Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Best of Barry: Ask more, get more

We worked with a great client who was in charge of training for his company. He told us he had only one rule regarding training events: Never, ever will they be held in Las Vegas.

I figured he must be anti-gambling or anti-Nevada or something, but he wasn't. He simply was sick and tired of salespeople showing up for training hungover or tired from gambling the night before. Las Vegas was too much of a temptation for salespeople to avoid, in his opinion.

The real problem was that the serious salespeople that attended the events were upset that attendees weren't engaged, showed up late and didn't learn. For the client, this meant too much time invested to train people who didn't care.

My company decided to do something about it. We required that each salesperson, no matter what his/her tenure or experience or sales success, be certified on the product PRIOR to being allowed to attend the event. That meant all 900 salespeople had to study the product and get trained and certified online before they were able to sign up to attend our training.

Some thought that this would not go over well with the top salespeople, but they loved it. The new salespeople loved it too, because it allowed them to be on an even playing field with the seasoned pros who attended. Our trainers loved it because they could provide more in-depth training to everyone that attended since they all knew a fair amount about the product before they sat down.

This approach - certify first, then attend training - was a big success, and, to this day, it's part of our program. In fact, it was so successful that within two years we held training events in Las Vegas and the client didn't mind it, because he knew the salespeople knew their stuff.

Barry LaBov
LaBov and Beyond
Originally posted 9/03/09

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