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Sales Consulting and Training:

Sales Training Handbook

Training Materials

Instructional Guidelines for Using Training Materials

Different types of instructional materials and methods are suited for each part of the training process:

1. Describing the selling concept – notebooks, written materials, and lectures
2. Skill demonstrationvideo modeling
3. Skill transfer – videotaped sales call and role playing

Written materials and lectures are most useful in describing specific aspects of a product or service. There is a vast difference between detailing the benefits of a pharmaceutical to a doctor and promoting a long-term consulting service in a chemical plant. The purely conceptual need will vary. In addition, the delivery of the sales presentation and the behavioral change sought in the buyer will differ somewhat, although much is common to all good sales calls, regardless of industry.

Effective sales training programs must develop the sales representative’s knowledge of the sales process and evaluate whether or not he or she retains that knowledge. As a first step, the training program uses words to build concepts. This step should be accomplished quickly and effectively, and studies have proven that learning retention increases when video is added to lectures used in classrooms 2

Visual and Verbal Persuasion

A sales presentation must be visually as well as verbally persuasive. This is where video and film become the most effective tools, with their ability to demonstrate skills. A short video vignette modeling a skill increases the understanding of the participants substantially and enables them to move on to role plays or applications with a stronger understanding of the skill.

The Motivational Impact of Video and Film

In addition to alienating the monotony of a lecture, video and film can be very motivational; in fact, they can create the perceptions of the need for the training. It is easy to show pictures of the actual sales environment, whether a chemical laboratory, retail setting or an oil field. This immediacy also makes training more relevant.

2 Walter Arno Wittich and Charles Frances Schuller, Audiovisual Materials, 4th Ed. (New York: Harper & Row, 1967), p. 31.

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