The Ultimate Win/Win: Sales Training vs. Mentoring

I am a big proponent of sales training. It goes without saying that a salesperson must have absolute command of the pivotal benefits of his products and services to be credible and compelling when communicating with buyers. And to the extent he can pick up some new ideas and selling techniques from a training platform, all the better.

But after many years in and around the selling profession, do you know what I have found to be the most powerful developmental platform of all?

Mentoring. That’s right . . . a more experienced person showing a less experienced person the ropes . . . not in a classroom, but on the street under the pressure of real world conditions.

You see, so much about selling is subtle:

  • Body language
  • Timing
  • The turn of a phrase
  • Psychology

Things that an experienced pro executes almost unconsciously, but that a younger person needs to see, and feel, when the game is on. Mentoring also goes beyond pure business. It is a holistic demonstration of style and taste, a setting of behavioral standards and an ongoing discussion of life.

Companies often have a hard time engaging their top producers to mentor newcomers. That’s too bad, because in the best case scenarios, everybody wins. Particularly the mentor, because once we have reached many of our own goals and objectives, teaching and mentoring young people is one of the most important and fulfilling roles we can play as successful human beings.

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