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The Best Sales Training

Hello I'm Curtis Pinkston and I'm new to this forum. The first thing I want to do is thank everyone for making salespractice.com the treasure that it is. My first impression of this site is one of sales professionals who actually want to help each other get better at what they do. This is a pretty stark contrast to other sales forums I have visited. Good Job Jeff and other sales experts.

I am 28 years old and about to graduate with a degree in Finance. I served in the military for 5 years, so I am a little older than the average graduate. I have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to be in a career where I am only limited by my own success. I understand that if a person can learn to "sell" and has the discipline and drive it takes to succeed they can control their own future.

I also understand how important it is to get solid sales training/coaching from the right company/manager. However, I am too new to the industry to know which companies have the best sales training programs.

So my question is:
If you were just now graduating college and had very little sales experience, what company or companies would you look to join in order to get the best sales training available.

I know that much of ones own sales training comes from personal victories and failures in selling. But what companies offer the best training and support while your learning? I am more interested in B2B companies.

Thanks for your help - by cjp231
From what I can gather the Xerox Professional Selling Skills are still highly regarded. If you can find a company that would put you through that program I think you'd be on a the right track. - by Houston
I agree with Zerox being highly regarded. I have another suggestion that might seem a bit strange. Some people that I work with started in the timeshare business. Not really sure if all timeshare companies are like the one they came from but they say that Monarch Grand Vacations had the best sales training of any place they had been. To keep things in prospective, these are people that have spent ten's of thousands of dollars on sales training. According to them, (dont kill the messenger) they said what they recieved from Monarch was better than anything they ever paid for.

I have no personal expierence here but thought I would pass that on. Hope that helps. - by girlclozer
Do you want to sell at any cost? Pressure people to sign on the dotted line? Are you willing to swallow your pride and self respect and bring in the HeavyCloser if you can't close? Would you subject your daughers and sons - your moms and dads to that experience? If you answer YES to those questions learning how to sell ala timeshare selling might just be for you.

Here's free for the taking (not from a book or copyright) sample of timeshare selling:

"The first five seconds of a Timeshare presentation are crucial because you’re presenting yourself not the product. Before meeting your clients try to put yourself in their shoes. Your clients will have normally been brought in by taxi. Once they are in that taxi and start their journey to the resort the stark reality of what they are doing suddenly hits them and they realise they’re on their way to “another one of those Timeshare presentations”. How do you think they are feeling at this point? Probably very nervous and definitely a bit scared if they’ve attended a Timeshare presentation in the past and experienced the old five hours of hard sell Timeshare sales tactics.

They will have made a pact in the taxi to collect their gifts and get out of there as quickly as possible and not sign or agree to anything. Normally the dominant partner will have said to the other partner to keep quite and let them do all the talking and they will be expecting some smooth talking, slick Timeshare sales person to be meeting them in reception just like the last time.

This is a massive defense wall they have built for sales protection through past experience and the longer they are in the taxi the stronger the wall will be. If you don’t get through that defense shield during your warm up period, you will never get the deal no matter how many sales tactics and closing techniques you can use! So the sooner you can start breaking down the defense shield the better.

So how can you start to break down this defense shield right from the first moment we meet our clients?

Reverse psychology. Throw them completely of balance right in the first five seconds. Don’t try to be smart and use power control tricks that’s what there expecting. Just be yourself they’re not expecting that. Remember these people are really very scared of you; for the first half an hour they will still feel very vulnerable so be extra sensitive to their body language. These people are on holiday and they want to enjoy themselves so start to entertain them. Have fun. Make them wish they were staying on your resort instead of the hotel they are actually staying in. Try to make them forget you’re a sales professional until you’ve calmed them down enough to start your presentation.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help you break through the Timeshare defense shield.

