March 8th, 2024

How to Prepare for Sales Training

Even for the most talented and successful sales people, developing the necessary skills to be successful does not happen by magic.

For those just getting started or veterans who have gotten a little rusty, sales training is a necessary component of success. It teaches you the basics of your role as a salesperson, as well as the necessary thought process and mindset needed to be a successful sales professional.

But, as with taking any class, it can make some people a little nervous while others do not know where to even start. Before undertaking a sales training program, whether it is something being integrated into your schedule by your employer or something that you are doing by your own volition, it is good to know what preparations you need to take. Read on to know how to be prepared for sales training.

Stay Organized

The very first thing you need to do to be prepared for whatever sales training program you are going to take is to keep yourself put together and professional.

You are going there to learn how to be a salesperson, thus you should carry yourself like one. This means knowing what the program’s dress code is and making sure that you are presentable. This means knowing what to bring and having it with you and arriving on time if not ahead of time.

Knowing what the rules of the program are and what you need will often be offered to you ahead of time, whether it be through an email, the class description, a rule book or syllabus, what have you. If you have any other questions about the program, often they will be happy to answer your questions. If your sales training is being provided directly in your working environment, often your work attire and supplies are enough unless stated otherwise.

That said, do should try to arrive in a relaxed frame of mind so you can focus on the program and understand that this is not a hard and fast rule. Some programs are more relaxed than others and often, as long as you are polite, arrive on time, have all your supplies, and wear something decent, you will be fine. Try not to overthink it.

Keep an Open Mind

When going into sales training, your main goal is to learn. But it can be tempting to only half-listen, thinking that you know more than you actually do, especially if you already have experience in sales. While you should not disregard what you know about sales, you should go into sales training with an open mind.

This means being willing to learn new concepts and possibly unlearning misconceptions you have accumulated about sales. It means learning the more difficult processes of sales and being willing to shift your mindset and attitude in order to be more successful as a sales person. This can even mean learning new sales techniques and being willing to forgo obsolete techniques.

If you go into any learning environment believing that you know everything that you need to know, then you will not get anything out of the class, and it will be a waste of time. But understanding that you still have a lot to learn, even as a sales veteran, being willing to learn and absorbing the knowledge being presented will ensure you get the most out of sales training.

Listen and Take Notes

Even if you are willing to learn, you also need to be prepared to listen. While it may sound easy to say, “just listen,” with what we know nowadays about the different kinds of learning styles and those on the neurodivergent spectrum, it has become a far more complicated topic. But, in broad strokes, when it comes to being prepared to learn, do what you need to do to be able to learn best.

For some, they will be able to watch and listen. For others, they may have difficulty just listening and may need to do something with their hands. This may involve taking notes while they listen. In this instance, it may be a good thing to do in general as it will give you something to go back to, especially if the program provides worksheets for you to write notes on. However, this may involve having to doodle in class or play with a fidget toy, something that is slowly getting destigmatized as we learn more about how people learn. You may also want to consider recording the lecture if you are an auditory learner.

Overall, know what your learning style is and do your best to use it when you are taking sales training.

Review What You Have Learned

As said by Mathew Pollard, author of The Introvert’s Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone: “Listen, not to answer, but to understand.” If you are taking sales training, you are not just there out of academic obligation to get enough credits to graduate high school, you are learning a skill and how to be successful in your career. Your focus when it comes to learning should be to understand what you are being taught.

Thus, when you are done with a session of sales training, try to review what you have learned and see if you understand what you were taught. If you were taking notes or recording the class, review them and see if you understand the subject or topic you learned. Go over it and talk to other classmates. If you feel you do not understand, it may be something you may want to do some personal research, or it could be a question you can ask during the next session. Either way, whether you understand the subject initially or not, prepare yourself to discuss it either to get a better understanding of it or to demonstrate your understanding of it.

Practice Being Proficient

Finally, practice what you were taught. This is simple if you are already a salesperson since you will be practicing the lessons you were taught every day. However, if you are working up to be a salesperson, then you need to go out of your way to practice. Practice these skills with your peers, try to imagine yourself in the kinds of situations you will be in as a salesperson, act out a scenario in front of a mirror, write down and go over notecards to practice a demonstration, et cetera.

Do whatever you need to do in order to practice the skills you have learned until you are proficient in them. That way, during the next session, you will be more prepared to demonstrate and discuss them, along with being prepared to learn the next skill.

