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What does the phrase "Traditional Sales Training" mean to you...

What does the phrase "Traditional Sales Training" mean to you and where did you learn that meaning? - by Jeff Blackwell
"Traditional Sales Training, to me, means formulating the character one needs to call or knock on doors, the knowledge and confidence to develop value and present products, developing the fortitude to handle objections, and exploring the mystical art of closing a sale. All presented in a face to face setting where practice events require thinking on your feet, dealing with the unexpected. - by Charlie J.
I like Charlie J's definition; it makes me realize I've mostly focused on the more negative aspects of how I think of 'traditional sales' training.

On the negative side, I have associated it with seller-vs-buyer, always be closing, objections-handling, and lead qualification. All of those, in the sessions and materials I have seen, are typically presented in seller-centric ways.

The implicit objective is generally to get the sale (vs. help the customer), qualify the lead (vs. help the potential customer or referral source), and 'handling objections' (vs. helping the customer deal with concerns).

I guess I think of 'traditional sales training' as not being customer-focused enough, except insofar as an object to fulfill the ego- and financial-desires of the seller.

I'm over-emphasizing the negative to make the point; I think much of what Charlie J says is very right and very desirable. - by Charles H. Green
Jeff thanks for the email.
I have to ask what is "Traditional sales training" traditional to whom? Isnít this trade or company specific? Dale Carnegie is different than PSI which is different than Charlie Greer that is different from Tom Hopkins that is different from Ziglar International that is different from Contractors 2000 that is different from the next guy or organization. The only thing that is traditional is a speaker, tables and chairs, lunch, notes, questions, answers. Every company that I have worked with had their own traditional sales training for new employees and that was different from the sales organizations (trainers).

Some traditional items that have been common to all the training I have received; building rapport and the relationship with clients. Some of the training covered objections and concerns and how to get around them. Training that I have received in the past fifteen years have stressed adding the objections and concerns to the presentation and using them as reasons to own instead of reasons to stall or stop the sale. Each focused on a sales system based on their methodology. I had to turn what I learned into a sales process by adding the items that made what I do very successful.

I cannot define traditional sales training due to all the different training I have received from various sales organizations and individuals.
- by rich34232
I've been selling since the age of 10. I'm now 51. For me selling comes naturally. As for Traditional Sales Training, I can't speak on that. I am not academically trained. To busy selling.

My training comes from meeting customers and listening to them. The more they talk, the more I know about them and what they want. Then I get it for them.

Here's my 30 second elevator speech.

"I bring you customers and make you money. Guaranteed!"

Personally, I believe salesmen and women spend more time dancing around selling rather than getting down to selling.

But then again, I'm not academically trained, so my approach to selling probably breaks all the rules and protocols. - by ThePromotionalGuy
To me "Traditional Sales Training"= sales 101. Start by identifying the prospect, developing an elevator pitch, calling on the prospect, setting an appointment, creating a repore, gaining trust, over-coming objections, asking for the sale, closing.

I've found over the last few years trainers are pushing more of a consultative approach to sales. In the end.... it all comes down to sales 101 and picking up the phone. - by monicarward
Considering the fact that 83% of all new real estate agents do not survive three years and 60% do not survive their first year, my take on the phrase 'traditional sales training' is that it must be highly inadequate. - by Jerry Bresser
Traditional – Showing where and how my product / service meets many needs including today’s client specific need.

Today – Learning the root cause of the need, the clients perspective and how the specific need can be met with my product / service.
- by JP-991
It is my feeling that 'traditional sales training' is meeting a perspective client that the 'salesperson believes should want whatever product or service they have' and then they start 'telling them all of the features and benefits of their product or service and why they should use them'. It isn't the process I subscribe to, nor train. - by Paulette Halpern
The phrase Traditional Sales Training does conjure up some respect for the heritage created and influenced by a few people who truly understood what they taught. Fred Herman, Les Dane, Frank Bettger, and the still active Brian Tracy come to mind.

Without getting too far into semantics I think of conventional sales training which has remained quite static and has drawn a lot of people into the fold who are less qualified and lacking in the understanding behind the "fundamentals" which they teach.

