The Best Sales Training: Learning From My Favorite Sales Gurus

We all crave the wisdom of great teachers. It’s been 35 years in the sales business for me, and I’ve learned from some of the best. I will recap the best sales training lessons from some of my favorite sales gurus over the years.

It’s been 35 years in the business, and I’ve learned from some of the best. I want to share five lessons that have stuck with me over the years. Five lessons from five super smart people. They aren’t necessarily all sales trainers, but their messages are perfect for the sales world.

Dave Stone: Many of you young whippersnappers have no idea who I’m talking about. But Dave Stone was the original new home sales guru. He wrote the book on new home sales.

I can quote about a million things from Dave Stone, but I’ll share one that has always stuck with me. Simplicity wins.

Sometimes the home buying process can be really difficult mentally. The task of the sales professional is to keep things simple. Dave Stone used to say The mind can absorb with a seat can endure. So when a salesperson sits at a desk and drones on and on about a topic, the customer will phase out.

Nikki Joy: She said something really interesting that has always stuck with me.

She says, “The stupidest people are the loudest.” The idea here is in sales, there is a quiet confidence that people gravitate towards. You know, salespeople sometimes have a reputation of being brash and in-your-face, and I don’t think that’s the case. I don’t think it should be the case.

How quietly confident are you in your presentation?

Bill Kinnard: You’ve probably never heard of Bill Kinnard, but he was one of my early mentors in the new home sales business. Bill was a seasoned veteran when I was a newbie, and that dude was smooth as silk.

I thought salespeople had to be all geeked up and highly energetic. Bill’s demeanor was mild. It was laid back. His approach was all about gaining an enormous amount of trust from his buyers. And then, when it was time for the close, he was able to tell them what they needed to do casually, and they followed. I owe much to Bill Kinnard.

Stephen Covey: I know not a sales trainer, but the lessons for sales professionals were incredibly profound. One of the gems that have stuck with me over the years is that most people do not listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to respond. And boy, was I all too often guilty of that particular crime early in my sales days while my customer was talking to me. I’d be like, you know, when you shut up, I’ve got something really powerful to say.

That isn’t what your customer needs from you. What they need is your patient understanding. This is something you can be working on every day.

Zig Ziglar: You knew Zig was going to be on this list. I read “See You at the Top” in high school, and it opened up the possibilities of success for me for the first time.

I come from a lower-middle-class family, and the expectations were fairly low. But Zig inspired me to believe I could accomplish great things. Now, I could cite all kinds of lessons from Zig Ziglar, but there is one that truly stands out. Selling without integrity is manipulation. Zig was always about doing the right thing, even when no one was looking.

There were plenty of shortcuts, little white lies, and flat-out fabrications that I could have used to my advantage over the years, but somehow Zig’s voice was always in my ear.  Remember, the force will be with you always. 

There you have it. Five lessons from five people who impacted me. Who was it for you? Join us in Sales365 and share your comments!

If you want even more wisdom from great sales thinkers and practitioners, join us in Sales365. It’s our healthy social network for residential real estate salespeople who encourage each other, offer great counsel, have a lot of fun, and celebrate our tremendous careers. Learn more at or go to your app store and download it today.

Until next time, my friends learn more to earn more.

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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.