Many sales training program fail the simple rope test. Maybe this is because the simple rope test is just so simple that it continues to be ignored.

So what is the rope test? Take a three to five foot piece of rope and give it to someone near you. Then you hold the other end. Walk away from each other until the rope is right. Next push on your end of the rope. What happened? Probably nothing other than a couple of smiles! Sales Coaching Tip: The other person can be your potential new customer, strategic partner or center of influence

The goal of sales training is to improve the sales skills of sales professionals so that the goal to increase sales is achieved. Using the rope test, when you push on the rope, no matter how hard you push, nothing changes, nothing improves.

Failing the rope test suggests that the current learning and educational curriculum is far closer aligned to product based marketing. The focus using this marketing approach is all on the selling professionals as illustrated by the rope test. Sales Coaching Tip: When the greater the focus is on you, the lesser dollars you will earn.

To pass the rope test requires the qualified potential customer or client (a.k.a. prospect) to literally pull the sales professional closer and closer to her or him. For this action to happen requires a different marketing approach that being education based marketing. When this approach is adopted, everything focuses on the potential qualified customer. Hence the sales skills within the sales training need to extend beyond the traditional learning objectives of:

  • Overcoming stalls and objections
  • Negotiating
  • Presenting the case

And incorporate:

  • Being the active listener
  • Understanding emotional intelligence

If you want your sales training dollars to deliver a positive return on investment, then make sure your program passes the rope test. This paradigm shift from focusing on technical sales skills where the focus is pushing the rope to more self-leadership talents that encourage pulling the rope.

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