By Matthew Yesko, CPLP

When I get asked, “What makes Aquinas different than anyone else I might partner with?”, one answer stands out: Aquinas is better than anyone else at talking you out of training.

Dr. Michael Allen, an eLearning training guru and industry legend, is quoted as saying, “training is only useful when, if you put someone in an armlock, they can’t perform the task. If they can, it is an issue of motivation. If they can’t it’s an issue of training.”

As an example, consider this: A client calls asking for a closing workshop for an established sales force. The sales force successfully launched a product four years ago and has continued to exceed goal every year since then. In the past several months, sales leadership performed field rides and saw several examples of representatives not closing to end a call. The request was sent to training, “We need a closing workshop.” The trainer calls Aquinas and says, “We need a closing workshop.”

This is where Aquinas steps in to talk you out of training.

We will ask questions such as, “Why, if this sales force has been so successful for four years, have they suddenly stopped closing?”

“How often is closing or not closing mentioned on field coaching reports?”

“Is it an issue of the sales team not knowing to close? Or do they need to be reminded by their coaches?”

When we start to ask these questions, we sometimes find that a workshop (or eLearning, or video, or a podcast) may be the right answer; however, we often find that putting out rep-focused training is not the right response. We will uncover a need for coaching seminars, for a workshop that reviews objection handling, or practice sessions that improve competitive selling confidence boosting that will lead to better closing.

Training does not fix bad hiring or bad coaching. Training exists to help teach and sharpen skills. Used appropriately, it unleashes your success.