I sent Chicago area salespeople a message this week on one of the principles in my book called ‘Embrace Deliberate Practice’. It's really about any skill that you're going to develop requiring multiple repetitions to get good at it.
The analogy I gave to your salespeople, I'll repeat here.
Imagine any sports team that doesn't practice. Most teams spend an inordinate amount of time in practice in relation to their game time. 15 to 1 ratio on NFL teams. Even professional golf. Imagine how many practice balls you’ve hit at the driving range versus how many you actually hit in the round.
There's a direct correlation between practice and performance.
With your team, I want to challenge you on practicing as much as you can with your people. There are a few key rules when it comes to deliberate practice.
#1 - your salespeople need a coach. You be that coach. We're that coach, many times. Online reinforcement can be coaching, but they need a coach.
#2 - pick a deliberate, specific place to practice. Let's just say you wanted to practice prospecting calls. The first 5 or 10 seconds or the 30 second commercial, something very specific.
#3 - deep practice. Multiple repetitions. You can't do this one time and really get it. And a fourth key is that they need brutal, honest feedback.
If you watch or observe one of your salespeople doing something in practice and it's mediocre at best, you're not doing them any favors by saying:
"Hey, that was good, that was fine."
It requires that you have brutal feedback because you don't get better by hearing how great things are. You get better through the pain of hearing an honest critique and that assessment that you can get better.
So, you observe, you critique, and you repeat. Go through that process until you get to a place where it feels natural and it works. And you're going to be part of the judge on that. But the salesperson is too.
In your role as manager, culturally and just practically, what can you do to use more deliberate practice?