Ace Coldiron
I studied several systems; I've settled on the Sandler Selling System. - by rbvener
If your core being isn't that of a sales type, all the studying in the world will not make you any better. Its like playing the piano. Many can learn the mechanics of it and play something but only a few can play with passion, feeling and elicit real joy in those who hear them.

Stop trying to learn how to sell until you honestly decide that you can sell and like to sell. And yes, its all ultimately tested in the school of hard knocks. - by Guest123
I could list dozens of books, audios, videos, etc. from Frank Bettger to Jacques Werth and hundreds more having to do with selling, creating wealth, human psychology and motivation, interpersonal relations - I could go on and on.

Having never been in conventional sales - I've been with one food science company for thirteen years and the distribution/compensation is retail and multi level - direct sales and network marketing - I've never been trained in or nor have I taken it upon myself to learn some of the selling systems I read about on this forum.

Also, our company has a good on going training in what we do.

I attribute my success to 1. being a continuous student who studies every day, takes notes, and reads them, and 2. does his best to apply and teach what I learn while paying attion to human behavior.

The best of success to everyone.

MitchM - by MitchM
Sandler is right on the money. It lets you qualify up front for money, etc before you even start selling. I agree that it cuts down a lot of wasted time. - by Guest123
My source is varied. I have read dozens of books and written my own 510 page manual that I train from. The list of authors is impressive especially if you consider that some of them hopefully sold better than they wrote. Some books were old--Think and Grow Rich, a very old Carnegie book, Sun Tzu, etc, and some were barely on the shelf. From every book, I looked for one or two good ideas. There is no one silver or gold or platinum bullet as sales situations vary.

The other great thing I did was be in an owner's chair for many years and get pitched every day by what seemed like an endless supply of bad approaches. I got lots of material on what to do and not do, which is why my focus is selling to business owners--it's my area of experience. There's a reason that prosecutors make great defense attorneys.

And, as much as I hate to say it for us sales authors, there's not as much new out there as we would like our potential book buyers to think. (Ooops...did I say that out loud?) - by INFOCUS Selling
Ask questions, listen to the needs. open a relationship, offer solutions with value, deliver more value in each follow up, and continue to follow up until you run out of fingers and toes! These are basics I have drawn from many of the authors mentioned heretofore.

Thanks for letting me in.
Ed - by Ed Gilbert
Wilson Learning - Counselor Sales. Other than the original course I also took the Strategic Selling module. Reading on a daily basis from various web-sites and blogs. Get e-news-letters - about a dozen or so a day with tips and ideas. - by dlcottin
Wilson Learning - Counselor Sales. Other than the original course I also took the Strategic Selling module. Reading on a daily basis from various web-sites and blogs. Get e-news-letters - about a dozen or so a day with tips and ideas.
Great stuff and I admire you for your devotion to learning. - by Ace Coldiron
In my Pre-teen Days (Late 40's-early 50's) I observed the Street Vendors.
Followed their tradition in starting my very Lucrative Newspaper
delivery business. I signed them up, delivered some routes rotating and always Collected (that is where I learned how to probe for Customer satisfaction and referrals), but my Friends did a lot of delivery.

High school found my sales techniques increased by reading and observing. Really learned how to Increase sales of A&W Root Beer by also taking it to the Customer along with top notch Service at the location I Managed. Found the answers by surveying Customers (asking Question Constantly).

College (1960) was my explosion, when I read, as a Freshman, Book of Proverbs, Marden's, The Miracle of Right Thought, Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich, Haanel's, The Master Key, and finally their Student Napoleon Hill.

My take is.. Success in sales is predicated on the Business oriented Mindset of the Aspirant, and these books were instrumental in laying a solid Business foundation. My clients today are all required to study the Above and amazingly enjoy Increased Sales, Production and Profits.

Selling is the easiest Profession in the world, because it follows Natural Laws and the abilities are Granted to all at Birth.

Happy to report all trainees, who were serious, have enjoyed lives of Abundance - by cjbart
There are two influences that stand out for me in my 30 years of continuing sales education.

The first was SPIN Selling which was the core of an excellent Rank Xerox sales training program I undertook back in 1983. At that time Xerox was one of the most respected marketing organisations in the world and their training was exemplary. The SPIN concept was an eye opener for me as a new sales recruit; it made me aware of the importance of effective questioning technique, provided a process for using questions to both create needs/problems and to advance the sales process.

The second came a year or two later when I happened to pick up a non sales related book written by lateral thinking doyen Edward de Bono, called "The 6 Thinking Hats". For the sales student this little book provides among other things an excellent blueprint for turning objections into opportunities to move a sale forward through understanding there are different ways to look at a situation. The 6 hats each represent a different thinking perspective and I've found that an awareness of them is very useful in the sales process. The method is effective, structured, easily understood and I use it as an opener to all my sales training groups.