February 27th, 2024

The Power of Quality Customer Service


In his work as a motivational speaker and sales trainer, The Sales Coaching Institute’s principal Doug Dvorak travels somewhere almost every week.

As a frequent flier, he has always made it a habit to fly United because it was convenient, and they were usually fairly reliable. That said, he would never have described himself as being loyal to United or a “die hard” patron. That all changed in November 2023.

On his birthday, Doug had to take a flight from Boise to Dallas. At one point during the flight, the flight attendant came approached him and asked him if he was Doug Dvorak. When he answered ‘yes,’ she presented him with a birthday card that had been signed by the entire crew. She also thanked him for being such a loyal United customer.

That simple act of appreciation made Doug’s day. It also served to heighten his awareness of all the other little improvements United had made to its customer service. By the end of the flight, he was as loyal a United die hard as you will ever meet!

It also got him thinking about how customer service is one of the first areas to suffer whenever a business cuts back on costs. From glitchy websites to automated help lines, many businesses will sacrifice the needs of their customers to save money. That is why businesses that really do care about their customers tend to stand out.

The power of quality customer service should not be overlooked by any business owner. Knowing what strategies to use and how to implement them effectively will help you keep the customers coming back for more over and over again.

Why Customer Service is so Important

According to Colleen Barret, President Emerita of Southwest Airlines, “To earn the respect (and eventually love) of your customers, you first have to respect those customers. That is why Golden Rule behavior is embraced by most of the winning companies.”

Seeing each customer as a statistic will not go unnoticed. In fact it is one of the most efficient ways to lose their business. Wasting their time, minimizing their concerns, or flat-out deceiving them to get a quick buck (even if you are not technically lying), are all anti-consumer behaviors that will flag your business as one that doesn’t care about its customers.

Even if your business is the only one in the area for a specific service, they will leave you the first chance they get. Customers have long memories.

But when you treat your customers like they are important to you, they will notice. Good customer service shows that they and their time are valued. When a business makes a customer feel valued, those customers will want to come back to support them. Additionally, good customer service will also make the experience that you are trying to provide a lot more appealing and will make them want to come back for that experience.

Furthermore, good customer service will boost your business’s reputation. When new people hear about your place and hear good things about it, they are more willing to try it out and are likely to become long-time patrons. It also shows that your business has standards, thus are more likely to be trusted.

Your boosted reputation will also make it a place where people want to work. While there are some who prefer to slack off and don’t care about how they work with customers, there are many who do want to make a positive impact, even if it is just a small part of their day. It will also boost your connections as more businesses will want to work with you due to your reputation.

How to Enhance Your Customer Service

There are many ways a business can improve their customer service, even if it is already fairly good. The first thing that you must ensure is that your customer service staff is polite and friendly. Ensure your employees always treat people with respect as a friendly interaction can ensure that your customers like interacting with your employees. They will remember that, too.

But one way to make someone’s bad day worse is to be inconvenienced, especially unnecessarily so. Ensure that your service is as streamlined as possible and eliminate any unnecessary hoops for your customers to jump through.

Most people just want to be in and out. Trying to convince them that your special will often lead to people not wanting to bother with your service. This means not correcting your customers on made-up company jargon or ensuring that they are able to easily connect to an actual person without having to cuss out the automated voice service. This also means making it easy to find your customer service number and providing easy means of getting a refund. Making things difficult for your customers will just steer them away from your business.

Another way to enhance customer service is to be accommodating. Be willing to help out customers who are struggling and be able to work with them to solve their issue. Sometimes this may include thinking outside the box and doing things that would inconvenience you. Even if you aren’t able to help, the attempt will usually be appreciated.

Finally, make your customer feel appreciated. Reward their loyalty with special deals, stamp cards, gifts, or even special events for a group of loyal patrons. Something as simple as remembering their name and thanking them for their time can go a long way in making a passing customer into a loyal one.

February 23rd, 2024

How to Outline a Killer Sales Pitch


One of the primary responsibilities of a sales representative is making sales pitches. Whether it be in person or over the phone, a good sales pitch is critical to the ongoing success of a sales rep’s career.

Like in many professions, there are a lot of people who are able to fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to giving their sales pitch. However, there are also a lot of people who need to plan out their sales pitch and make sure everything is prepared before they go in and possibly make a fool of themselves.

