Sales development and training


Salesmanship development and training

Forthwith is illustrated importance of development and training in salesmanship

Essential development and compulsory sales training

Development and training

Development by learning from others

The courses of final training programmes, however should be equally important to studying the methods that other representatives have developed over years of experience and with which they have had success. Learn from the successful representative. Anybody who has reached the stage where he is successful salesman is worthwhile studying. The exceptionally talented assurance representative is somebody who found anything that he could learn from other successful salesmen so valuable that he listened attentively to every word and every inflection of the voice, adjusted them to his own temperament and personality and used the first opportunity to apply these techniques.

Any techniques and idea that you acquire should always be personalized to such an extent that you can apply them in an original way. In practice you will find that not all techniques with which others have had success will necessarily come naturally to you. However, those ideas which as far as you can determine, will have the best chance of succeeding, should be put to the test and those that have already proved successful should be developed.

You should approach a successful salesman in the same manner that you would all new ideas: with your eyes and mind wide open and your mouth shut, not the other way around.

Remember that pride in one’s own opinions and methods tends to make one self-satisfied and static and limit progress.

The dud learns from his own mistakes. The bright guy learns from the mistakes of others. This also applied to you as a developing salesman. Keep your eyes open, learn from the failures of others and do nor fall into the same traps.

Development requires untiring devotion

Your development as a salesman will take some time and will not happen overnight. It will demand study, practice, thought and sacrifice.

Salesmen are made, not born. Experience has proved it. And remember that you will be well rewarded for the sacrifice that you have made in the interest of your own development.

Communication during the selling process


The basic aim of any salesman is to convince the prospect that it would be more profitable for him to buy the product that do without it. As persuasion takes place by means of communication, effective communication with a prospect is fundamental to successful sales. It may well be said that the success of a salesman depends on his ability to communicate.

Reasons for poor communication

Short circuits in communication with prospects are frequently caused by proceeding and assumptions which are not necessarily true, e.g.

We assume that we are good communicators.
We assume that we are good listeners.
We assume words to have the same meaning to our prospects as to us.
We assume that a prospect is listening when he keeps quiet.
We assume that we know and understand everything in connection with the circumstances and needs of the prospect without questioning him in this regard.
We assume that the prospect must understand us while we do not yes understand him or his circumstances.
We assume that the prospect understands everything that we are trying to explain to him.
We assume a matter to be either right or wrong.

Take for instance the wrong assumption that a prospect is listening while he keeps quiet. Someone who believes that his audience gives him his full and undivided attention while allowing him to speak makes a big mistakes. This is an invalid an overly optimistic assumption. Most probably the suspect has already said to himself “I wonder how soon before I can get rid of that man. I have a lot to do today and I hope he doesn’t stay long. Perhaps I could get rid of him sooner if I do not interrupt him and let him have his say.” In any case how would such a person interrupt a representative? As he is not listening he will not know what to say or ask.


Another highly important aspect of communication is its credibility. The gateway to a prospect’s world of thought is inclined to open and close in proportion to the credence that he attaches to what the representative is saying to him. If he does not believe he will not hear either.

It could also happen that if a representative makes use of twisted logic or dishonest tactics the prospect quickly closes that passageway between the conscious and the subconscious mind with the result that the message does not reach his subconscious mind. This contact which is established between the subconscious minds of two people is known as rapport. If there is no rapport between two people there can be no question of successful communication between them.

What is said in communicating with the prospect must therefore be credible. Should a representative be unable to reply to a question put by a prospect the best way out is to say, ” I myself do not know the answer to the question, but I do know someone who could supply the answer.” To try and bluff someone won’t pay. It is amazing how quickly a prospective client discovers that a representative is trying to bluff him.

Requirements for good communication

Know the prospect

Make sure that you know who you are dealing with and adapt yourself to this not only in what you say, but also in how you say it. To use colloquial jargon in communicating with a dignified or conservative could be fatal.

Understand the prospect

In order to achieve effective communication the representative should be able to imagine himself as standing where the prospect does. He should see matters from his viewpoint and then speak from his viewpoint. It stands to reason that it is impossible to communicate effectively with a prospect unless the representative understands his circumstances, problems and needs. Only then can the representative speak the language of the prospect. The only method by which understanding of a prospect is achieved is by putting questions which are to the point and really listening to the answers.

Make sure that the prospect understands you

Even though the representative were to understand the problems, circumstances and needs of the prospect the should constantly beware of offering his solution or presenting his product in such a manner that the prospect does not understand it properly. Generally he will allow the representative to proceed with his presentation, but due to unsatisfactory communication the application fails. Do not use terms he does not understand.

Also, offer benefits in accordance with the requirements of the prospect concerned.

Mind the way in which you say things

The way in which you say something to the prospect is almost as important as what you are saying.

Take care never to speak in a condescending manner. Never make your prospect feel that you have the monopoly of wisdom while he is uniformed and inferior.

Putting questions

The means of obtaining information in order to understand the needs of the prospect, test his knowledge and determine his expectations is by probing. Questions constitute your gateway to the prospect’s thoughts in order to discover what he thinks and why he thinks the way he does. By making use if questions, the knowledge of the representative can be deepened to such an extent that he actually understands to prospect.

There are two general types of questions. Firstly there are the so-called factual questions which are fairly easy and lead to straight replies.

A second group of questions may be regarded as motivating questions. In this case there are no quick replies e.g. yes or no, but the listener has to give his opinion or express his feelings. This type of question is indispensable to good communication in the process of selling, because

It helps the representative to understand the prospect’s thoughts
It plays an important part in assisting the prospect to have a clear picture of his own circumstances and to arrive at the correct decision;
It compels the prospect to think and also furthers his participation and involvement;
It gives the prospect the feeling that you understand him
It promotes confidence in the representative.

However, putting questions will not serve to promote communication if one of the parties feels that he is being cross-examined. Such a person will be inclined to be on the defensive and will simply close up.

Putting questions can also have negative results if the representative has planned and arranged a series of questions beforehand in order to lead the prospect in an indirect manner to a positive decision. These questions are used as they come, although some of them do not actually apply to the case in question. A series of questions planned beforehand and used without the necessary discretion sounds artificial and is easily detected by the prospect. Then he realizes that the questions put to him are in fact not helping the representative to understand him, but rather to manipulate him in a certain direction, in other words, to corner him.