Where have all the good trainers gone?

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Why does sales training get some a bad rap during a fragile economy? I swear I have introduction paralysis when I’m shaking hands with someone at a conference or at last week’s Telebusiness Alliance meeting when everyone had to get up and introduce themselves, I thought long and hard about my intro. Should I say I’m an “author” and say that I’m President of TeleSmart, a sales training…….(oops better not say sales tttttraaaaaaning…because it’s a big bad word)  or perhaps I can substitute sales training with sales enablement (because it sounds better and still is undefined) or as Dave Stein refers to it officially as ”performance improvement provider.” 

The problem is that people are starting to equate sales trainers at the same level as car salesmen- there are so many out there and few are really any good. I agree there are many creating a slimy congestion in the field.  There’s nothing worst than someone who comes out of a dysfuctional relationship, hates their parents, has dealt with drugs and decides they now want to become a therapist. Same thing with sales trainers, most approach it with a checklist. Been in sales, sales management, done presentations, sat through long boring meetings, know how to engage and influence, like people and knows how to interact;….and voila, they are now a sales trainer.

The problem is not many are any good and few will ever get to Best status. Dave Stein agrees- especially in his recent post, Come on, Dave. Who’s the best sales trainer which he provides detailed questions to think about before hiring a trainer. These important questions are also a prelude to the in-depth needs assessment questions and discussions that must be addressed prior to the project. 

When I first launched my company 16 years ago, I had no idea what training was all about. I knew compelling topics such as Time Management and Voice Mail Messaging and Questioning were hot topics and once I sold the topic, I would walk away with the signed contract and wonder how I would pull it off. There were lots of mistakes and blunders along this very long road of education.

Today, sales trainers must do so much more than deliver great content. I am acutely aware of the huge responsibility it is to deliver training to a group of know-it-all salespeople who are impatient, apathetic, mistrusting, distracted and very edgy. Over the years, I’ve learned about human behavior and especially salespeople under stress. I also must know about the customer and what their demands are and how all this plays out in the company’s playgroup with management changing the sales rules all the time. Good trainers are sensitive to all of these elements and more.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Josiane Feigon
Josiane Feigon is a pioneer, maverick, and visionary in the inside sales community. A 2-year industry veteran, Josiane is the founder of TeleSmart Communications. Since 1994, this San Francisco-based solutions provider has been a leader in developing global Inside Sales teams and managers.

1 COMMENT

  1. You are right, I think. It’s not so much that there are fewer good ones, it’s that there’s a lot more ‘chaff’ mixed in with the ‘wheat’ these days.

    The REALLY good sales trainers are the ones you never hear of: The people who quietly transform one sales organization after another, never seem to have a shortage of clients, and so therefore don’t need to advertise.

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