People like David Sandler, Neil Rackham, Chris Lytle, and a small handful of others have contributed greatly to sales education, but I personally would not align them with either the traditional heritage nor conventional training. - by Gary A Boye
Traditional sales training normally would be defined by teaching a sales person that they need to immediately engage someone on the phone but then spend 30 seconds on the phone talking too much. Traditional sales training would be defined as closing for an appointment by saying 'would Tuesday at 2 or Wednesday at 10 be better. Traditional sales training would teach someone to say, 'If I could show you a way to take care of the problem does that mean we get the business? But let's not forget traditional consultative sales training where the sales person does in fact get a great deal of information about needs and wants and then provides all the solutions needed to satisfy the needs and wants and then waits by the phone for a decision instead of closing the deal. - by actgllc
Traditional could refer to either the content or the process. Content - opening, questioning, benefits, objection handling, next steps etc. Process - classroom based, role play, trainer centred.
Still to be found in some industries or markets but disappearing slowly as younger people and technology enter the arena and have an effect on what is acceptable. - by Adrian Logan
Traditional sales training normally would be defined by teaching a sales person that they need to immediately engage someone on the phone but then spend 30 seconds on the phone talking too much. Traditional sales training would be defined as closing for an appointment by saying 'would Tuesday at 2 or Wednesday at 10 be better. Traditional sales training would teach someone to say, 'If I could show you a way to take care of the problem does that mean we get the business? But let's not forget traditional consultative sales training where the sales person does in fact get a great deal of information about needs and wants and then provides all the solutions needed to satisfy the needs and wants and then waits by the phone for a decision instead of closing the deal.

And people have all heard those 'traditionallly aggressive' manuevers, and many have even said to themselves, "gee, if I am ever in a sales job (hopefully not), I hope there is a better way".

There are nontraditional sales approaches out there. - by Paulette Halpern
Traditional Sales Training = a traditionalist boss/sales mgr telling you how they sell and expecting you to follow their lead (even if their results aren't great). - by BrainBoxer
I am not too enthusiastic about that term.

In my opinion, sales needs to have some fluidity to it... always changing to meet the needs of the moment. Sales is always in a constant state of flux. That would mean that there is no time for tradition to develope. Any methods that worked yesterday may not work today.

I have seen many sales lions fall apart over time because they were stuck on what worked for them in the past.

In order to succeed you need to find out what will work for the future. Traditional thinking in not going to cut it in the long run these days... in this economy. - by salesfist
Traditional Sales Training = a traditionalist boss/sales mgr telling you how they sell and expecting you to follow their lead (even if their results aren't great).
Often a company promotes a sales person to be a sales manager, because they were very good 'selling'. In the end the company is very disappointed...they have lost a very good sales person and the person now in the sales manager role, can't manage or train others to do what he did.

It isn't easy to put the sales manager back into the role of salesperson,where he was very successful...to the company loses on both counts. - by Paulette Halpern
traditional sales training so widely used by many that customers know the process and so , impatient with sales executive completing statements before salesexecutve can. traditional sales pattern, 1, suspect, 2,propect, 3,approach, 4,negotiate, 5,handle objectons 6,close,. prospective customers know it all. - by temitope
traditional sales training so widely used by many that customers know the process and so , impatient with sales executive completing statements before salesexecutve can. traditional sales pattern, 1, suspect, 2,propect, 3,approach, 4,negotiate, 5,handle objectons 6,close,. prospective customers know it all.
I would be curious as to what others here believe to be the accuracy of that statement--beginning with "customers know the process." - by Gary A Boye
there are many sales executives and free lance executives from different organisations, banks, hospital, engineering offices, etc all with products which give solutions to problems of prospects. many of these visit the same decision makers and customers at different times and because quite a number have had a some sales training, use this same method on their sales visit. and customers are quite familiar with this method. that is the traditional sales training - by temitope
there are many sales executives and free lance executives from different organisations, banks, hospital, engineering offices, etc all with products which give solutions to problems of prospects. many of these visit the same decision makers and customers at different times and because quite a number have had a some sales training, use this same method on their sales visit. and customers are quite familiar with this method. that is the traditional sales training
I'm still interested actually in what others thought of your previous statement. - by Gary A Boye
To me the phrase "Traditional Sales Training" refers to the sales training methods that were taught to the sales force that sold to "Traditional Sales Targets".

In other words the consumer just wanted to buy something they didn't need, to impress somebody they didn't like, with money they didn't have from someone they didn't know, who ended up selling them.

Not so today ... Consumers are a lot more educated, only buy things they need, to impress upon people they love, with money they have and buy from someone whom they know, like and trust.

Mind you ... When I first got into sales I didn't even know I was in sales ... seriously! All I wanted was to be was a truck driver and my first sales manager recognised my desire and very cleverly geared my "Traditional Sales Training" around my desire to be a truck driver.

It wasn't until I began to receive awards and accolades for breaking area sales records and being promoted to area manager that I realised I was a salesman. By then it was too late ... I was hooked, it was in my blood. I was making 4 times more than any of my friends in way less time and loving my job!

My job? Talk about ignorance! I didn't even realise I was self-employed. My sales manager just told me all the great truck drivers paid for their own fuel, paid someone to "do the books" and made sure they kept receipts and records for the "book guy" and signed papers so we could keep our trucks in good condition. Hmmm maybe I was traditionally trained. Who knows?

