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Carol Evenson

Del Ile Technology Inc.

Training Manager

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How to Train a Timid Sales Rep


Some sales reps are born with that unmistakable "sales shark" skill. Others require training to overcome their shy or timid personality traits. However, it is the job of sales managers to hire sales reps who exhibit "self-marketing" personalities.

It is also important to allow sufficient time for training since shyness and timidity cannot be overcome in two or three sales training sessions. It is extremely important that sales training be comprehensive and timely to the needs of the sales rep in training.

There are five actionable and insightful tips and steps to training a sales rep that is timid or shy. These include:

  • Role playing with successful sales team members
  • Helping the sales rep to build self-confidence
  • Providing sufficient sales training
  • Offering continuing support to bolster fears of failure and rejection
  • Creating a regular sales performance review

Role Playing with Successful Sales Team Members

To help the shy or timid sales rep to understand the importance of their sales demeanor, create a script that allows the sales rep an exchange with successful sales team members. Shy sales reps benefit from sales exchanges with their more experienced team members by being exposed to the "Dos" and "Don'ts" within the sales pitches to sales prospects presented in sales scripts.

Help Sales Reps Build Self-Confidence

Without doubt, self-confidence is the basis for successful salesmanship. Most shy or timid personalities simply lack self-confidence in their sales presentations and their interaction with others. Their lack of self-confidence may also be attributable to a fear of cold calling and meeting new prospects. To help sales reps build self-confidence, it may be worthwhile to provide training that helps bolster confidence. Lack of self-confidence can prevent further advancement in sales positions. Choose corporate training programs that focus on building self-confidence if a sales rep exhibits a lack thereof.

Provide Sufficient Sales Training

Depending on the type of sales involved, sales training should be of at least a 90-day probationary duration to insure maximum training success. For example, corporate sales training programs encompass a wider range of sales disciplines that may require more in depth training than for small businesses who sell to specific clients. The shy sales rep needs to formulate variables in corporate sales versus small business sales in order to avoid an inadequate sales posture. Approaching a Fortune 50 corporation for sales is bound to cause some intimidation to shy sales reps who feel more comfortable pitching sales to small business owners.

Offer Continuing Support to Bolster Fears of Failure and Rejection

Overcoming fears of failure and rejection in shy sales reps requires continuing support by sales management and experienced team members. Shy sales reps find closing a sale the most intimidating, fearsome part of any sale.

Focus on the best techniques of how to close sales confidently. Training should also include managing sales rejections and failures. This type of training should help sales reps to see that rejections can be an open door to future sales when they are managed properly. Failure to make a sale should be reviewed to determine the point at which the failure began and what the sales rep could have done differently to avert failure.

Create a Regular Sales Performance Review

In many corporations sales performances are reviewed on a weekly basis during sales staff meetings. Some performance reviews may be sales staff reports on weekly, quarterly and annual sales goals. Sales managers should encourage regular sales performance reviews that create team competition. Shy sales reps become more ambitious about reaching pre-determined sales goals when exposed to greater team competition. This is especially true if sales goals are accompanied by achievement rewards.

Author Profile Picture
Carol Evenson

Training Manager

Read more from Carol Evenson

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