For anyone interested, I bought a Penguin edition a few weeks ago in Australia for $9.95 AUD. Its been refined and updated from the original and for 10 Ozzie bucks and a couple of hours easy reading I highly recommend it. - by Tony1905
I attended a NLP workshop during my high school days and have been reading personal development books by Anthony Robbins since then. My first book was given to me by a friend who recommended that I read Brian Tracy's Advanced selling strategies and The richest man in Bablon, The magic of thinking big and of late I am currently reading & listening to Blair Singer, author of Sales Dogs. - by freely
I attended a NLP workshop during my high school days and have been reading personal development books by Anthony Robbins since then. My first book was given to me by a friend who recommended that I read Brian Tracy's Advanced selling strategies and The richest man in Bablon, The magic of thinking big and of late I am currently reading & listening to Blair Singer, author of Sales Dogs.
Great stuff. I am very high on Brian Tracy's contributions to our field. - by Ace Coldiron
Duval StreetKey WestÖ.moving forward from there a whole bunch of good books, hard knocks, tapes, pod casts & trial & error - by DIAMONDSTAR
For me, it would be the leadership trainings and product trainings I've attended to about4-5 years ago. - by shellemie
I started selling when I was in high school hustling mops and brushes door to door. It beat cutting lawns in the summer heat of Miami. My first job was at Lighthouse for the Blind. I was trained by a senior salesman (he was 19 years old).I quickly moved up to selling Fuller Brush (actually I was too young to get hired as a salesman for them so I worked for someone and split the commissions). It was fast track class experience learning how a sales ratio worked: more calls equaled more sales or back to cutting lawns. After a struggle in college I moved on to professional selling and learned strategies first hand on the job. By 24 I was leading a team of 16 salespeople selling copy machines in Midtown New York City. I got into the advertising business and lucky to be surrounded by lifelong sales professionals. I watched closely. I was able to take courses in human behavior, personality style, and motivation which were fabulous selling insight. By 30 years old I had become general manager of the number one FM radio station in Maryland. What I learned in sales was the foundation for my career success as I moved on to executive positions. But even after years of experience I learned never to judge a book by its cover. When hiring and managing salespeople, you never know what people are made of until the game actually starts. Selling is not a profession for everyone even if they seem to have the right attitude, IQ and background. Itís hard to measure grit, persistence and a thick skin. While selling is not hard work, it is a strategy and mind game. The real success is your ability to not only act, but how to think. I had accomplished real-life sales mentors helping me walk through the steps. My suggestion is that you never learn less so all education has purpose. Even if itís bad you can also learn what not to do. However, learning from books, classes, and seminars alone will rarely be enough. Learn from people that are successful and accomplished and the odds of success will be dramatically in your favor.
- by bbieler
A couple of things.

1) Sandler (what a system). A few things to keep on top of-things are keeping a straight face when using it and making the suspect go not ok, avoid getting your own needs met and being too negative- this usually applies when the person you are speaking with catches on to what you are doing.

2) Certain parts of NLP- for instance using trueisms when cold calling,

3) The Psychology of Persuasion -by Robert Cialdini. I have read a lot of stuff - this is excellent - by sean01
my source of education in sales??? ''what you were not taught in havard business school" am yet to read ''the richest man in babylon'' - by temitope
Previous employment, including working as a golf teacher - selling others on my ideas. Other than that, learn as I go - by qballs
Hi
well i read a book from Tom Hopkins, heard some tapes from Brian Tracy, and some more
well to make the short story shorter, I think the secret of success is it all boils down to take the information you learn and use it.
Wish me luck
pinnymsnwnk; - by pinnyz
Hi
well i read a book from Tom Hopkins, heard some tapes from Brian Tracy, and some more
well to make the short story shorter, I think the secret of success is it all boils down to take the information you learn and use it.
Wish me luck
pinnymsnwnk;
I think that using it is key. I watch many young/new salespeople come into our business and frequently modify what they've learned before perfecting its use, with generally disappointing results.

To a degree, I feel that some of this is driven through boredom... they keep hearing the same old stuff over and over and want to have something fresh... forgetting that the old stuff is fresh stuff to someone who hasn't heard it before.

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
I think that using it is key. I watch many young/new salespeople come into our business and frequently modify what they've learned before perfecting its use, with generally disappointing results.

To a degree, I feel that some of this is driven through boredom... they keep hearing the same old stuff over and over and want to have something fresh... forgetting that the old stuff is fresh stuff to someone who hasn't heard it before.

Aloha... :cool:
I agree & partially disagree. Yes, staying with the fundamentals within the sales process is important which is probably an understatement. Straying off the beaten path will probably end in detriment. Though solely relying on some "brown shoe" strategies & not recognising that some of their strategies might not fit into your style may not be a good thing either.

I feel that it is important to understand the basics & then implement style. In an out of context explanation...it's kinds like playing a blues scale......it's been around for a long long time, though some play(ed) it stylistically better, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Led Zepplain, etc etc etc. It's the same thing just played a little better. - by DIAMONDSTAR
I agree & partially disagree. Yes, staying with the fundamentals within the sales process is important which is probably an understatement. Straying off the beaten path will probably end in detriment. Though solely relying on some "brown shoe" strategies & not recognising that some of their strategies might not fit into your style may not be a good thing either.
This is true. Making your words be the words of your teacher. Hard to be yourself if you're trying to be someone else, and you're not going to deliver it right fluidly either, most likely. I'm in total agreement that you have to deliver within your personality and style.

Much Aloha,

Tom :cool: - by rattus58
I think that "Sales", is like dancing or playing an instrument. You have it or you do not have it.
Courses, etc., provides only tools. My first sales training, was a seminar at the XEROX Sales Training Courses, very hard sales and never felt comfortable with their approach.
Always I saw Sales as a two persons relationship, that's why after many years (30 +) I'm in the line of Sharon Drew Morgen and Neil Rackman.

Regards,

Leonardo - by Leonardo
I think that "Sales", is like dancing or playing an instrument. You have it or you do not have it.
Courses, etc., provides only tools. My first sales training, was a seminar at the XEROX Sales Training Courses, very hard sales and never felt comfortable with their approach.
Always I saw Sales as a two persons relationship, that's why after many years (30 +) I'm in the line of Sharon Drew Morgen and Neil Rackman.
Regards,
Leonardo
Your experience directly contrasts mine Leonardo. The Xerox training I did in Australia back in 1983 was absolutely excellent with 3 weeks almost entirely focused on Neil Rackham's SPIN method.
Perhaps they reserve the best of their sales training for their own sales teams.
Cheers, Tony - by Tony1905
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