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.

Client Newsletter: 15 TIPS

A newsletter is the paring knife of communication tools. It seems simple and is easy to take for granted. Handled well, however, it's a highly capable promotional tool.

1. Keep your target audience in mind, always. What is relevant to them? What is important?

2. Effective management involves planning and influence. Develop a publication structure, an editorial calendar and writer’s guidelines.

3. A newsletter must be sustainable. Be realistic about the amount of content you can consistently produce. *Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly?

4. Begin with good basics and build on solid ground. The most basic newsletter should have a few lead stories, shorter news items, and a message from the leader. A more developed publication might include features, departments, columns, an editorial, cartoon, in-house news, news titbits, and regional round-ups, etc.

5. Deadlines are sacred. *Don’t start something you cant finish or deliver on. Build in a safety cushion to allow for unexpected delays.

6. An editor, like a captain, needs to know where the ship is going. When dealing with writers, negotiate topic, length, treatment and deadline before assigning an article. Include important sources and the key questions that each story will address.

7. Offer feature writers a by-line and an author's note. Writers gain exposure and your publication gains credibility. *Do you have some kind of guru on staff? At the local Chamber of Commerce?

8. Be concerned about how your newsletter reads before you worry about how it looks. Attractive graphics can obscure important content needs. Relevant and well-written content should be able to stand on its own, even as plain text.

9. If you're doing an e-newsletter, 'clean and simple' spells 'effective'. Keep it to plain text. Be concise, and put an 'in-this-issue' outline at the top. The footer should have complete 'subscribe' and 'unsubscribe' information. You should archive back issues, with an annotated index, on your website.

10. Good writing and good editing require direction and hard work. Your copy should sing rather than drone. It should ring when tapped. Write compact copy in the active voice. Edit for clarity, conciseness, jargon, length, and correctness. The bottom line is your target; give them top priority.

11. Lead with strong items that have broad appeal. Learn from the best daily newspapers: "People decide within seconds whether or not to read."

12. Learn the distinction between simple information and a story. Information comes to life as a story when someone talks about it. Try to cite sources as part of the way you do things.

13. Any successful newsletter depends on plentiful and reliable sources. Consider an acknowledgment box that lists everyone who contributed to an issue.

14. Ask for reader feedback, always.

15. The true test of performance is behavior. You'll know you have an effective publication when your strategic audiences clip and save articles and when people are eager to read it.

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Sales Training