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First, let's be clear about one thing. There's no such thing as a magic bullet. The problems your people encounter every day didn't appear overnight and they're not going to be gone tomorrow. However, we do believe in equipping them with the right tools to get back in the game quickly and be more effective, more productive and more enthusiastic about their work.

The sales skills analysis

A few weeks before our training session we conduct a sales skills analysis for each trainee. This comprehensive test assesses the salespersonís abilities in 13 key areas including: approach & involvement, handling & overcoming objections, ability to close sales, ethics, politeness & courtesy, friendliness & warmth, handling problems, ability to qualify buyers, prospecting & cold calling, presentations, time management, telephone technique and call enthusiasm. The test, which typically takes about 45 minutes to complete, includes 50 multiple choice questions with a total of about 360 possible answers. Given responses to the questionnaire are then ranked by percentile to a random sampling of a national database of 350,000 sales professionals. The resulting analysis allows us to develop and deliver a training program that is specific to this person's needs.

Small groups

Based on the results of the sales skills analysis, we then group trainees with similar areas of need together in small groups to effectively target those areas requiring attention. Rather than have the trainer "lecture" from the front of a large meeting room, a small group of participants gather together with the trainer (facilitator) in an informal manner. The training is conversational in nature and each trainee is engaged as an active participant throughout the entire process. Having knowledge of each participant's true needs in advance (from the results of the skills assessment), the facilitator can get to work right away assisting each participant with their "targeted" training. Since the other participants in the room will have similar requirements, each will benefit from the whole of the training. This method is far superior to subjecting your people to an overwhelming amount of material, potentially over the course of several days, only to have them utilize only those aspects of the training that were of immediate benefit.