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Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks

Teaching New Dogs Old TricksI recently read a post by David Brock on Teaching “Old Dogs, New Tricks” which I truly enjoyed. I had just recently written a post with a similar theme and was thinking about writing another one on onboarding new sales people. So, I decided to write about teaching new dogs old tricks, based on the merits of what us older dogs know has worked time and time again. There is a lot to be said about the up and coming generations of sales people. How lucky are they that, at this time, sales is known as a profession to be proud of. Certain colleges allow you to major in sales, many companies have amazing onboarding programs for sales, and there are many people who can mentor you as you start out in your new sales career. There is a tremendous amount we can all learn from the millennials or Gen Zs since they are the upcoming buyers that we (the old dogs) must pay attention to. But we old dogs know that there are still many tried and true sales basics that apply today. Getting back to basics would be the number one thing I would emphasize to these new dogs. Some of these basics include:
  • Doing research up-front using all means available to you
  • Following up expediently with your prospect or customer
  • Doing proper discovery to qualify a deal
  • Not sending a proposal or RFI/RFP too early and being used for column fodder
  • Anticipating objections
  • Planning for meetings
  • Qualifying out of deals early
  • Doing dry runs for major meetings/presentations
  • Getting management involved early in qualified deals
  • Asking for referrals
And, the list can go on. The key is that many of the basics of sales are tried and tested, and are what we should be teaching and instilling with the new dogs. That being said, we old dogs also need to continue to learn new “tricks” to be relevant in today’s environment. Whether an old or a new dog, what an exciting time for us all to be in sales and continue to learn and grow. Janice Mars, SalesLatitudeJanice Mars, principal and founder of SalesLatitude, is a senior business and sales executive with more than 30 years of experience helping companies build successful sales teams. She has parlayed that experience to help her clients to improve their sales processes, accurately forecast revenues, ensure focus on winnable opportunities, and attain consistent results. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter     Image courtesy of James Barker at

Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter


Sales Digest: How to Effectively Manage Millennials in Sales - Braveheart Sales6 years ago

January 24 2016

[…] Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks Author: Janice Mars, Principal and Founder, SalesLatitude Source: The SalesLatitude Blog Published: […]


Janice Mars7 years ago

April 30 2015

Thank you David for your kind words. You inspired me to think about how we can give back to the up and coming sales people and I realized that it was all about getting back to basics. Nothing fancy. Just good old fundamentals. And, I love reading your posts and am happy to reference them!


Dave Brock7 years ago

April 30 2015

Great article Janice. The fundamentals will always apply. Sometimes there are new technologies that improve our abilities to execute, but they don't displace the fundamentals. Thanks for the reference to my post! Regards, Dave


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