So much sales advice today is geared toward beginners—not advanced sales training, but rather the nuts-and-bolts of selling for newbies.
After all, new salespeople who are just starting out can be understandably nervous, and they need some hand-holding when it comes to the very basics of sales training.
But what about people who are further along in their sales careers?
Advanced sales training techniques are harder to come by, but they’re just as important to keep sales veterans on top of their game.
If you’re an experienced sales professional who’s looking for ways to sharpen your sales game, look no further.
This video shares 9 advanced sales training techniques for business professionals that will help you be much more effective at selling. Check it out:
Advanced Sales Training Video Summary:
Advanced Sales Training Technique #1: Distinction is everything.
When we’re first learning to sell, we just want to be like everyone else, right? The goal is to be “good enough” while we learn the ropes of selling.
In fact, being just like everyone else might seem like a great idea at first, when we’re more concerned with getting our palms to stop sweating during sales interactions than learning any fancy advanced sales training techniques.
But once you’re finally at a certain level of comfort with sales, and you’ve got a good amount of expertise, suddenly being just like everyone else in the middle of the pack is very problematic.
Distinction from other salespeople is everything when it comes to being an advanced sales professional. You need to be distinct. If you notice the pack doing one thing, your first reaction should be to do the exact opposite.
When you behave in ways that the prospect doesn’t expect, it’s amazing how much your value grows in their eyes. So focus on being distinct. Have a different approach. Phrase questions in a way that’s unexpected. Go out on a limb to show your personality. You’ll find that your prospects will be far more receptive to whatever it is you have to say.
Advanced Sales Training Technique #2: You don’t need the business.
This advanced sales training technique truly has the power to transform your sales. We all have “off” months when the leads seem to dry up. In times like these, I often find that salespeople start to give off a scent of desperation—and guess what? Prospects are trained to smell it.
The key to this advanced sales training idea is to shift your mindset, so that even when you DO need the business, you never act like it. When we behave in a way that presents as not needing the business, suddenly our prospects look at us like, “Wow, this person is a true professional.”
So when you’re talking to prospects, say things like, “You know what? I just want to determine whether this is really a fit both ways, because I’ll tell you right now, not everyone is a fit for what we do.” Once you start sprinkling in lines like that, your prospect’s interest will be immediately piqued.
Advanced Sales Training Technique #3: It’s not about friendships.
Friendships in sales are a real problem. To be clear, if you have long-term clients who become friends of yours over time, that’s great. Good for you. But making friends is not an advanced sales training technique. In fact, it’s not even relevant to basic sales training.
Sales is not a place for creating friendships. A lot of middling, average salespeople are “relationship salespeople.” They’re not top performers because they’re trying to make friends with all their prospects. That’s their main focus: getting people to like them.
But as real business professionals, we need to let go of the idea that we have to be friends with our prospects. If you’re friends with your prospects, you’re more focused on being their friend than on actually closing business—so you’re inevitably going to sacrifice a potential sale in those really important moments when you should be holding that prospect’s feet to the fire.
What’s the use of having people like you if they don’t buy from you? In sales, all your focus needs to be on selling. The rest is just a distraction. You simply must be willing to end a relationship if the person is not a fit for what you sell—and then move on.
Advanced Sales Training Technique #4: Cold calling won’t get you there.
If you’re an advanced salesperson and you already have a book of business, you should be spending your time closing business—not making cold calls.
Occasionally, there might be a really high-level opportunity where making a cold call or sending a cold email is worth your time. But if you’re a seasoned, advanced sales professional, you shouldn’t be making cold calls every single day. It’s just not the best use of your time.
Follow this advanced sales training tip: Put together a sales prospecting campaign in lieu of your cold calls. You can even have a team of people make calls on your behalf, or use cold email automation. Whatever your process, make sure you’ve got a systematic approach to reaching out to cold prospects that warms them up before you ever get them on the phone.
There are so many other things you can do besides make cold calls to get high-quality leads in front of you. Focus on converting warm leads into sales, not generating those cold leads in the first place. Your time is best spent on closing.
Advanced Sales Training Technique #5: It’s all about them, not you.
As salespeople become experts in their field, they can start to feel like they have all the answers. Sometimes, this confidence can make advanced salespeople turn every selling situation into a conversation about them—not the prospect.
This is where newbies often get it right, while some veteran salespeople get it wrong. New salespeople often feel unsure and as if they don’t know anything at all, so they tend to focus on the prospect. But as salespeople get better at selling, sometimes the focus shifts to them, their product, and their company. They have all the answers, so they stop asking questions.
This is a colossal error. Always remember to implement the advanced sales training idea that it’s all about them, not you.
Advanced Sales Training Technique #6: All questions are not created equal.
Most salespeople know they’re supposed to ask prospects a lot of questions. Yet the data shows that true top-performing salespeople ask far more effective questions than everyone else. Average, mediocre sales performers are asking a lot of questions around product, such as, “Do you want the product in this color or that?” These in-the-weeds questions bring no value.
Top performers ask the big-picture questions, and they focus on value: “Tell me, what are the biggest challenges you’re facing right now from an operational perspective? If you were able to solve that challenge, what would it mean in additional profitability to the organization?”
Recognize that all questions are not created equal. In fact, a lot of questions in sales are bad. Dig deep and ask questions that really help you understand what the prospect cares about.
Advanced Sales Training Technique #7: Get them to articulate value.
This is a real advanced sales training move, because most beginner to intermediate salespeople articulate the ROI and value themselves.
But top-performing salespeople are great at getting the prospect to articulate the value. Now, I just kind of gave away the strategy for doing this in the last section, where I mentioned some big-picture questions you should be asking: “Tell me, what are the biggest challenges you’re facing right now from an operational perspective? If you were able to solve that challenge, what would it mean in additional profitability to the organization?”
When the prospect answers these questions, they’re actually giving you a number—and thus articulating value. That number is coming from them. They can’t argue with that number. That’s their number. They own it, so now they believe it as fact, and this is so key because now that number becomes the value that your offering actually brings.
That’s the value. Get them to articulate it.
Advanced Sales Training Technique #8: Quit talking about price.
When it comes to advanced sales training for business professionals, this is absolutely critical. We need to stop talking about price. All we should ever talk about is budget.
Budget is very different from price. Price is what it costs for someone to do business with you. Budget is what a prospect is willing to invest in order to solve a problem that they have. Huge distinction.
So when you focus on budget, make it a conversation around the prospect and what they’re willing and able to invest to solve the challenges that they’ve mentioned.
Advanced Sales Training Technique #9: Jealously guard your time.
You’re an advanced sales professional. You’re looking for advanced sales training. Here it is: The most scarce asset that any advanced salesperson has is their time, so you need to jealously guard your time.
Think about how you spend your time each day. If you were an attorney or a CPA or a doctor, you’d be literally clocking your time by minute-to-minute increments. Yet salespeople who already have a good book of business don’t often think about the value of their time—which quite frankly, for a top-performing salesperson, is probably more than the value of the time of a partner at a law firm in downtown Manhattan.
You need to be absolutely guarded about what you’re doing when you’re on sales time. That doesn’t just mean not surfing the internet. It means thinking about who you’re talking to. What types of folks are you willing to have conversations with? Get very clear on who you want to be talking to, and who you don’t want to be talking to. Because once you start to create these rules around who to spend time talking to, you’ll free up your time to focus on your ideal prospects. Jealously guard your time.
So, there you have it. Now you know 9 advanced sales training techniques for business professionals. I want to hear from you. Which of these ideas did you find most useful? Be sure to share below in the comments.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.