Sales Training

This page is a database of articles and downloadable white papers on many different aspects of sales training. You can search for any particular topic (e.g. "cold-calling") by typing it into the search box above the list of contents to the right. If you use the productivity tools in Connect (Calendar, Contacts, Workshop, Dashboard) you can use your dashboard results to see which areas of selling you have the most weak spots and then come to this page to find training resources to help you improve.

The Truth Behind The Magic

In his 1881 essay on the Technical Elements of Style in Literature, Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island, wrote: “There is nothing more disenchanting to man than to be shown the springs and mechanism of any art. All our arts and occupations lie wholly on the surface; it is on the surface that we perceive their beauty, fitness, and significance; and to pry below is to be appalled by their emptiness and shocked by the coarseness of the strings and pulleys.”
Might this be the reason that so few radio people dive deep into their craft? Is it because they’re frightened they’ll be “appalled and shocked” when they find the truth behind the magic is simpler than they’d ever dared dream?
You say you’re not scared? Then hang on tight, because today, Toto is pulling back the curtain to reveal the truth. Hear it straight from the mouths of the great ones:

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
— Theodore Roosevelt
In other words, quit whining.

"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen."
— Ernest Hemingway
Take Hemingway’s advice and you’ll find friends on every corner.

"I’ve got a great gimmick. Let’s tell the truth."
— Bill Bernbach
Don’t just repeat what you were told to say, like some kind of mindless parrot. Tell the brazen truth without blinking. Clients intuitively know when they’re talking to a chattering windup toy.
"If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time — a tremendous whack."
— Winston Churchill
If you really want to succeed, read Churchill’s advice two more times before continuing on with the rest of this column. And then read it one last time. Out loud.

"When you can, always advise people to do what you see they really want to do, so long as what they want to do isn't dangerously unlawful, stupidly unsocial, or obviously impossible. Doing what they want to do, they may succeed; doing what they don't want to do, they won't.”
— James Gould Cozzens
Don’t try to change your client’s pattern of lifelong habits. Get in step with them instead.

"There's no secret formula for advertising success, other than to learn everything you can about the product. Most products have some unique characteristic, and the really great advertising comes right out of the product and says something about the product that no one else can say. Or at least no one else is saying."
— Morris Hite

"You must make the product interesting, not just make the ad different. And that's what too many of the copywriters in the U.S. today don't yet understand."
— Rosser Reeves

"We want consumers to say, 'That's a hell of a product,' instead of 'That's a hell of an ad.'"
— Leo Burnett
You will succeed to the degree that your client succeeds. Never forget it.

"Can advertising foist an inferior product on the consumer? Bitter experience has taught me that it cannot. On those rare occasions when I have advertised products which consumer tests have found inferior to other products in the same field, the results have been disastrous."
— David Ogilvy
Don’t promise losers that your station will make them successful. It won’t.
"We must keep in mind the story of the statistician who drowned while trying to wade across a river with an average depth of four feet. That is to say, in a culture that reveres statistics, we can never be sure what sort of nonsense will lodge in people's heads."
— Neil Postman
Don’t get hung up on statistics. They obscure the truth as often as they reveal it.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends upon the unreasonable man."
— George Bernard Shaw
Don’t cave to the system. Be the unreasonable man or woman.

"The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty ‘yes’ to your
adventure."
— Joseph Campbell

So what’s your answer? Are you up for this adventure? The world is waiting for an unreasonable helper to help make their dreams come true. Will it be you?

Roy H. Williams is president of Wizard of Ads Inc. and may be reached at Roy@WizardofAds.com.

Sales Training