How To Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

Yesterday was a bit of an office clean-up day.

I came across several files and notes from my last couple of 1-Day Sales Process™ events before the pandemic.

My goal was to do only one of these per month. I did an event in December, January, and February. A couple have been postponed to later in the year, and a few have happened online in a much different format.

As we finish the day, one of the questions I always ask the group is to write down the answers to three simple questions:

What was a major success of the day?

What did you love/like best?

What would you like more of?

Here’s just a sample of what participants said over the last few events.

What was a major success?

“The fact that our sales team is having these types of discussions (we never do!)”

“Mapping out our process brings a better understanding of what my colleagues are doing each day.”

“We actually developed a sales process in one day! We’ve been spinning our wheels on this for years.”

“We identified the common steps our people are already using to move a prospect to a sale. I learned a lot from my colleagues.”

“We learned that we already had parts of a process but weren’t properly measuring or managing it.”

“We actually developed a clear, defined sales process.”

“A major success was formalizing our sales process.”

“A success was the discussion that revealed around separating “presenting

solutions” and “finalizing” stages of the process.”

“A success was we actually built a sales process in 1-day.”

“A success was you delivered a well-considered process that we can execute and the music was great!”

“A success was identifying a common ground between our different tracks to develop a single sales process.”

“A success was the simplification of Noah’s process.”

“The greatest success was the end result. We actually now have a sales process and a framework to work from.”

“The success was we defined a process that is repeatable and one that will make our newer and younger reps more successful, and make onboarding easier."

What did you love/like best?

“We need more of this type of open discussion at our meetings.”

“It was more collaborative than we usually are.”

“I liked how the concepts were realized.”

“I loved how engaged, prepared, and collaborative the day was.”

“I loved the process & team interaction.”

“I loved the group collaboration. This isn’t typical.”

“I liked the process & team interaction.”

“I loved the way we broke down “What are we really good at?” “What should we doing?” And “What are we doing that doesn’t add value?”

"Finally, we're communicating like we should be!"

“I loved forcing a collaborative approach with our entire group.”

“I loved getting a better understanding of where we are now and then building our process together. I also loved how the discussion was open and participatory.”

“I loved the chance to actually work as a “TEAM”

What do you want more of?

“I’d like more internal collaborations.”

“I’d like more small group collaboration after the event.”

“I’d like more time to walk through where we have landed and how to implement the process with our teams.”

“I’d like more time to work on things like this.”

“I’d love to dig deeper into side-processes and future development.”

“I’d like more opportunities to plan with my teammates like this.”


That’s just a sample of the types of things the participants write on these post-it notes. What would your team say after a day like this?

Your key question to consider this week:

Is your team having these types of discussions regularly? Or do you need some help?

Here is what’s important to understand from this.

The size of the company doesn’t matter here.

These comments come directly from an $800M publicly-traded company, $100M+ privately-held companies, and smaller companies with a few million in annual revenue.

In their respective markets, these are all just world-class companies looking to get better.

They were doing it before the pandemic, they’re doing it during the pandemic, and they’re preparing for a post-pandemic world.

Some of the teams I’m working with regularly continue to say they’re working more collaboratively than ever before.

Look at what these teams loved the best and want they want more of…

And yet all too often companies aren’t willing to give it to them. We tell them to get out there and make it rain, sell more, meet quotas and fill the bucket, even though the bucket is filled with holes.

If you’re interested in stepping up your game and taking your organization to the next level, let’s talk.

Now’s the time…while everyone’s still got some time.

As a closing story:

I'm reminded of one of the events I did in January. I met with the sales team the night before and one fella, in particular, was having none of it.

He was pretty aggressive with me and questioned me, my process, and my credentials.

He said there was no way I could teach this "old dog any new tricks." He said no process would improve their company. He said wasn't going to be doing anything different than he had been doing for 25 years – all the computer stuff was already challenging enough.

At dinner the next night he apologized about six times and told me just how wrong he was. He said that was EXACTLY the type of help they needed. He was one of the most beneficial participants of our day together.