Don’t: Carry any sales material with you when you first meet your clients that can be picked up later or be prepared and waiting in the presentation room. I didn’t even have a pen on show until I needed it I kept it in my trouser pocket out of site.
Do: use open body language when you meet them and always include all family members in your introduction. Children can sell this for you if you get them on your side and Grandma and Grandpa will have a lot of influence in the final buying decision out of pure respect from their children so don’t leave any body out when introducing yourself.
Do: get on first name terms immediately with all the people in the party they will feel you have known them a lot longer if you use their first names. When they start using your first name then you’re just like old mates having a coffee together.
Don’t: be tempted to mention anything about the product at this stage even if they prompt you.
Do: Take immediate control and move your clients to the warm up area where you can order drinks and start to relax them even more
Do: ask them if they need the toilet on the way to the warm up area, they could have been stuck in traffic and the nerves will also have had an effect on their bladders. They might not be comfortable enough to ask for the ladies room just yet so pre-empt it and watch the sigh of relieve cross their faces. With that one gesture you’ve just won a load of brownie points!
Now you can move into warm up………………."

OR am I wrong and they have changed in the past decade? The last one I attended for a free breakfast fifteen years ago I wouldn't wish on onyone.

MitchM - by MitchM
Thanks for the input.

I would rather not sell timeshares, simply because of their hard sell tactics. So I still have the question:

Are there any other companies like Xerox that offer even above average sales training for new employees?

My previous question was:

If you were just now graduating college and had very little sales experience, what company or companies would you look to join in order to get the best sales training available.

I know that much of ones own sales training comes from personal victories and failures in selling. But what companies offer the best training and support while your learning? I am more interested in B2B companies.

Thanks for your help - by cjp231
Does the company you currently work for or a company you have worked for in the past offer a structured sales training program? Did you find this training helpful? - by cjp231
I am basically self employed. I have, however, invested a lot of money in various sales trainers. I spend on average (roughly) twelve thousand dollars per year.

For those of you out there lucky enough, I think that a company that provides great training like Xerox and others is a huge benefit. - by girlclozer
Curtis, perhaps before identifying who or what training, where would you like to end-up:
1. in what sort of industry do you envision yourself?
2. what appeals in terms of products/services to sell?
3. (without sounding ludicrous) how much to you want to make initially, mid-term, then long term?

The training which you receive in the short term (ie. to get that first job under your belt) might not get you where you want to be. As you're probably experiencing, not everyone is interested in hiring you at this stage.

You have a basis in finance, is there something in that industry which appeals? You might want to do some web-based research on software companies targeting the financial services arena. These tend to be longer sales cycles in the B2B arena.

While profiling target companies, I tell search firms: there needs to be some IP and the offering mustn't be a commodity. A company with intellectual property rights (IP) has legal rights to the offering (product or service) which implies "margin". It also says that you might not need to discount your price. When you're selling something that's perceived as a "commodity", it's a bit of a grind in that you're prospects know as much on the topic as you do.

As you go through your interviewing, be FIRM on several topics and, given this query to the SP forum, dig-in your heels on training as a prerequisite for potential employers. Ask up-front, "... specifically how is training handled ... is it internal or company-funded, 3rd party delivered ....".

One of the great ways to cut-to-the-chase on how committed they are to training is to get the compensation topic clarified early-on: "...while I'm in training mode, precisely how does this company's compensation model work ...". Seek out concepts such as "guarantees at 100% of plan" during the initial phase (3 - 6 months) followed by a draw for a specified period (whereby you'll be paid regardless of whether you hit plan).

I worked for Xerox (after 3M and before Apple Computer) and it was the pre-eminent employer on this topic! Sadly, it's not the same UNLESS they hire you directly (most of their sales are pushed thru "agents" who don't not pay salaries and churn thru grads).

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
If you really believe that the 'selling profession' is for you then don't expect a company to train you. Find a professional sales training organization and learn the skills of selling that they train. Find a selling system, that you can be comfortable with; learn it; don't just learn the theory of it, use it.

Then no matter what, product you will be selling, you will have the 'selling skills' of a methodology and system to use. Your value to an organization might even improve.

But then again, this is advice is coming to you from someone who is a Sales Trainer.

I have corporate clients, who have brought our sales training into their company, as well as work with individuals who are 'independent sales reps' or 'independent business owners', who become my clients. - by Paulette Halpern
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