If you are more of a planner than a pantser, then one of the best ways for you to prepare for your sales pitch is to outline it. There are many benefits to outlining your sales pitch, from detailing what topics you wish to cover to knowing how to answer certain questions. While it is also important to know how to go off script when certain scenarios, having a good outline can make it far easier to make a deal. Read on to learn how to outline a killer sales pitch.

Know the Context

The first thing you need to do before writing your sales pitch is to know as much as you can about your product or service and the client you are pitching to. Going in blind or making your pitch generic will make it seem like you are uninterested in the needs of your client and/or that you do not know what you are talking about. Doing your research and having the proper context for your sales pitch will allow your pitch to be more accurate and precise. This in turn, makes you seem more knowledgeable and interested, therefore trustworthy, boosting the likelihood of your client accepting your pitch.

The first thing to do – for your current outline and for all outlines to come – is to have a deep understanding of your product or service. You should know more than the surface level of elements of what you are selling, something that most people can figure out from a quick internet search. Rather, you should know things the layperson would not easily know.

You should know how it works, what the benefits are, what the potential cons are, what scenarios it would and would not be applicable to, anything that your client may want to know. If you are presenting them with your service, they will expect you to know better than a layperson. Ensuring you understand your product/service will boost your credibility and make it more likely for your client to listen.

The rest of the context you should know has to do with the client themselves. You should do as much research on them as you can before you go in to pitch them your services. You should know what the company does, what their needs are, what problems they are currently facing, what kind of people are working there, who you may be speaking to, as much as you can.

This applies to both pantsers and planners, but for the latter it allows you to create a more detailed and tailored sales pitch. Doing so will make your clients feel heard and confident that you may be able to provide them the solution to their problem.

Get to the Point

Now that you have done your research, the first step to writing the outline is to plan out what you are planning to discuss. While most would start with the beginning of the outline, knowing what the body of the outline is going to contain can inform what the opening will contain. There is nothing wrong with starting with an opening if you would prefer, in fact in some circumstances it is actually more efficient that way, but in either case, be prepared to edit your outline after you’re down drafting it.

In the body of your outline, it is good to know the specific topics you plan to discuss. One of the best ways to present yourself in a sales pitch is through addressing the problem directly, describing how your product or service can solve that problem, and providing a couple of examples as to how it has solved that problem. Within this framework, you are able to get to the heart of why your client wants to invest and it allows you to fill in the details.

That said you do not want to give them everything all at once, rather you only want to give enough to pique their interest. The best piece of advice for a sales pitch is to be concise and get to the point. You’re not writing an article or an essay, you’re trying to convince someone to buy something, and most clients don’t like their time being wasted. So do not go on tangents, don’t rely on cliches or faulty metaphors. All of that just wastes time and muddies the waters with superfluous detail, just get to the point.

However, there is more than just details about the product that you want to provide. There are other aspects of a sales pitch that you should consider adding. You may want to appeal to their emotions, whether that be showing how your service has helped someone or by impressing them with the capabilities of your product. Being able to provide evidence and context are also critical, especially if someone is skeptical. If applicable, you could even apply a storytelling structure to your pitch. Doing so will keep your client engaged and may keep their interest. However, that may be reliant on how you choose to start your outline.

Start Strong

Next, or first if depending on how you want to do it, you work on the introduction of your outline. The primary information you want to provide in your introduction is the problem, the stakes of the problem and how it may affect your client, and whether your service may be able to solve that problem. It is especially effective if you are able to tailor it to your client by bringing up a problem they have or are currently facing.

If you want to get right into the thick of it, perhaps you should consider addressing the problem directly. Perhaps you could do it in the form of a question or of a statistic. Doing so may pique the client’s interest and provide them with the context from which they can follow your pitch.

You also may want to consider starting the pitch with an anecdote, whether it be personally, from someone you know, or even an example from a significantly well-known person. Doing so will provide a storytelling structure from which the client can get engaged. Though it is also critical to keep it clear and concise, otherwise you may ramble, and the client may lose interest. The stories you tell in your pitch should always be relevant.

The way you set up your introduction may inform how the rest of your pitch goes or it may only be there to get the ball rolling. What matters is that in either case, prepare to edit and make sure everything connects to the primary goal of your outline and pitch.

