The Sales Manager should endeavour to understand the various character traits of his salesmen. By so doing he will be able to adjust his approach to their initial field training and also to the manner in which he controls them when they have become part of his selling team. Salesmen divide into an infinite number of classifications. There are those who are blessed with a lively mind backed by knowledge of their subject, but who tend to be lazy. They are, perhaps, lacking in ego-drive and are not sufficiently self-motivated. Such men will need to be goaded into action. Pressure will have to be applied and maintained to keep them at peak performance. A man of this type will seldom resent being kept up to the mark. Indeed, because he will often be aware of his need for discipline, his morale will be all the better for it. Another type of salesman will suffer from a lack of security. He will need constantly to be reassured and encouraged. Praise, when merited, which is given to a person of this nature, seldom results in a resting upon laurels. On the contrary, praise often acts as a spur. The 'carrot' of commendation can work miracles and not least with salesmen who are confident in their work. The fact that a man is good and knows it does not mean that his success should be ignored. Far from it. Such an individual often needs praise because it is one of his prime goals. He knows that he merits praise and he expects to get it.
These are just a few of the many characteristics one finds among sales personnel. They are mentioned to illustrate how vital it is for the Sales Manager-and for the instructors to whom he may delegate the work of sales training-to consider each trainee as an individual. It is for this reason that one cannot lay down precise training methods which will be universally applicable. The Sales Manager must adapt instruction programmes to suit not only his particular products and market conditions, but also the different characteristics of the personnel to be trained.
Sales Force Improvement
We have seen that sales training should be a continuous process. Once the induction training is over and the salesman takes over the running of his territory, it becomes inevitable that he will at least modify many of the precepts laid down by his instructor. The further in time that he becomes removed from the influence of his basic training, the more he will adopt his own methods of. approach to the job. One would not wish to quarrel with such a situation because the essence of successful
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