McDonald’s Train Their Staff But You Don’t Train Yours?

 In Rural Sales Training

Isn’t it ironic. Your rural sales reps are so smart they don’t need training when selling high-ticket items, yet someone who sells you fries and a McFlurry does?

McDonalds want their customer experience to be seamless wherever you are in the world and their teams to be the best-trained. As a result, they are one of the single best multi-billion dollar franchises on the planet running a global revenue of $US21 billion.

The same discipline of a commitment to training should be applied to your rural business.

Here’s the list of the BS excuses we hear all the time:

Excuse #1: “We don’t have time to train our people, we can’t afford to take them off the road.”

You can bet Jordan, Federer, Woods or Williams never said that.

They ingrained their skills so it become habitual and automated for them. That’s why they are at the top of their game and achieve the accolades and performances other’s can’t.

They are continually committed to their craft, consistently honing it to become better and the best.

You don’t need to commit to 10,000 hours of training as author Malcolm Gladwell advised based on the best violinists in the world.

Your rural sales team won’t get better on their own. Support them to be the very best they can be.

Excuse #2: “We can’t afford training and we don’t have any budget for it.”

You might as well say you don’t want to be better and stay mediocre. If you stay in the middle of the road you will get run over.

Staying still means a competitor that is training its sales people better than you will beat you and your rural reps up in sales because they know how to do it better.

You will lose and then you will lose your best people because you haven’t invested in them. Then you’ll have a poor employment brand and be perceived as a “all take no give” sweat shop who doesn’t develop or invest in its people.

Good luck finding top talent with that strategy.

Find the budget by killing all the stupid stuff you keep committing to like full page press ads, vanity metric Facebook posts or Fieldays.

Training, and sales training specifically, will give you no better bang for your buck.

Excuse #3: “We did some training years ago and it didn’t work.”

Why didn’t it work? Did you apply the tools you were taught? Did you keep your people accountable to show you the proof and truth of how they were applying tools like territory management plans, influencer strategy, objection prevention and pre-call plans?

You failed because either you choose a corporate cookie-cutter training company or because you assumed your sales team would magically remember everything they were taught.

Ebbinghaus Curve proves our learning decays by 75% within 6 days without the right amount of recall and reinforcement.

Take some responsibility for the failure:

  • Maybe your choice of training provider wasn’t right?
  • Maybe you didn’t do any follow ups despite you knowing the importance of doing follow ups on every sale?
  • Maybe you thought some quick n’ dirty drive-thru training would do the job?
  • Maybe you just wanted to tick the box on “training”?

That’s not what a true sales manager does.

You make and keep to your training commitment. You do your due diligence on the type of training provider you need. And then you hold your team accountable to using the tools and techniques they have been trained in.


“Training is one of the single highest-leverage activities you can do for your business”

Andy Grove, CEO Intel

As the table below shows, 4 hours of your week is 2.3% of your time or 10% of your working week if you want to be precise (assuming you and your team only work 8 hour days).

Say it takes 12 hours to commit to some customised sales training for your team of 20 and each generate $300,000 in sales.

If your training only lifts their performance by just 1% the following year you are $60,000 better off for 12 hours of work.

That’s a $5,000 per hour pay back. Not a bad ROI.

If you can lift their performance by more than 1% you’ll get far more. If your rural sale team lift performance by 5% you’ll be $300,000 better off.

The lesson here? You make and take the time to train.

You make training mandatory. Just like your Monday morning sales meetings.

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