Be Ready for Anything

Once you have what you want to say ready, you should be prepared to answer whatever questions they may have. This could be something as simple as details about the product or something as complicated as how your service may apply to certain scenarios. However, you cannot predict everything that’s going to happen. When it comes to sales pitch, what the client has to say is just as important, if not more so.

As said by Mark Roberge, who served as Hubspot’s SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services and its CRO in the sales division: “It’s no longer about interrupting, pitching and closing. It is about listening, diagnosing and prescribing.”

In a sales pitch, you should be listening to just as much as you are speaking, if not more so. So be sure to practice and ensure that you are able to adapt when something is not on your outline.

January 18th, 2024
Sales Lessons from Leonardo is for

Top 10 Sales Lessons from Leonardo Da Vinci

Sales Lessons from Leonardo is for

One of the most brilliant individuals from history is Leonardo Da Vinci, Best described as the archetypal Renaissance person, he had passion, drive, and a boundless curiosity that led to his many incredible works of art and an endless array of ahead-of-his-time inventions.

Throughout his lifetime, he developed a sense of wisdom greater than most and he has inspired artists, scientists, and inventors throughout the years with his determination to discover and create.

Many of the life lessons he espoused are still being taught today, with a few of them even being applicable to sales. Now, it may sound like a stretch to try and apply the teachings of one of history’s greatest minds to sales, but that is only if you think of sales from the corporate level.

For many people, entrepreneurship and trading are about sharing what you’ve discovered with others. That sense of discovery, creation, and connection is sales in its purest form. Here are the Top 10 sales lessons you can learn from Leonardo:

1. Be Curious

One of Da Vinci’s most famous qualities was his relentless curiosity. His insatiable desire to know as much as he could about our world led to him study and excel in multiple fields including art, science, engineering and architecture.

That desire to understand how everything works bled into his art and design work, causing him to garner a lot of support from fascinated clients. This level of curiosity helps drive a salesperson in their work, pursuing information and learning more about the industry, their clients, and how to be the best salesperson they can be.

2. Seek Knowledge

Much like Da Vinci exploring fields that interested him, a salesperson should look to better understand their product and seek out information that may benefit their pitch. Da Vinci was a man who constantly sought information to know as much as he could and put what he knew into his work, developing a strong understanding from which he could communicate its value.

In his paintings, he developed a strong eye for the human form and understood how well his art was able to replicate it. A salesperson should constantly seek to understand their industry and their field, so they can have a better understanding of what they are trying to sell and better communicate its value.

3. Be Observant

Da Vinci’s strong observation skills were critical to his success in both his art and when he collaborated with his patrons. He paid attention to the complex ways his clients interacted and developed an understanding of what their preferences were so that he could better cater to them.

These skills are a vital part of every salesperson’s toolkit. They are necessary for understanding what a customer may be trying to communicate without directly saying anything and so the salesperson can better connect with the customer.

4. Pay Attention to Detail

In both his art and his sketches of his invention and of human anatomy, Da Vinci’s attention to detail was a cut above. His detailed studies and his willingness to go far greater in depth than most is what allowed him to create his artist masterpieces, with their complex integration of human anatomy, and the discoveries and ideas he was able to conjure in his scientific and inventory sketches.

These qualities are what attracted patrons to him, thus being able to be detail-oriented in your own sales approach can help build a loyal clientele. This includes knowing the details of your product or service, the various ways they can help certain clients, and even what deals may correspond with them.

5. Be Creative

Da Vinci’s creativity and inventiveness goes without saying, along with how they changed the landscape of both art and science. His ability to come up with unconventional ideas and groundbreaking concepts were able to redefine what was possible and cultivation of that level of creativity, or even just half of that level, can be a strong push as a sales person.

This does not mean making things up to try and convince someone to buy, rather it means finding new ways to sell your product and even pitching ideas that may improve your product if you’re in a position to do so.

6. Be Honest and Accurate

One reason Da Vinci’s legacy is so well respected is because of his dedication to intellectual integrity. He sought the truth in his scientific endeavors and did not allow himself to fudge results to come to the conclusions he wanted, nor did he try to trick anyone else.

Honesty and accuracy should be the cornerstone of any good salesperson. Many of the greats became great because they were honest about their work, thus it is important for a salesperson to be honest about their product and be accurate about what it can and cannot do.

7. Integrate Multiple Disciplines

Da Vinci is one of history’s most famous polymaths i.e., someone who studies and excels in multiple fields. He was deeply curious and eventually became an expert in multiple areas, from which he was able to cross-integrate them into his work. For example, his love of human anatomy was integrated into his art.