May I point out that I thought everyone was self-employed , it just made sense because who goes to work for someone else.

All I know is this. If you don't make sales you can't pay your bills! Then again what is new today will be traditional down the track. Won't it? Then again tradition is something that you can start, like having Christmas work parties....

Had I known I was being trained into sales I probably would have quit and got a job driving trucks where I didn't have to "swap money for bottles!"

Go figure!

Today the consumer is a lot smarter and has lots of information literally at his or her finger tips and that's why new sales training has become the new traditional sales training.

Oh by the way ... I've become a lot smarter and academic way back in those early days... but the "have to make the sale to pay the bills" is still as important then as it is now ... expect I have learned a new word - Leverage!

Jeff ... Once again making our minds think loudly with your questions...
Cheers
Chris - by teknacool
To me "Traditional Sales Training" means training students:
1. On how to prospect
2. On building trust
3. On how to determin if the prospect has a need for what you are selling
4. On how to present the features and benefits of what you are selling
5. On how to give a persuasive presentation
6. On how to overcome objections
7. On how to close the prospect

I neither use nor espouse the above training. I mostly use the Sandler System or a modified Sandler approach to training sales people. - by triadtraining
To me "Traditional Sales Training" means training students:
1. On how to prospect
2. On building trust
3. On how to determin if the prospect has a need for what you are selling
4. On how to present the features and benefits of what you are selling
5. On how to give a persuasive presentation
6. On how to overcome objections
7. On how to close the prospect

I neither use nor espouse the above training. I mostly use the Sandler System or a modified Sandler approach to training sales people.
Do you feel those topics need addressed? - by Jeff Blackwell
Sure! I could elaborate some. - by triadtraining
Pick one or two and I would be happy to delve in. - by triadtraining
Pick one or two and I would be happy to delve in.
Any two would suffice. For sake of discussion lets say:

1. On how to prospect
4. On how to present the features and benefits of what you are selling - by Jeff Blackwell
Prospecting:

Rule 1. If you have been in sales more than 6 months and you are making cold calls you are barking up the wrong tree.

Rule 2. If you are spending a lot of time looking for new business you are wasting time.

Rule 3 You should spend 80% of your time servicing your existing customers.

Rule 4 If you are barking up the wrong tree, start using the referral tree.
  • 80 percent of your clients want to refer their friends or colleagues
  • most do not refer business, because the sales person doesn't properly ask for referrals
Presenting features and benefits.

The key to presenting features and benefits is to first discover what your prospect's pain is. If he has substandard customer service and you talk about an advertising campaign, the features and benefits of an advertising campaign fall on deaf ears. In other words, don't discuss features and benefits to a prospect that don't cure his pain. - by triadtraining
Are you suggesting that your rules for prospecting and/or presenting features and benefits differ from traditional sales training? - by Jeff Blackwell
Yes, I was trained traditionally by IDS for three weeks at Florida State University and The Florida Golden pages for one week. Concerning prospecting, they emphasized calling network contacts and cold calls. They both said to ask for referrals, but never specified the correct technique to elicit referrals from 80% of sold clients. Both programs emphasized a presentation and then emphasized demonstrating features and giving benefits. Neither program emphasized discovering pain to determine which features and benefits to roll out. People buy emotionally and justify logically. What is the strongest emotion? I think it's pain.
Cure the pain, prevent pain and you have a sale. Throwing a bunch of features and benefits at a prospect is like throwing darts in the air in hopes one will hit the targer (hot button as traditionalists would say). - by triadtraining
Yes, I was trained traditionally by IDS for three weeks at Florida State University and The Florida Golden pages for one week. Concerning prospecting, they emphasized calling network contacts and cold calls. They both said to ask for referrals, but never specified the correct technique to elicit referrals from 80% of sold clients. Both programs emphasized a presentation and then emphasized demonstrating features and giving benefits. Neither program emphasized discovering pain to determine which features and benefits to roll out. People buy emotionally and justify logically. What is the strongest emotion? I think it's pain.
Cure the pain, prevent pain and you have a sale. Throwing a bunch of features and benefits at a prospect is like throwing darts in the air in hopes one will hit the targer (hot button as traditionalists would say).
How unfortunate that your traditional sales training had roots in such a program. :( - by Jeff Blackwell
I agree! Hope you have a great weekend. I am off line for the next week starting Sunday through Sunday.. - by triadtraining
Traditional sales training:
sitting in a class room learning the mechanics of a sale, then practicing in the classroom with fellow students to get a routine down. taking what you learned and tailoring it to your personality. Finally at the end of the training taking it out in the field under supervision and practicing live sales calls with a critique by a seasoned professional.
Where I learned: US Army recruiting school, six weeks of formal training covering all aspects of the sale. - by steveabn
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