Make your next training event more engaging, fun and productive

This book provides practical activities for improving the selling effectiveness of training participants. The activities are linked to specific knowledge and skill areas that are outlined in Chapter 2. At the end of Chapter 2, you will find a quick reference guide to key activities that links each activity with one or more of the knowledge or skill areas. By using this key, you can quickly identify those activities that will best meet your people’s needs. When you take on the role of trainer, you must adapt training principles to the needs of adult learners. The seven principles below will enable you to help adults learn:

1. Relate the learning to the participant’s goals.

2. Focus on “real world” problems and issues, not on the theory.

3. Demonstrate how the learning can be immediately applied.

4. Relate activities to the participant’s past experiences.

5. Encourage debate and the exploration of ideas.

6. Use participants as resources to you and each other.

7. Treat participants like adults.

Learning Process

Trainers must realize that it is not what they teach that counts, but what the participants learn. Therefore, as a trainer, your job is to manage or direct the learning process. This requires a good understanding of the learning process.

Learning often appears to be a complicated and confusing process. But there are really only four basic steps involved. These steps occur each and every time a person learns. Understanding these four steps will help you facilitate the learning that takes place in the classroom.

Step 1: Experience- A person is involved in an event or activity.

Step 2: Reflection – After the experience, the person sits back and gathers information about what happened.

Step 3: Conceptualize – The gathered information allows a person to build concepts or test assumptions about the way things are or should be.

Step 4: Decisions - The developed concepts lead the person to make decisions or set goals on how to behave in the future. These decisions create a new experience which starts the process over again.

To understand this process further, let’s examine a process all salespeople have been through: learning about a new customer. A typical sequence of events would be the following:

1. The salesperson is assigned a new account. (Experience)

2. Before calling on the account, the salesperson reviews the files for available information on the account. (Reflection)

3. Based on the available information, the salesperson makes some assumptions about the account. (Conceptualize)

4. Using the assumptions as a guide, the salesperson sets his/her call objectives and plans the sales call. (Decision)

5. The salesperson makes the first sales call on the new account. (Experience)

6. After the call, the salesperson evaluates the results against his/her objectives and assesses the new information obtained on the call. (Reflection)

7. Using the information gained on the call, the salesperson adjusts or makes new assumptions about the account. (Conceptualize)

8. The salesperson makes new decisions about how to approach the account on the next call. (Decision)

Introduction to the Activities

As the example mentioned shows, learning does not occur at anyone point; it is a

continuous process. This process is called experiential learning. Learning through experience is

powerful because it requires people to invest themselves intellectually and emotionally. As Confucius said, “1hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

This book contains fifty activities designed to create learning experiences. These experiences should help participants gain insight, develop skills, and improve their understanding of themselves, their products and services, their customers, and their jobs.

The activities use a variety of training techniques, including role-plays, feedback instruments, group activities, individual activities, assessment exercises, and simulations. All employ the “learning by doing” approach to ensure that the activities are relevant and that participants are involved. Since the emphasis is on learning from direct experience, there is very little lecture and theoretical discussions.

Although many of the activities can be used alone, most would benefit from being incorporated into larger training events, such as:

Sales Meetings

Skill Building Workshops

Formal Training Classes

Product Training

New Product Introductions

Delivering successful training events requires careful planning and preparation.

50 Activities for Sales Training Table of Contents

Preface iv

Acknowledgements v

PART I: Introduction to the Activities

Chapter 1: Using the Book 1

Chapter 2: Developing Successful Salespeople 7

PART II: The Activities

1. The Listening Test

2. Give It To Me…I Want It!

3. How Good An Inspector Are You?

4. The Nickel Auction

5. What Does It Take To Be A World-Class Salesperson?

6. Spot The Misspelled Words

7. Punctuation Exercise

8. The Great American Shootout

9. Territory Management Style

10. Behavioral Styles

11. Behavioral Styles Game

12. Adapting Your Behavioral Style

13. Breaking The Code

14. The Sales Presentation Role-Play

15. Selling Skills Inventory

16. Neutralizing Objections

17. Peer Group Review

18. Dressing For Success

19. The Teaching Game

20. Bridge-Building Game

21. Team Assessment Exercise

22. What Am I?

23. Developing A Company Slogan

24. Selling Against The Competition

25. Key Account Profile

26. Getting The Appointment Role-Play

27. Sequencing Exercise

28. Emerging Trends

29. Time Analysis Worksheet

30. Eliminating Time-Wasters

31. Time Management Practices Effectiveness

32. Active Listening

33. The Customer’s Complaint

34. Sales Practices Assessment

35. Can You Follow Directions?

36. On-The-Job “Active Listening” Exercise

37. Features, Advantages, Benefits, Proof

38. Telephone Effectiveness Assessment

39. The Approach Piece

40. Identifying Needs Role-Play

41. Product Knowledge Jeopardy

42. Your Retirement Party

43. Call Objectives Quiz

44. Wordiness Exercise

45. Negotiation Exercise

46. Creative Problem Solving

47. Brainstorming

48. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

49. Your One-Minute Commercial

50. On-The-Job Application Planning

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