Thus, being able to integrate other disciplines into your sales career is something that can give you an edge over others who may not be as well rounded as people. It also provides the added benefit of preventing your work from becoming rigid and boring.

8. Think Outside The Box

Da Vinci was an unconventional thinker leading to an unorthodox approach that helped him solve issues in ways foreign to most people. He sought answers beyond what was given to him, and that ability allowed him to see boundless possibilities when it came to his art and inventions.

Thinking outside the box and developing a mindset of going beyond conventional means allows salespeople to come up with innovative solutions to common problems.

9. Work With Others

Da Vinci did not just work by himself. Over the course of his life, he had many proteges, students and collaborators with whom he shared his ideas and work. The ability to collaborate is essential for success, both back in his day and especially nowadays.

Working with other sales professionals can help leverage the strengths of each team member to provide solutions to a variety of problems while providing the best service possible to your clientele.

10. Take Notes

Finally, Da Vinci is well known for the copious amount of notes he took. In fact, they are probably the greatest remnant of his genius as they are filled with sketches, observations, and ideas.

They allowed him to channel his thoughts ore effectively and the act of writing them down helped him remember them. Effective note taking can allow a salesperson to do the same which is particularly valuable when creating a sales plan.

Conclusion: The life of Leonardo Da Vinci has influenced thousands of leaders across a myriad of different fields. By following his example, many of Da Vinci’s lessons can be incorporated into your sales career to help you become more successful.

January 10th, 2024

What is Your Selling Time Worth?


If you want to make money, you have to spend money. It is one of the oldest adages out there when it comes to finance and business. While you could argue this could apply to anything valuable, it mostly applies to money as that is how we measure value.

However, with something truly valuable, like our time, you won’t get any more time back by investing time into something. In fact, the only thing you’ll get is money and the chance of perhaps getting some more free time, but that is never a guarantee. Thus, our time is absolutely precious and should be used wisely.

However, nobody can truly manage time, as it is not something we can control, it will keep going whether we’re ready or not. The only thing we have control over is ourselves and manage what we do in the time that is afforded to us. By developing a firm understanding of how much your time is worth and how to use that time, you can make wiser decisions and possibly become more successful in the long run. Read on to learn what your selling time is worth.

What Your Time Is Worth

There are 24 hours in a day or 1,440 minutes. One percent of that time is 14 minutes and 24 seconds. On average, we spend about a third of that time sleeping and another 33% of the day at work. While this may seem like an over-simplification of how time works, there is value in understanding how much time we spend on things.

With any job, even if you love it and would do it for free, there is going to be something about it you hate. Even if it is a minor detail and doing it would help your career in the long run, there is always going to be a strong temptation to procrastinate and delay doing it for as long as you possibly can. If this is the case for you, perhaps a change of perspective will make it easier for you to be enthusiastic about the offending task.

Say there’s a tedious chore you need to do that takes about half an hour a day to complete. Such an expenditure of time might seem like a lot until you realize that it’s only about 2% of your day. It is time that you will barely miss as you still have the other 98% of the day to spend on things you enjoy. It also doesn’t have to be done all at once, as you could split it into two or three separate sessions.

This perspective not only makes these kinds of tasks a lot more manageable but allows you to have a better understanding about how much time you spend on something. In this instance, while 2% of your day may not seem like a lot, that time is still worth something, and that time does add up.

If you look at how much money you earn a year and how much time you spend on earning that money, you will develop a keen understanding of the exact value of your time. If you refer to the graph below, you can clearly see the connection between how much time you spend on your job in total and how much money that time is giving you based on 40 hours a week.


Knowing this will help you understand that the task you hate doing has value. If you make $50,000 a year, 2% of your day is worth $12. It is important to understand that all of your time is valuable even if you are not actually being paid to complete that task.

Know How Not To Waste Time

On the flipside, knowing this shows how important it is not to waste time including that of others who may make a lot more money than you, for example, CEOs. If every hour of your time is worth $24, an hour of a CEO’s time could be worth four or five times as much. You do not want to be thought of as a time waster by those people!

If you are wasting their time, you are costing them money. And, as the old saying goes: “Time is money!” By using your new understanding of the value of every minute, you will stop procrastinating and save yourself – and others – a lot of money!