Before I became a manager, I was tasked with helping train a new co-worker. I showed him the ins and outs of some of our processes and was met with a series of, “Yeah, I know that,” or “Yeah, I’ve tried that.” It threw me for a loop and caused a hint of resentment. Was I wasting my time on this person? Was he a “know-it-all?” Or was I misjudging the whole situation?
I quickly realized that I never properly understood the situation before I began the training process. I failed to ask what they knew coming in, so I couldn’t properly gauge and speak to their current level of knowledge. I’ve come to realize that this is common for managers, old and new alike, when training their employees. So, now I have a couple of ways to avoid misunderstandings.
First, start with the questions, “What have you done in the past in this situation?” and “Are you familiar with this at all?” Determining a rep’s knowledge baseline is crucial in any training situation. Having this understanding will keep you from developing a bad attitude about a team member who may unintentionally come across as a smart aleck.
Value of Assessments
Second, use assessments. Ideally, that happens even before a person is hired, but it can also be implemented with an experienced sales staff. Understanding how to interact with your team will encourage receptivity, while at the same time allowing you to both challenge and motivate them. Ultimately, it will help avoid the situation of them constantly saying, “Yes, I know.”
In a sales capacity, using an assessment to show an employee where they are with their skills will help you use your time efficiently and teach the same thing to every salesperson. Everyone comes in with a different level of knowledge, so training should speak to those individuals. Having a sales assessment to refer to will help you understand where to start with each person’s unique sales style and how to effectively deliver training to them.
For more tips for a first-time manager, check out our Manage Smarter Podcast with Jennifer Gluckow: https://salesfuel.com/manage-smarter-16-jennifer-gluckow-tips-young-first-time-managers/