Taking Sales Training out of the Class Room!

For over a decade I have been practicing Yoga and it’s helped me stay balanced, as much as one can expect from a Dominant D-Behavioral Type or Type A Personality like myself. It’s been a process to focus on my breathing, taking time out of my busy schedule to stretch myself to the limit, but it’s paid off. I am certainly calmer and more focused than 10 years ago.

One of my Yoga teachers, years ago kept saying. “What’s really important is that we take Yoga off the mat“. At first I didn’t quite understand what she meant, but then one day I walked out of the Yoga studio onto the parking lot and one of my fellow Yoga practitioners almost drove into me, because he was pulling out of his parking lot like Mario Andretti back in his days taking off from the pole position in a Formula One race.

That’s when it clicked. Taking Yoga off the mat means that you practice Yoga and the principles every single day, which means that you should be more mindful, enjoying the moment, breathing, etc.

Take Sales Training off the Mat (=out of the Classroom)

The same principles hold true when it comes to sales training. We need to take it out of the classroom. That’s why I am so passionate about our training model and process. Our program keeps the learners (=sales and service professionals) involved in the learning and real-life application process for 6-8 months. And I emphasize the importance of applying what they are learning.

It doesn’t matter how good sales training is, if it doesn’t impact with long lasting effects, it won’t make a discernible difference to a sales or service person’s performance.

But – and here comes the important part – the learner has to be willing to take the sales training out of the classroom. That means deliberately and strategically applying the principles of Consultative Selling every single day.

Most of the Yoga practitioners who attended the January session will be gone by April. Only the committed ones, the top performers (not that applies to Yoga) will stay the course. In sales it’s about performance, but we also have to be present and breathing never hurts. Sustainable change however will only happen if we take sales training off of the “mat” – out of the classroom. It’s important to hear about overcoming objections, handling stalls, cold calling and prospecting techniques, etc. I know many sales people who have read every single book ever written about sales. They follow thought leaders and read the newest articles. Some of them are top performers, but too many are just good “students”. And by that I mean, that they can theoretically talk about these concepts, but they can’t consistently and successfully apply them in real life.

And application is key to success. We see that in our sales training programs all the time. We ask participants to apply what they have learned, they are measured by their ability to transfer their knowledge to real live client interactions. Otherwise, spending time and money on training doesn’t make sense. It won’t have long lasting effects.

Whether it’s practicing Yoga or doing sales training, we will best succeed and achieve our goals when we are able to take our practices out of the learning environment.