The right way to learn how to sell

Pay-off: Pick the right learning solution to improve sales results

Investment: 2.5 minutes

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You read the book and attended the course. You listened to the advice and observed the boss.

But still, something isn’t right. You’re still not totally clear or confident. How the hell do you apply what you learned to your own world?

If you’re struggling, chances are you just tried to learn from people who were misaligned with you in one or more of these five ways (with the big one at number 5):


1. What works for their own style and customer demographic (who their customers are) and psychographic (why and how their customers buy) doesn’t work for your own.

It works for B2C in the USA, but not B2B in the UK.

It works for the more excitable and more easily-convinced in their industry, not the sceptical critical-thinkers in yours.

Your learning solution must be tailored.

2. They learned to sell when the rules were different (and now they just teach those outdated techniques)

They were great at solving sales challenges from the 90’s. But things changed.

It worked when buyers didn’t have access to the same information salespeople have.

It worked before decision makers stopped answering their phones.

It worked before email became saturated and when attention wasn’t so scarce.


3. They understand ‘sales’ but not ‘how people learn sales’. Big difference.

They show and tell you. They mistakenly think that learning is done to you. (Perhaps you do too?)

Rather than helping you to learn and move from where you’re at, because they know that learning is done by you. You lift. They’re your spotter. They help guide your form and technique. You typically make one sale out of 10. They help you make 7 out of 10. (For any non-sales people or consultants who want to set themselves up to win at selling, here’s a free e-course to get you started).


4. They sold you a one-off learning event.

They left you believing that sending the team to the ‘gym’ just once would build the required muscles.

They didn’t help you understand that frequently watering your plants is essential.


5. You thought it was their job to have you selling better

Here’s the whopper. You forgot that ultimately, it’s down to you to apply what you learn.

It’s down to you to lead the right behaviours in your teams, set expectations, lead by example, hold people accountable (you get what you tolerate), and create the structure to help your teams to consistently apply what they learn.

If someone or something is bottlenecking that internally (within your organisation or even within you), then that is your current (and costly) sales challenge, and it needs your immediate attention.

How should you learn to sell?

When choosing who to learn from when learning how to sell, you might want to consider these questions:

1..How well can they help us apply this to our own world and customers? (Relative to your alternative options).

2. How up to date and effective are these approaches? Do they work today? Will they work tomorrow? Do I want my people to sell to my customers like this person is selling to me?

3. How good, experienced or knowledgeable are they at selling? And how good are they at helping willing learners to transfer this to their behaviours?

4. What do they suggest happens after our first visit to the ‘gym’? (If they think you’re good to go after that, you might have a new problem on your hands).

5. What will I/we commit to doing to increase team buy-in for learning this, and measurably increase sales across the team? (This free guide helps you increase the desire to sell across your team) Who’s lifting our end?

That’s the right way to learn how to sell, and it needs your commitment.

Do you think someone in your network might like to read this?

If you found this post useful then perhaps some people in your network might like it too? Please consider helping it reach them with a like and a share – many thanks!

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Do you have a team of non-sales people or consultants who you think could be contributing to finding opportunities?

I might be able to help you.

Know any freelancers or independent consultants who might want to make more sales?

They might like to hear about this free e-course that helps them get started. (With more resources coming soon).

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