Radio Sales Today

RAB Sales Tips

Training: It’s Not Just How, But Whom You Train

Spend some time in this business, and you’ll have the pleasure of working with some great salespeople. None of them sold exactly like me. They had their own style, their own personality and they were incredibly successful. What I learned quickly as a new manager was that my job was not to get people to sell like me. My job was to get them to be their very best.

I learned that sales training doesn’t always work. Naturally, I blamed myself. I must not be a good trainer; I must not be inspiring them. What confused me was that training was working very well with some and not at all with others. Then I read an article from Tom Stanfill at ASLAN Training, and it all made sense.

There are four types of people on your team:

1. Independents: Sellers who are meeting or exceeding performance levels but show little or no interest in changing. They show up to sales training because they must, but they will not change behavior as a result, because they don’t think they need to.

2. Detractors: Sellers who have substandard performance and lack the willingness to change.

3. Strivers: Sellers who have a very strong desire to improve and grow but are not currently meeting performance levels.

4. Achievers: Sellers who have a strong desire to improve and grow and are meeting and exceeding performance expectations.

Once you identify them, you can customize your training and coaching. Here’s how:

Achievers – The strategy is to reward, retain and challenge. You reward them with your time and attention. You focus primarily on them, challenging them to try new things. Utilize them as a “mentor” to others or to lead training discussions.

Strivers – The strategy is to “show them the way.” Help them develop a personal development plan and keep them accountable to their plan. Provide frequent feedback and course corrections as necessary. Share “how you did it”with them and how others do it to give them options as they find their own way. Role playing is a great tool with Strivers.

Detractors – Don’t waste your time. Spend that time on recruiting.

Independents – They will come to you when they are stuck and need help. It won’t be often. If they are hitting their goals, they will be satisfied. If they meet the company goal assigned to them, they are pretty much good to go.

If your current training methods aren’t producing the results you want, perhaps it’s not “how” your training, but whom. Maybe these descriptions can help.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB