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David Squires

Editor’s Note: The Sound of Your Resolution? Ka-Ching!

Let’s make 2016 a year to build some serious sales skills among your staff.

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IT’S AN INSTORE TRADITION to begin each year by presenting you with an ambitious project for improving your business. This year’s goal goes back to basics: building better salespeople.

Eileen McClelland’s lead story tells you what you need to do, and what you need to avoid, in order to strengthen your sales team from top to bottom. Here are a few of my favorite takeaways:

  • Don’t expect miracles right away. Our original vision of this story was that it would present a 90-day crash course to turn a raw new hire into a master salesperson. We quickly learned that such a plan did not exist in this world. The fact is that even a highly skilled, highly experienced salesperson coming into a new store is going to require time to build up a client book. A good rule of thumb is to expect your newest hire to hit one-third the level of your current top salesperson in the first year.
  • Pretend it’s a professional sport. The best way to improve your sales team is to channel your inner Bill Belichick and start sweating the details of each individual’s performance. Repeat (and repeat some more) your sales drills. Test product knowledge frequently. And analyze video tape and audio tape of each individual player on your sales team for areas where they excel and those they might improve.
  • Despite popular belief, extroverts don’t make the best salespeople. Instead, the ideal is “ambiverts” — people who have the ability to be extroverted when necessary, but also the requisite listening skills so important in sales.

You’ll find tons more in Eileen’s inspiring and idea-packed article. Let’s make 2016 a golden year of sales!

Wishing you the very best business,

David Squires

David Squires is the Group Editorial Director of SmartWork Media. He believes that the first role of business media is to inspire readers.

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