Top Producers are Different
By Dr. Robert DeGroot
President, Sales Training International

Top sales producers are always in demand - regardless of what the economy does! Top producers are different. They're on top because they love doing what they do, whereas the next 15% of high producers are driven by the desire to be the best.Both groups guard their skills and amazingly, most invest in their own training.

Each year there are over 2,000 books published about the profession of selling! How many have you read in the past year? If fewer than 5, you better head for the bookstore. How many magazines about the profession of selling do you read each month? If less than one, head for the web to find those that apply. How many e-Newsletters do you subscribe to? If less than three, time to go searching.

Today, most corporations know that the quickest way to grow is by taking business away from the competition. But during the high-growth 90s, sales people became "order takers" and their skills suffered. Now, put into a competitive selling situation, the best most sales people can do is try to get their own companies to lower prices. Companies that neglected to keep their sales forces skills current are now paying dearly for that mistake.

Skill sets have changed in the past few years. If the training program your company provides does not help you "prevent" (rather than respond or avoid) the specific objections you get from entering your customers' minds, then you need to get a more current program. Value selling models with a consultative approach are now the state of the art for the central portion of the sales process.

But there are over 204 observable skilled competencies in 31 areas of selling (prospecting, presenting, closing, negotiating, etc.). Where do you need to focus? You can use the free web-based Sales Diagnostic Questionnaire on It gives you immediate results.

"Sales people completing a selling skills intensive training program show increases in productivity ranging from 35% to 1665%. Yet, an estimated 70% of companies provide no selling skills development at all." American Society for Training and Development

What's going on here? With so many unskilled people taking up full time positions in sales, it's no wonder it's so easy to literally "out-skill" the competition. Training is so inexpensive, and the return so great, that it becomes incomprehensible to imagine that people would go out of their way to avoid it. Learning is a life long process. Stop and you'll become obsolete before you know what's happened.

Copyright 2002, Sales Training International 800-551-7355