March 16, 2016


Professional development training programs for salespeople can increase competence in many valuable areas, from closing techniques to instructions on the latest sales technology. I would even say that this is a Golden Age for training, since we have so many different platforms we can use to educate ourselves, from in-person seminars to mobile apps to live streaming.

However, sometimes well-designed programs fall flat because there are some salespeople who have a great resistance to training, no matter the type.

The reasons for this are as varied as each salesperson’s individual personality, but most lie within the following generalities:

• They had past professional development training which was over-hyped and resulted in little change.
• They disliked their earlier schooling as children or young adults, so much so that it affects their learning in the present
• They think they know best, and see little point in changing their methods

As great training can help salespeople close sales faster, these barriers to learning must be addressed. Just one non-cooperative student can affect the rest of a training group, so here are a few tips to use when trying to motivate a reluctant student.

Hear them out

While the reasons for resisting training might be completely irrational, simply hearing someone out without scolding or making them feel their reasons are invalid can work wonders.

So the first thing to do is simply ask why they are reluctant to train and let them speak without judgment. Avoid trying to handle the weird reasons they might come up with, just gently encourage them to participate in the training after you hear them out.

Make sure you are training the right people

Nothing is more wasteful than training someone who does not possess the proper aptitude for sales. Test everyone with the CPQ sales aptitude assessment before investing in professional development training for anyone.

Usually, those who possess natural talent in the first place will be grateful for the chance to improve their skill set through training.

Create training mentors

Sometimes, it is the veteran salesperson who refuses training because he or she is already producing and sees no point in altering what works. He or she might have a point, as you should not tinker too much with things that are already successful. However, this attitude can be a roadblock to innovate the rest of your sales team with new processes or technology.

One way to get people like this involved, especially when the training involves new technology, is to assign them leadership roles within the training activity, such as mentoring newer staff. This strokes their ego and gives them a purpose to learn the new technology or methods. If you offer some sort of reward for assuming the role, such as a bonus or a promotion, you stand an even greater chance of them enjoying the training.

My company Asher Strategies offers a robust set of solutions to help you with your staff’s professional development training. Contact us today to find out more.