Share and Share Alike

By Heather Baldwin

Sometimes you can get your best sales training from your own reps. Think about it: Your reps are out there every day meeting with prospects and selling the exact product or service for the same company as everyone else on the team. And they’re obviously meeting with some successes or you wouldn’t be in business. So why not tap into that expertise at your weekly sales meetings, suggests Steve Giglio, a sales trainer and author of Beating the Deal Killers (McGraw-Hill, 2002). By asking one rep each week to share the details of a sale he or she recently closed you’ll be giving the rest of your team practical recommendations for dealing with their own prospects. Here’s how to learn from your reps.

Each week, task a sales rep who recently closed a sale to bring the notes from the sales calls and talk about the key factors that contributed to his or her success. How did the rep do research before the call? What questions were used to build rapport? How were the prospect’s concerns brought out? What you’re looking for, says Giglio, is what the client’s challenges or pressures are, how the sales rep determined those challenges and how the rep matched those challenges with the product or service you are selling. You’re also looking for patterns – things the rep did consistently that really made the sale happen. Maybe the rep learned to stop talking and start listening, and in the process learned exactly what was needed to make the sale. Or maybe he or she discovered a way of rephrasing the client’s frustrations into questions so the client wound up selling himself on your product. It doesn’t matter. It only matters that you identify the pattern of behavior that helped the most in making the sale.

Once the rep tells his or her story and you encapsulate the key lesson, go around the room, says Giglio, and ask each of your team members to tell you about a prospect with whom they can use the technique just discussed. If you have time, follow that discussion with a mock sales call, giving one of your reps the opportunity to try out the technique in a role-play scenario. Finally, don’t forget about reinforcement after the meeting. Blast an email to your team summarizing the sales technique, then check in with reps individually a few days later to see if they have applied what they learned in the meeting. You’ll find this format not only produces a wealth of great selling ideas, but re-energizes your sales meetings as well.

For more ideas, visit Giglio’s Website at