Tips for Selecting the Right Sales Trainer or Coach

December 4, 2011 at 11:21 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s almost 2012 and many companies and individuals are starting to think about improving and increasing their sales in the upcoming year. They are also pondering the idea of bringing in a professional resource to help them get to the proverbial “next rung” and making that decision can be vexing.

So, in the spirit of the holiday season, here’s what you need to think about when selecting a sales trainer/coach for yourself or your team:

1)    Interview the person very carefully and be attuned to not only their resume of accomplishments but also to their tone, manner and conversation style.  How you communicate something is equally as important as the words and concepts being shared, and certain styles of communication are known to “turn-off” the audience. Buyer beware!

2)    Find out if you can see the trainer “in action.” No, I don’t mean a video that appears on YouTube or their website. Mostly these are edited and are also very brief snippets of the person in action. Rather, you’d like to see and hear them engaging in real-time with an audience and handling the questions and push-back as well as how they keep the attention of the crowd. (When ALL else fails, a video is better than seeing/hearing nothing. Note to trainers everywhere, now is the time to build a library of videos for your site and YouTube!)

3)    How familiar are they with your industry? While in-depth experience working in your “space” does not necessarily insure that the program will be spot-on, it does help to make the trainer / coach more conversant and comfortable with your “jargon” and the selling challenges that you encounter. (And yes, a good trainer can do the appropriate research and gather this data even if they don’t have extensive prior work experience in your space.)

4)    What’s included in the program? Will the trainer / coach be accessible to you after the training for follow-up questions or challenges? Do they have handouts and / or workbooks to share with the group?  Bottom-line, do you get anything other than their time / expertise!

5)    Yes, fees count. Do you feel that their fee structure is fair and in-line with the training / coaching industry? Remember that training is an investment and done effectively, you WILL see ROI from the efforts.

6)    Do you like the trainer? Will your staff like the trainer? Personality and “platform/presentation skills” play a very strong role in being an effective trainer. Don’t ignore likeability!

7)    What other credentials do they have?  Author? Speaker? Columnist?  Many trainers can bring a broad perspective and additional skills to your unique situation. These other skills can be highly beneficial and provide you with added value.

8)    If the trainer / coach has published a book on sales, make certain to get a copy for each of the participants. Authors tend to have quite a bit of well-deserved credibility and this will help you to obtain buy-in from the trainees.

And of course, trust your gut instincts but don’t rely on them exclusively. Engaging with a sales trainer or coach should be an extremely beneficial and rewarding experience.  Any questions, ask me…no obligation, of course!


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