Why Now Is the Best Time to Learn How To Sell

Learn How To SellShould you learn how to sell? And if so, when?

Well, let me ask you this:

Do you like the idea of being automated out of that job you have?

Does the thought of staying at pretty much the same income level year after year appeal to you?

If you're a business owner but aren't yet convinced that sales is part of 'what you do', are you enjoying the monthly rollercoaster of ups and downs in revenue?

Here's the unvarnished truth:

Now is the best time to learn how to sell. Right now.


1. It's going to take you awhile.

Selling is a skill. Just like riding a bike, cooking, painting or fencing...there are things you're going to have to learn and practice. Your commitment is required.

Start now, so that in a few months you'll be well on your way to competency. You'll see why this is important in a moment.

2. Many jobs are getting replaced by automation, or downsized out.

If you want to remain at the mercy of someone else and events outside your control, by all means ignore learning sales skills and keep doing what you're doing.

Anything that can be done by fewer people, or a machine, or outsourced to a country with a cheaper labor pool, is at risk of being instantly taken away. The whole concept of work is changing. And having a college degree does not matter.

But sales roles...

3. Skilled salespeople are rare.

Yes, there are loads of people who put on a sales department nametag and head on out--but few, very few, are actually competent. Sales is the only field I can think of that you can be sent out into the front lines without any training. And product training does not count. If you want to learn how to sell, you must begin with a consistent sales process.

Salespeople create massive value. Anyone who can get $2X for something that costs $X will always have a place in an organization.

Selling won't disappear. Able salespeople will always be in demand. And it's simple economics: when supply is low and demand is high, the price (your earnings) go up. So invest in yourself now, and reap the rewards for the rest of your life.

4. Learning to sell will make you a better person and communicator.

If you learn how to sell with a consistent sales process, you will become a more precise communicator. The things you say will have purpose. Take the simple act of asking, "Is this a bad time to talk?" When I call a family member this is the first thing I ask. How do I know what they were doing right before I called? Maybe one of my sisters-in-law is having a meltdown. Checking first is a polite thing to do.

Also, from a personal perspective, I know that learning to sell has made me a stronger person. Since I am looking for best fit rather than a sale right now, I only work with people who will treat me well. This takes away the fawningness that many people associate with selling--as if the salesperson has to become your best friend to get the order. Instead, I am checking for potential problems.

"Easy for You to Learn How to Sell, But for Me...?"

Sometimes I hear people say, "Well, it's easy for you." It wasn't. As a teenager I was nervous. I always wondered what other people were thinking. Getting on the phone was difficult until I got into my mid-20s. And even then, it took about six months as a credit manager making calls until I started getting comfortable with it.

If I can do it, so can you: but the point is, learning how to sell is a transformational process. If you commit to it, learning the skills will make you better.

Sales skills are going to become diamond-value assets in the next several decades. Fewer and fewer people are going to have them. Everyone wants to stay hidden behind a computer or away from the front lines. But for those who want to commit, and transform themselves with these skills, the rewards will be tremendous. Not to mention the stability. When you can pull money from the walls whenever you need it, you can truly write your own ticket.

The time to learn how to sell is NOW.

2022 Update About How You Can Learn How To Sell

The original post was written in 2014 and like many things in sales nothing has changed in the meantime. Despite AI copywriting software and "done for you" sales teams, it's still the best time for you to learn how to sell for yourself.

The first thing to do is find out about different styles of selling, and determine which feels right for you. Hopkins traditional style selling, consultative selling, and Challenger selling are just three examples. Then commit to learning the process and techniques of the individual approach you feel is best for you. Soon you'll be applying a consistent sales process, and knowing why you got some orders and not others.

>> If you're ready to learn how to sell, ethically and effectively, check out SALES ON FIRE <<


Does Sales Training Really Work?

Does sales training really workDoes sales training really work? Can you figure out an ROI on the investment? Rapid Learning Institute CEO Stephen Meyer says in Forbes you might as well have asked "to prove unicorns don't exist."

Among other credentials, I have a technical diploma in Operations Management...the discipline that trains you on how to develop Key Performance Indicators, ROI calculations and performance measures of all kinds. And as Meyers shares in his Forbes article, even *I* can't tell you how to mathematically figure out whether the investment in sales training is worth it in dollars spent vs dollars earned terms. Sure, I could do some fancy statistics work and get an 'r' factor to separate correlation from causation...but we still wouldn't really know if sales improved or declined because the economy had a hiccup, or the sales training had a fast impact, or another element came into play.

Prove It! Does Sales Training Really Work?

The Forbes article points out some scary stats on how companies go about determining the effectiveness of sales training. Look at how the interest level declines in management's attempt to find out "Does sales training really work?":

1. Nearly every time, management asks how the sales employee feels about the training program.

2. Just over a third of the time, they try to find out whether the salesperson learned something.

3. Less than one time in six(!) do they check if the sales staff are doing the behaviors they learned in the program!

4. And a whopping 97% of the time they cannot map the training to a positive result.

You might react to these numbers by saying, "I'll never get sales training again!" But that would be a mistake. The error lies not in the training, but in management's inability to quantify something that may not be directly quantifiable.

Meyer's real killer question about sales training is: "Do you want a salesforce that consistently deploys selling best-practices that lead to strong results, or an untrained salesforce that lapses in to bad habits that lead to mediocre results?"

And with that, I agree in the strongest possible terms. An untrained salesforce lacks a consistent sales process. 'To manage we must measure'--this is an Operations Management maxim. Without consistency, we cannot measure...or improve. If each member of your sales team is doing their own thing...following their own set of steps or lack thereof...stressing different aspects or techniques and ignoring others...you don't have any consistency. And so you cannot manage. The net results are purely accidental.

Ways To Help Answer "Does Sales Training Really Work"

Australian trainer Sue Barrett says online video training is a great option. I agree: it's effective, cost-saving, frees the student up to learn on their own time, can be easily added to with new content, and makes ongoing reinforcement consistent.

Richard Ruff recently reiterated: "Stop viewing training as an episodic event and start viewing it as an ongoing process." Change is the only consistent factor in the new world of selling, and a one-time attempt at improvement is not going to do the trick. Ruff also supports the idea of video training as an expert way to train new hires.

While quantifying a distinct ROI for sales training may be tough, the fact is without a consistent sales process your team will be conducting scattered, confused and uneven behaviors...leading to scattered, confused and uneven results. The answer to "Does sales training really work?" is the investment in sales training does pay off, with a process you can measure and manage.

>>Jason Kanigan helps companies position themselves with the right Price to gain Power in the marketplace, with which to maximize their Profit. Questions about the value of investing in sales training? Comment below to let us know! And please Like or Share to get this content in front of someone who needs it!<<