Sales training. It can be amazing, awful, or anywhere in between. Wherever it falls on the scale, it’s my hunch that your company makes your attendance mandatory. Well, if you must sit through it, my advice is to make the most of your time and soak up every possible benefit that can be gained.
How do you do that? Here are my three simple tips.
Check Your Superiority Bias at the Door
Superiority bias is that internal voice that tells you that you are a little bit better at something than you actually are. For example, a comment I often get, usually during a break in a training class is, “This training is great, and there are a lot of people in this class who really need to hear this content.” Cue my eye roll because I know that the person saying this to me will likely take away nothing from the session. They either think they are beyond the learning or that they are simply so good at what they do that there is no room for improvement.
Superiority bias is often the biggest barrier to a person’s growth and development. Learn to drop your superiority bias and be open to new ideas anytime you are in a learning environment. You might surprise yourself and come away with a better way of doing something you’re already really good at doing.
Participation is Key
It’s true that everyone has different learning styles. However, what is universal is that we learn best when we are not only listening but also doing. The doing part solidifies the learning in your brain and helps you to make sense of what is being taught.
I know for many of you being an active participant in a training class is even harder than checking your superiority bias at the door. You’d rather run through fire than raise your hand to volunteer during a training session. It’s uncomfortable, right? What do we know about addictions to comfort? They are popular because they’re easy! If you want to grow and be better at anything, it will require you to lean into the discomfort of the process. When you allow yourself to be more vulnerable to discomfort while learning new skills, you maximize the opportunity for in-depth absorption.
Okay, you’ve made it this far. You checked your superiority bias at the door. You participated in the training and even volunteered for role-play! You’re feeling good about all the knowledge you’ve received, and you can’t wait to get in front of a client and give your newfound techniques a spin.
Not so fast! You must practice first. If you aren’t intentional about practicing your new skills before trying them out on real clients, you’re likely to fail. What happens when we fail at something new? That’s right! We go back to the old way.
When you’re thinking and planning your practice session, plan to work on your new skills right away. Don’t wait days, weeks, or months until you start practicing. The longer you go between the learning and the application, the more difficult it will be for you to use the skills.
Ideally, I’d recommend practicing something the same day and then every day after for a specified amount of time. Get out your smartphone and record yourself using your new language and questions. Listen to the recording and pretend you are reviewing a peer. Document the feedback you have for yourself. Make your adjustments and record again. Do this ten times or until you’ve nailed it. Then go find a peer to practice with. Once you’ve mastered it with a peer, ask your manager to review it with you. You get the picture I’m guessing. In a matter of a few days, you can probably have at least a small portion of what you just learned implemented and ready to use with clients.
Like most things in life, it all depends on how you look at them. The lens through which you view sales training will shape the results you experience. Having the right mindset is always half the battle. When you take these ideas into your next training I’m 100% confident that you’ll get more out of it and you’ll be even better at helping people change their worlds.