Baltimore firm specializes in training salespeople.
As competition among tech companies increases, management teams are seeking new ways to train employees who are responsible for customer relations, marketing, and increasing exposure of their company to prospective clients. While Baltimore’s Sandler Training Institute has specialized in training salespeople since 1993, the school has seen a dramatic increase in the number of IT professionals turning to Sandler for guidance in a highly competitive tech market. We recently spoke with the school’s founder, Don Bonnett, about what the school has to offer.
What kind of training does Sandler Training Institute provide?
Sandler Training isn’t a vocational school, and it doesn’t teach vocational skills. The training we provide focuses on several key issues facing business professionals: finding ways to lower prices and drive business, shortening selling cycles, minimizing unpaid consulting sessions, maximizing sales prospects, successfully closing all potential sales, and finding nontraditional ways to sell in today’s difficult economy.
What kind of training does Sandler offer that business professionals would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere?
We offer continuing education and skill development in areas most schools don’t focus on, such as cold-calling, getting referrals, developing business, getting in front of more people, what to say to get someone’s attention in 30 seconds, what not to say when prospecting, and how to make you or your company look different from the competition.
Many training schools have struggled or fallen by the wayside as a result of the tech fallout. What kinds of things has Sandler done to remain successful in such a difficult economic climate?
We’ve worked hard to expand our networking efforts and tap in to new markets. And we’ve benefited from the fact that more people are interested in training during these times because their selling skills are challenged.
We’ve also seen growth in the number of technology companies and start-up companies coming into our training due to various challenges that weren’t there a few years ago. Competition among the tech companies has increased dramatically, and tech companies are also finding that their employees have to do a lot more work in-house, which has made prospecting for business more difficult. By focusing on these areas where there is an increased demand for the type of training we provide, we’ve been able to remain successful.
Sandler also holds free executive briefings around the Baltimore area. Could you tell us about these?
The briefings we’ve held are called “Knowledge and Awareness” seminars. We’ve never been able to fix anyone’s problems in a free, two-and-a-half hour seminar, but our open workshops discuss why companies have problems prospecting, the barriers they’ve encountered, and the reasons traditional selling often fails. It’s a class much like the ones we offer our paying students, and it gives the public an idea of what we do and what our seminars are like.
The seminars are geared toward individuals committed to growing and developing, being the best they can be, and willing to learn new ways to do that. We get people from lots of industries attending our public seminars.
What else can we expect to see from Sandler Training in the near future?
In addition to the basic training we currently offer, we have added new programs such as training on the Internet, general management training, customer service training, and programs focusing on how to effectively market and communicate on the Internet.
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