From an early age, many of us can remember a parent, teacher or coach reminding us that, “if you don’t practice, you’ll never be very good!” Sound familiar? My question is, at exactly what age did we begin to believe that this is no longer true?
Much of my professional effort is focused on presenting sales techniques that will benefit those being trained to sell both more effectively and profitably. Most seem to be fully engaged and enthusiastic about their newly learned skills. Yet when I ask them both how, and how often, they intend to practice their new methods, I always get the same blank look!
Do you think that Michael Jordan swished the first free throw that he ever attempted? Did Yo Yo Ma just pick up a bow and have the cello mastered after the first lesson? Of course not. They practiced both while people were watching, and even when they were not. They realized that “good enough” seldom is. They desired to be the best!
Aren’t you glad that your dentist didn’t see a procedure performed once, said “I’ve got it”, and then started drilling on your teeth? Most of us don’t even have the guts to get a haircut at a beauty school when we are the customer, yet we will send a novice out to make recommendations on a customer’s major flooring purchase. How fair is that?
Sales managers, this is your responsibility. Randomly select a product and ask a sales person to “sell me this”. Positively critique their presentation, and then do it again tomorrow and the next day. By doing so, their confidence and skills will both grow. All involved, especially the customer, will be glad that you did.