How are you educating and training your employees… and yourself?

How are you educating and training your employees… and yourself?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

I just read a pathetic sales pitch from an email where a “training company” was telling me why training fails, and offering what THEY thought was the best way to approach the process.

Seems as though they solicited the opinions of ten or twelve people – most of whom haven’t sold anything in years (or ever) nor have they ever trained anyone – and are offering their advice in an email – in other words, not enough of a relationship, or lack of guts, to make a phone call. YIKES!

Sending this type of random information to random people is bound to have a few short-term successes, but the vast majority of people will hit the “delete” key without a second thought. YIKES!

Here’s the essence of their claim about why training fails:

  • Monotonous: Training was developed based on one or a few individuals experience
  • Overpriced: Too expensive in terms of a financial commitment or human capital requirement
  • No true blended learning solution (Was either too much online or in the classroom)
  • Unaccountability: Was not being supported, tracked or reinforced by management
  • Learning wasn’t being tied into current business metrics

Huh? This information is not only totally inaccurate; it’s also dangerous. And buzzwords like blended learning and business metrics without explanation are as empty as the results will be for the people that take this type of training. Can someone please tell me what a business metric is anyway?

REALITY: I did a four-day, 23-hour marathon boot camp and had 100% of the people paying 100% attention, 100% of the time. The attendees paid plenty, got 100 times their money’s worth (captured in video testimonial), and didn’t care about blending, metrics, or any other convenient training buzzword.

  • What they got was value.
  • What they got was real world.
  • What they got was new information.
  • What they got was immediately applicable.
  • And that’s what they were hoping for.

The reality is, the new world of learning requires much more than rhetoric to be effective. It requires a series of elements that MUST be present, or the training won’t produce the results that senior management is hoping for.

It’s not about opinion. It’s not about buzzwords that no one can understand, let alone relate to. It’s about the voice of customer, and understandable concepts that can be converted into sales. Money.

Here are the uncompromising elements that training must include:

  • The world-class, real-world expertise of the trainer- one or many
  • Acceptability of the trainer to the students
  • Willingness of the students to learn and apply
  • Relatable ideas and concepts to each participant
  • Proven strategies – no theory or pie in the sky
  • Individual elements of the selling process that don’t manipulate – not a system
  • Real-world personalized information in harmony with the market
  • Transferable concepts that learners can see themselves doing
  • A learning environment that encourages students to succeed
  • Actionable elements that can be used immediately and successfully
  • Timed online reinforcement must exist beyond the classroom lessons
  • Using the voice of the customer to reinforce the lesson and salespeople belief
  • Measurable success by two simple measurements — increase in sales and increase in customer loyalty, NOT ROI or some other phony justification measurement
  • Before, during, and after the training, leadership that coaches with encouragement on a daily basis.

That’s training.
That’s education.
That’s interactivity.
That’s layers of learning.
That’s transferable concepts.
That’s real world applicable.
That’s money in the bank.

REALITY: In this economy you need real answers. You cannot take a chance on unproven facts or people.

CAUTION: If you’re looking for real-world sales training that works and earns a measurable return, don’t get the opinions of executives- don’t listen to self proclaimed “experts” that haven’t made millions of dollars worth of sales themselves – and don’t have at least six (coherent) bestselling books on the subject.

ANSWER: Identify the needs of your salespeople, and create answers based on your customers opinions and reasons for buying. Then find someone who can deliver a compelling, inspirational message that encourages your sales team to create the only thing that will win: New sales.