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You sure you’re passionate about sales?

You sure you’re passionate about sales?

The role of deliberate practice in sales training

Most sales people cannot stand the sound of their own voice.

There are scientific, biological and psychological reasons that may help to assuage those anxieties but nonetheless the fact remains.

Calls may indeed be recorded for training purposes but are seldom used properly or convincingly as a learning tool for sales people.

For the sales manager there is a balance between the analysis of metrics, call ratios and monitoring quality levels, pace and tonality of calls.

Figures don’t lie but neither do recordings.

What are the benefits of sales training?

A sales coach will typically use call recordings to help a sales person work on:

– listening skills
– questioning techniques
– persuasion
– knowledge
– comprehension

The big challenge for the sales person is to see beyond what they hear and focus on those areas of the call that fall well within their control.

The biological make up of the ear and its proximity to the mouth means that how you ‘think’ you sound and how you ‘actually’ sound will always be different.

There are always some who make it all look so easy.

Listening to professional speakers or broadcasters on radio, TV or podcast only further adds to the disappointment but maybe there is something to be learned from those seasoned professionals.

Ultimately, selling is about being understood – if you cannot get beyond that, then everything else is pointless.

How TV Presenters can influence your sales training – learn from the experts

Professional broadcasters maybe under more acute pressure than a telesales professional but they usually have a very cool, calm and collected demeanour.sales training

They make mistakes all the time – it’s just that we don’t notice.

In advance of their broadcast, even the most seasoned professional will prepare what they are going to say and how they intend to say it.


Dramatic pausing.

They will also mostly use an autocue and if that fails they will have a script.

Producers are giving their running commentary through barely visible earpieces.

High levels of professionalism come from high levels of preparation.

High risk.

High reward.


Deliberate repetition.

In the automotive sector, sales people and service advisors have grown to hate mystery shopping for the very same reasons.

As mystery shoppers become more and more predictable in their presentation, sales people now sell to the mystery shopper needs rather than fine tuning their own style and behaviours.

The demands of the manufacturers and larger retailers mean that there is much at stake when it comes to a mystery shop.

When it comes to basic telephone sales, most sales people do little or no preparation. Whilst there is always a drive for increased activity and productivity, preparation for any sales call is critical.

With 3 likely scenarios and outcomes from the call – yes, no or not sure – there will still be plenty to prepare for in terms of:
– objections
– value demonstration
– differentiation, substantiation, validation
– NBA / BATNA negotiation

Each prospect and each call will bring different challenges – being prepared should be the natural resting state for any professional.

The analysis of call recordings is an asset in sales coaching.

Listen to learn and improve.

Hear what the prospect hears – what works what doesn’t work.

Prepare a number of ways of saying the same thing – work out which one offers the greatest impact.

Understand the power of silence.

Practice saying powerful sentences – remove weak language and redundant words.

Change what doesn’t work into something that does.

Deliberate Practice is practice that is deliberate or purposeful  – a certain type of practice designed to improve performance.

Not a box ticking exercise done to impress coaches, managers or colleagues.

It’s usually hard work – sometimes physically challenging but always mentally challenging.

It works best under supervision – by coach, manager, mentor or a combination of all 3.

It’s usually not fun either.

Ultimately beneath it all, there needs to be a serious level of desire within the individual.

The etymology of the word ‘passion’ is ‘patoir’ – ‘to suffer’ and so if you say that you’re passionate about something, you don’t just ‘love it’ – you’re willing to endure.

Are you willing to endure?

What are you willing to endure?

Occasionally, the most important questions in sales are asked of ourselves.


Some additional and worthwhile reading on deliberate / purposeful practice from:
– Geoff Colvin, ‘Talent is overrated’
– Anders Ericsson, Peak 

Shift Control specialises in high performance sales training and sales strategy. To find out how we can add value to your business development team, please email info@shift-control.co.uk



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