We have all been there before; tasked to consume training, which is more often than not, delivered in a stale, bland, one size fits all package. We have all been there; sitting through a mind-numbing sales meeting listening to the presenter drone on and on about how they used to crush it on the sales floor. Leaving you with the only strong learning takeaway: that those who can’t do, teach. We have all been there; working to read through hundreds of pages of training manuals in hopes that you might remember all the big ideas that if learned, are the keys to a never-ending and prosperous career. We have all been there; wanting to learn and hoping to grow, but failing to have the resources and materials presented in a way that allows real learning to take place.
If we have all been there, then why do we as new home sales leaders continue to repeat the practices and strategies of our misguided training predecessors by delivering half-baked training and expecting miraculous results? We all have practical stories and real-life examples of good and bad experiences that can be used to help others. Just as we wish our old sales leaders did for us, we tend to struggle to communicate these experiences to our team in a way that would help equip them to be successful. We live in a time where there is an absurd amount of sales training content available to us, and where our organization will continue to care about creating impactful and effective curriculums for our people. Yet, so many training curriculums still fail to help sales teams nationwide perform at high levels.
These training curriculums tend to fail when they are not delivered in a repetitive manner through a variety of channels. Repetition is the key to learning, and ultimately, mastery — which is what we as sales leaders are trying to achieve. The difference between a true professional and a novice is that a true professional can deliver world-class results over and over, rather than getting lucky occasionally. Producing and executing consistently comes from learning repeatedly. To help ensure that we can create a successful training curriculum as sales leaders in an ever-changing market, here are three different channels that should be employed every week with your sales teams.
As we all know, sales meetings are important and should happen weekly. These meetings should be filled with fun, inspiration, learning, and most importantly, group interaction. We can all relate to knowing that if a presenter is bored in a meeting, so is the group. Very little learning takes place once boredom sets in. There are several ways you can enhance your meeting or spice things up while still providing quality, memorable training to a group of any size. For more inspiration on how to run a highly engaging group sales meeting, check out this previous Star Report feature here.
There is no substitute for learning hands-on from a mentor or coach. While many ideas can be discussed in a group setting, there is so much more that can be expressed and digested through one-on-one interaction. Driving out to a model home and spending the afternoon with a team member can make a significant difference in the outcome of your training program. This gives you time to focus on one individual at a time and pinpoint and highlight their strengths and weaknesses in regards to the training curriculum or any other aspects of their new home sales career.
Taking the initiative to learn by oneself is an important skill to obtain, and your team should feel encouraged to pursue their own learning methods to enhance their retention. The key to self-learning is to find how people learn best. For some, that could be holding a printed book and writing in the margins. For others, it may be watching videos, listening to podcasts, or reading online articles and blogs. There are countless ways to take the initiative to learn; all you have to do is encourage your team to do so!
All in all, I want to stress that the key to any successful training curriculum is repetition. Repetition helps ideas to stick, and by implementing training through these three different avenues you are able to keep the content and practices you’re teaching fresh and relevant for your teams, even though the foundational ideas being taught remain the same. Did you catch that all three should be done weekly? Yes, weekly. Meaning, they should all happen every week (repetition is key, remember). Big group sales meetings should happen weekly. One-on-one time with a mentor should happen weekly. Self-learning should also take place weekly (daily is also an option if someone is truly serious about mastering their craft). Hearing an idea once will not allow learning to happen. Repeatedly listening, telling, practicing, debating, discussing, and role-playing every week is the best way to build a training program that will make a meaningful impact on your entire team. Let the ideas of your training be repeated constantly through several avenues to make sure that real learning can take place.