Fit to Fight

Ron Marks is an expert in the field of Sales Management and is the author of “Managing for Sales Results”.  Ron embraces the techniques and teachings of the on the field style of the Southwestern Company

I have come to learn most sale leaders, most sales people in general, and their companies for that matter, have terrible timing when it comes to improving their skills. Most companies conduct training only when a particular sales person is new to the company. But my thinking is that companies should be training all the time, NOT just in the beginning.

Now, if I were to ask you to tell me the main difference between a United States Navy Sailor and a United States Navy Seal, you would probably know that the key difference is in the training and in the level of performance that is expected from each team member.  A commonly used phrase in military circles is “fit to fight”… training makes our soldiers fit to fight.

Imagine you are a military leader and you have a critical and crucial mission coming up; you would likely train your team harder and more intensely than ever before because your life and the lives of others are depending on your performance.  In comparison, your sales managers and sales people go out on appointments (part or their “mission”) each and every day without the slightest additional training or skill development during tough times.  Surviving the current economy as a sales professional is critical and crucial to the mission of living as a sales professional.  Just as a military leader carries the responsibility of training a team to prepare for a battle, sales managers and team leaders are responsible for training their team members to prepare a battle against rejections AND new economic barriers.  When you think about it in terms of survival, your team depends on that training to earn a living, feed their families, put kids through college, the list goes on and on.

 Now more than ever it is time to get serious about your skill level and get serious about your training efforts.

Here are three quick things you can do to jump start your efforts.  These are simple and won’t cost a lot of money.

  • Read at least two business books a month.
  • Break out the old motivational CDs and start listening in your car when you head to work in your territory. You can even download the information on your iPod.
  • Attend at least one sales conference in the next 60 days. And if possible, do one every 60 to 90 days for the next year.

All of these things and more are available to you through the Southwestern Company.  Click here to check out the resources available: Online Store

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