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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 10, 2012 • Issue 12:12:01

The ROI of training

By Joe Porco

In order to succeed in any type of sales, it is vital to continue educating yourself about the products and services that you are selling. Some of this can be done on your own or in the field, but it's important to remember that training sessions have a tangible return on investment (ROI), and the investment is an investment in yourself.

Before any training session I lead, I always reflect on the needs of the group to which I will be presenting and keep a keen eye on the ROI that I will deliver. Following are some of the key items that make up the ROI when you participate in any product or service training session.

Product information

The most obvious goal of attending any training session is to learn more about the product or service. By educating yourself on the products you are selling, you become a more knowledgeable salesperson. This allows you to provide a consultative sale and earn the trust of potential customers, leading to more sales and happier, long-term customers.

Product positioning

A key takeaway from the training should be how you can better position the product you are selling and yourself as a salesperson. The result should be that you think differently about the product or service's real-world application and develop unique sales propositions to differentiate yourself. You don't necessarily need to reinvent the wheel, but certainly put your own spin on it.

Peer collaboration

At in-person training sessions, you have a unique opportunity to meet and greet with peers in your industry. Most of the year, you are insulated within your local business environment. Even if you are in the field all day long, most of your interaction is with merchants. Industry trainings are one of the best opportunities to hear the thoughts of people that do exactly what you do. Although you are all in the same business, everyone has their own expertise and their own perspective. This presents an unparalleled chance to hear what is working for others and what isn't.

The connector

In addition to being the facilitator and instructor of the program, the trainer should also be a connector. As an attendee, one of your goals should be to form a long-term ongoing relationship with the trainer. The trainer should be your "connector" for company resources, research and merchant demos.

Naturally, you should be fully capable of conducting your own product demonstrations by the end of the session; however, when you engage an enterprise level opportunity, your action plan should include "your corporate resources." Use your trainer as a key resource.

Lessons learned

It has been my pleasure to have trained hundreds of ISOs and merchant level salespeople so far in my career. Currently, I conduct online webinars every week in addition to in-person trainings. And it is my goal to make the sessions I lead as informative as possible, as well as enjoyable.

Along the way I've learned that developing a world-class training program requires vision, and it's exciting when it begins to come to fruition. It's also important for a trainer to attend training sessions as an attendee, too. And, no matter whose training sessions you attend, the key to getting the most out of it is that you participate as fully as you can. end of article

Joe Porco is a seasoned POS sales professional and National Sales Trainer for Harbortouch, an emerging leader in the POS industry. His strategies are tried and true representations of daily sales activities that led him to turn around territories plagued with issues, as well as earn him sales leadership recognition. Joe regularly shares his strategies as part of Harbortouch's free POS training program. If you would like to know more about this innovative program, email jporco@harbortouch.com.

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