As sales professionals most of us appreciate that we need to be continually upgrading our skills to be able to sell to the modern day buyer.
The fact that you’re reading this means that you’re interested in improving.
It’s ironic but the sales pros who need the most improvement will probably never read this article!
So you’re committed to self-improvement but on the other hand who has two days spare to attend a workshop when you could be out their selling and making more money? It’s the good old chicken and egg scenario!
Two days away from selling means two days lost sales (and lost commission).
Added to the fact that most sales people have an attention span of a gnat, getting them away from the office and sat in a training room is a real challenge.
So bearing all of this in mind I have compiled a list of learning alternatives!
Here’s a list of 9 quick and easy to implement learning hacks that will improve your skills and at the same will not take you away from what you want to be doing the most – selling!
Learning hack # 1: Learn through book summaries
If the thought of reading a 250 page book makes you break out into a cold sweat then there are services out there that will do the reading for you.
Services like Get Abstract will condense a 200+ page book into a 3 page summary.
Therefore you can consume the main points from the book in the time it takes you to finish your morning latte.
Learning hack # 2: Microlearning
Ever hear of it?
Microlearning provides bite sized, usually 3 minutes, learning content via a desktop or mobile device right at the point of need with no off-site time needed.
These sessions are video or animated. They are short, sharp and focused on a particular skill. So you can take them during your day or they can act as a refresher before you meet with a client.
Learning hack # 3: Subscribe to weekly email sales tips
Receiving a weekly sales tip in your inbox is a great way to keep your sharp.
I subscribe to several blogs and websites.
Here’s a quick tip; create a folder called Sales Tips and set up a rule so those tips go into there.
Then, once per week for 30 minutes (yes, schedule it in your diary) go into the folder and look over the titles.
Any title that appeals to you, you read!
Here are a few of my favourites:
Learning hack # 4: Listen to audios while you’re driving
I bet you didn’t know that last year I took a 40 day course whilst sat in my car driving to and from client meetings?
I don’t do as many miles as I used to but nowadays, on average, I travel about 6 hours per week to and from client’s premises.
And during that time I listen to business improvement audios.
Now when you think that those 6 hours are multiplied by about 40 weeks we get to 240 hours of audio all taken in “wasted time”. If you take a full time training course as 6 hours then I’ve attended the equivalent of a 40 day course!
Mind blowing isn’t it?
The topics? Some are sales, some are based on motivation and others are on general business.
Here are some of my favourites:
Learning hack # 5: Knowledge sharing
Get a group of you together, whether it be your own sales team or within your own wider network.
Set up either a closed Facebook or LinkedIn Group and share your knowledge, successes and failures.
Make sure that each of you post something each week.
Learning hack # 6: Coffee really is for closers! Model the best
Find the best sales person in your company and take them for a coffee.
It only has to be for a quick 15 minutes but that 15 minutes could be worth thousands to you.
Ask them to help you with a particular element of your selling.
Learning hack # 7: YouTube
Are you using YouTube to get some hints and tips?
If not, you should be.
The videos normally only last for a couple of minutes and they are “on demand” so you can view them as and when you need help.
Here’s my favourite 3 YouTube channels for sales professionals:
Learning hack # 8: Lovin’ the checklist and cheat sheet
Most of the time you’ll search Google for “cold calling tips” or “closing techniques”
Instead, try typing in “keyword checklist” or “keyword cheat sheet”
Do this in Google Search as well as Google Images.
You’ll find some really useful one page images, charts and short process documents that will help you.
Learning hack # 9: Attend sales training webinars
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for a few years, a webinar is an online training session normally conducted live or is pre-recorded.
The beauty of these is that they normally last for about an hour and you can ask questions via web chat if you’ve got anything on your mind.
So those were just 9 quick and easy learning hacks for you try.
There are many others but that would defeat the objective! I don’t want you to be overloaded or overwhelmed – we’re trying to reduce that! So try any of those hacks above and they will help you to improve your sales whilst taking hardly any time out of your busy schedule.
Pick one and just do it!
About Sean McPheat
Sean McPheat is the founder and Managing Director of international sales training firm MTD Sales Training, part of theMTD Training Group. He is also the founder of Skillshub, which is an innovative microlearning platform which provides short, focused, online training sessions in under 5 minutes. Sean has been referred to in the media and peers alike as a thought leader within the sales industry.
MTD won Best HR/L&D Supplier at the 2017 CIPD People Management Awards and have delivered training, coaching and consultancy to over 3,500 different organizations and 100,000+ staff from 23 different countries. Sean leads a team of 25 of the most effective sales trainers in the world and has appeared on TV on several occasions as an expert in the field of sales development.
Sean is a bestselling author, a much sought-after international speaker and has been a previous finalist in the British Business Awards for his Entrepreneurial achievements.
Sean has been featured on CNN International, the BBC, ITV, SKY, The Guardian, Forbes, Arena Magazine, Marketing Weekly and radio stations such as BBC WM, Insight Radio and LBC (London’s Big Conversation) and has over 300 other media credits to his name.
He is the author of the FREE Report “450 Sales Questions – What To Ask In Any Sales Situation” which has been downloaded over 35,000 times on the internet.
Contact: 0333 320 2883