If you are fortunate enough to have an incredible salesperson on your staff, and I am referring to one of the very few best in your field, there are pros and cons when he or she actually takes a new person out to observe. The obvious pros are that the new person will most likely see an incredible day's work. More than likely the trainee will see at least one or more sales. My problem with letting this new trainee see one of the industry's best is that no matter how hard the peak performer tries to downplay everything or even point out the things that may cause the new person some problems the trainee just won't believe it.
On a number of occasions I have taken out many new trainees on their first day in the field and no matter how I try and brace the new trainee, because I make it look so easy, it completely blows their mind. After watching me they all say "WOW, I can do that. It looks easy". Quite the contrary, I am like the stone cutter. What the new trainee is really watching is someone that has been practicing his craft for 40 years. Of course it looks easy. The real shock comes the next day when the trainee goes out and tries it. That is when reality sets in and they realize how far away they are from emulating myself.
My tip for all leaders of sales staffs is to let your people watch someone that is mortal. Someone that is going to miss and stumble a little but most importantly has a lot of fun and a great attitude when approaching their job. Trust "The Specialist" on this one, at least the new rep feels legitimately that they can do what they saw. Remember, they saw successes and failures. Anyone feels they can duplicate that.
The reason I am covering this in my post tonight is because it will help you retain your staff. When building a sales staff, isn't that the main objective? I have been field training people for 38 plus years and the better I got the harder it was to give these new trainees a fair shake. Just the other day a friend of mine asked me to go out with him while he trained 2 new people. Well, they ended up watching me make 3 sales in 4 calls. The new trainees didn't have a chance. That night it was 'deja vu'..."Man, this is easy!".
Then the sun rose the next morning and it was ugly! Not one of these people lasted an entire day. Same old thing.
Remember, let your new people watch someone closer to their level. That way, their goal becomes attainable.