Why Reinforcement Is Necessary for Sales Success

Why Reinforcement Is NecessaryWhy Reinforcement Is Necessary for Sales Success is a subject discussed by other serious sales trainers as well. It's not just me. You hear me say, "Ongoing reinforcement is needed for getting results in selling." That a one-time seminar or lecture won't get you results.

Why is that?

Let's deal first with the lecturing. Why doesn't hearing a sales technique once at a seminar work? The answer is because actual learning did not occur. The salesperson goes into congnitive overload. They become defensive. The message is tuned out.

"I already do that."

"This guy isn't telling me anything new."

"I'm already a great salesperson."

Even if the salesperson does accept the new idea, after a couple of weeks they'll forget it. Back to their old comfort zone. Back to their old techniques.

Why Reinforcement Is Necessary: How It Overcomes Inertia

But the sales manager/trainer/leader has to have a playbook. The playbook can be a consistent sales process. It can be objections and rebuttals. It can be an equation to be applied to the customer's business--can we reduce their costs or increase their revenues? What is inside the playbook doesn't matter as much as having one.

Without the playbook, you don't have a target to aim at. If you don't have a target, will you have consistency? If you don't have consistency, can you manage your results?

The Three Learning Phases Showing Why Reinforcement Is Necessary

The plain truth is the way we learn is why reinforcement is necessary for sales success. Some approaches are based on studies of adult learning. Effective coaching simply bolsters that adult learning process. So how do we do it?

First, we perceive. We assess a situation and perceive which variables are critical to our success.

Second, we decide. Which course of action should we take? Thank goodness we have that playbook handy!

Third, we act. We practice, we roleplay, we rehearse--but most of all we use the new technique in real life.

The salesperson can practice. The coach gives ongoing feedback. That feedback can come in the form of ridealongs and a debriefing chat right after the prospect visit. It can come in the form of simulations. And it can be in the form of team coaching, where peers work with one another.

But the common key is that you need to see the new technique over and over again...interacting with real life. That's how it will stick. You must first perceive the need for it. Then decide to use the techique. And then really use it, taking action with the new technique in live selling situations.

Sounds simple? Doing this consciously is not nearly as easy as talking about it. That's why having a coach who will keep showing you why reinforcement is necessary helps so much.

Update: Is Ongoing Re-Learning of Sales Technique Still Needed In 2022?

Many years have passed since the first version of this post was written in 2014. Have people gotten any smarter? Are they more effective at learning and retaining information?

Of course not!

The belief that "I looked the course over one time, and now I know everything forever" remains an extremely common one. But let me remind you that * I * have to go over my own material several times a year—or else I'll forget the techniques just as easily as anyone else. And I'm more familiar with these concepts than anybody!

Humanity has a belief that just because we read or heard something and it seemed good, we must now know that thing and retain it for all time. You know just by reading the previous sentence that the idea is ridiculous; however, you go on acting as if it is true.

Don't fall for this unthinking belief. It's not just silly: it's harmful to you. Get a coach and a continuous sales training program in place to support your success.

>> If you're ready to become supported by the greatest sales and business owner training on the planet, SALES ON FIRE, go here <<


Documentation Is Important: More Valuable Than You Think

Documentation is important, gosh darn it.

I had a conversation with a highly experienced business owner late last week that gave me some feedback I found alarming.

We were talking about process improvement, and he told me what he thought about some of the copy on my website that mentions "documentation."

He didn't think it was important. Nor did the wording tell him enough about what my company does.

And it's my fault.

I haven't explained this well enough.

Documentation is important. Far more important than you think.

When people see that word, "Documentation," I can understand that their eyes glaze over.

It sounds boring.

"Yeah, yeah," they say. "I know about documentation."

After all, all you have to do is write things down...right?

And then you're documented.


documentation camera coffee recording data information doodle process map

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Good Documentation Is The Key To Learning

Unfortunately, that's where the understanding ends for most business people.

And when they see that word, "documentation," their brains shut off. It's already dealt with. No big deal. Not even a problem.

Right there: that's the fail point.

When you think you've already handled something...that's the very item you should be reviewing.

Since my company documents other companies for a living, I can tell you a few things. Let's begin with this: most organizations are pretty darn poor about documentation.

They don't have process maps.

They certainly don't understand their metrics.

They did not choose their measures deliberately, instead abdicating that responsibility to some tech who came in to install their CRM.

Let's Change Your Definition of Documentation

Most organizations are way off when it comes to effective documentation.

Let me state this plainly: data collection is NOT documentation.

Especially data collection by default.

Have you noticed that many companies collect data...and then have no idea what to do with it?

That is a symptom, resulting directly from the problem of not having chosen good, business-specific KPIs.

Let me continue: if you don't document well, you can't learn anything.

The story will change over time, and the lessons you thought you learned will become invalidated.

Let's say you've got a knockout sales team of three people. They land a multi-million dollar contract and come back swaggering.

That's great.

But how do you repeat that experience?

The answer is to get busy documenting exactly what happened.

Documenting with clarity.

If you don't, two years from now Mary and John from the superstar sales team will be gone...and Sam will be telling a hero story that so aggrandizes his own involvement as the fulcrum of the sale you'll never be able to separate him from the results.

And how do you duplicate that?!

The opportunity to grasp exactly what did happen will have long been lost.

And your organization won't learn a thing.

If there's one thing I could persuade you of here, it's this: When you see the word "documentation" from now on, pay attention. Get alert. Look at it and its surroundings carefully.

What measures are being used? Data collected? Will they help you record a solid story, one that stays consistent over time, one that gives you the tools to derive repeatable results?

From my perspective, this is the key: the element that makes your company a learning organization. And you must become a learning organization to adapt and survive and thrive. Stagnant organizations who don't adjust and improve over time simply go extinct.

You say you know that.

But your documentation tells me otherwise.

>> Want to discuss your situation with Jason? Book a paid consultation so we can dig into it and really help you. <<