This tip will sound both self-serving and contradictory.
A new client said something a couple of months back that stuck with me. He was thinking about hiring me to do some work with his sales team of 15 or so reps and as he met with them one by one to discuss the idea, he asked them an interesting question:
“What do you do to invest in yourself?”
His thinking was clear and simple: If people don’t invest in themselves, why should he?
The self-serving part of this blog lies in the fact that it’s about sales training. But the contradictory part is this: Not everyone deserves training. That is, don’t categorically spend money on guys like me without first considering the ROI.
For example, is the sales rep open to the training? Veteran sales reps (like me!) will roll their eyes when you tell them they will be attending a mandatory sales workshop. Without their buy-in, you are wasting your money and everyone’s time.
The next time you talk to your salesperson, ask them to name the last book they read. Any book. It doesn’t have to be a business book. When is the last time they picked up a book and read it? Then ask them to name it. Next, ask them to name the last self-help book they read. One quick litmus test on whether to invest in sales training hinges on the answers to those questions.
The part of me that has bills to pay and weddings to pay for believes everyone needs sales training. Or as Calvin, one half of that great comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, put it when standing in front of his lemonade stand-style booth with a banner across the top that read, A Swift Kick in the Butt, $1 and answering the question, “How’s business?”: “Terrible and I don’t understand why. Everyone I know needs what I’m selling.”
However the part of me to go to church on Sundays and promises to be as honest as possible admits to the opposite belief.
Invest in those who invest in themselves.
Bill Farquharson can drive your new business sales momentum. See his training programs at AspireFor.com or call Bill at 781-934-7036. His email address is
To talk about what I can do for your sales team in the form of a live presentation, workshop, or individual training, either call or hit this link and jump on my calendar.