Sales Trainers - Hired Guns Shooting Blanks

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is that at least I'd been in outside sales for twenty years before starting my business.

Salespeople can tell in less than five minutes if the sales trainer has been in the trenches with them or if the trainer is blowing smoke. If the salespeople see you are an imposter you lose all credibility and respect.

"How did you get into the sales training business?" seminar attendees ask trainer Jerry Hocutt. He's given hundreds of seminars across the country and that question is asked at every program.

Hocutt says he has two things to thank for his career change fifteen years ago. The first is his wife Linda. Then he smiles. "The second is because of the worst sales training experience of my life."

Hocutt, the author of his new book, Cold Calling for Cowards: How to Turn the Fear of Rejection into Opportunities, Sales, and Money, said the worst training came when he was working for a Seattle Fortune 1000 company. The training was by the largest sales training company in the world and they charged his company thousands of dollars.

"I got home after five days of training and my wife asked me why I was in such a sour mood. I blamed the poor sales training. Not more than thirty minutes into the first day, the instructor informed us that this was his first training assignment, he'd never sold anything in his life, but 'This is what the book says about selling'."

Hocutt said his wife had no sympathy. "Look," she said, "if you think you can do better, do your own sales training!"

Over 150,000 students later Hocutt is grateful to his wife. And to that lousy training. "Which goes to show," he says, "that even with bad training you can learn new things that can turn your life around."

Hocutt has been recognized for his down-to-earth approach to sales training. The Los Angeles Times said that "Hocutt's audience knows the truth: Calling strangers for a living can be hell. They are the foot soldiers in America's business-to-business selling game. And Hocutt is their drill sergeant. His plain-spokenness wins people over."

Over 75% of his seminar attendees are entrepreneurs, small business owners, individuals, and professionals. The other 25% come from the Fortune 1000 companies. Hocutt is the salesperson's advocate. The salesperson who struggles every month to meet quota, to find new customers, and to figure out how to get referrals.

"That's what makes my sales training different," Hocutt says. "The salespeople can relate to me because I'm one of them. I'm not a hired gun employed by some national training company that poses hypothetical situations and canned role plays. I'm not slick and my material is not slick. I teach the same techniques I use every day to sell. It's down to earth and it's real. And the people know it. Because I use all the techniques myself, I know what works and what doesn't. And then I share what I learn with my students."

Hocutt is not a get-in-your-face, beat-his-chest, motivational speaker. He's a how to teacher. He gives his students proven tools and techniques to increase their sales. Because he's been around the block, because he's been taken to the woodshed himself a time or two by his customers, his delivery is low-key but passionate.

Like a large number of his attendees who have started their own businesses either because they had a dream, got fed up with the corporate life, or got laid off, Hocutt had a dream to start his own sales training business. He and his wife got a second mortgage on their house to follow that dream. "One advantage I have over many others who attend our programs," he said, "is that at least I'd been in outside sales for twenty years before starting my business."

Now he has another dream: to take the same seminar material companies have paid him thousands of dollars to present at their corporate and national meetings and make it available to the masses. Cheap.

This in spite of advice given to him by a sales training manager at a Fortune 100 company when he started his career.

"Jerry," the manager advised, "you have to charge a lot more for your training or, otherwise, companies won't hire you. The more your training costs, the more perceived value it has." Hocutt knew the manager was right. So he tripled his quoted rate and got the business when the manager took the proposal to the vice president. But Hocutt's goal has always been to make his training available to anyone who wants it. And now he can.

Taking the model of iStockphoto (where you can purchase quality photographs for $1 for use in your advertising instead of the hundreds of dollars some of their competitors charge), Hocutt has started his new Sales Webinars on Demand programs. Each 45-minute program is only $25.

"I want the individual salespeople, the small business owners, the commissioned salespeople, the franchise owners, the direct marketers - people who can't afford hundreds or thousands of dollars for sales training - to get quality, proven sales training whenever they want it."

Hocutt has compressed his six-hour Cold Calling for Cowards® seminars into a tightly woven, no-nonsense, no-holds barred three webinars. "They will learn in 142 minutes what it took me 35 years to learn," he says.

And he's just released his newest webinar, "Straight Talk If You're New to Sales: Good Advice I Wish I Had Earlier in My Career".

To learn more about Hocutt and his Sales Webinars on Demand programs, visit his website at If you register for three of his webinars by December 31, 2007, you'll also get a free copy of his book Cold Calling for Cowards: How to Turn the Fear of Rejection into Opportunities, Sales, and Money.

Jerry Hocutt
Hocutt & Associates, Inc.
(800) 378-5941


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