In an occupation as competitive and cutthroat as sales, it is important to understand how to maneuver and operate in the world that you are trying to influence. While initial sales training and repetition of best practices is required, one of the most effective ways to grow and improve is to learn from other people’s mistakes.

There are a few simple rules in sales, and when they are followed, the results can be lucrative; but when broken, the results will leave you in the dust. The following videos were gathered to provide examples of what NOT to do, and in the process provide five sales training tips for reps at your sales organization.

5 Sales Training Tips: Watch these Cringeworthy Sales Fails

Remain professional: When offering a service, aside from an opening/closing handshake, it is typically in your best interest to avoid physical altercations, along with any other variation of physical interaction, at all costs. Fighting is clearly discouraged, but less aggressive encounters, such as shoulder touches and hugs, are also frowned upon. These standards should be common sense to any new hires, even before sales training. (Napoleon Dynamite, Rex Kwan Do Scene)

Be aware of your environment: As a general rule, it is considered disrespectful to attempt to sell a car to a widow at her husband’s funeral, with limited but definite exceptions. Robin Williams gives us a perfect example of how to not make a sale. During sales training, managers should make sure to prepare reps for the different scenarios, including rejection, that they will inevitably encounter while cold calling. (Cadillac Man, Funeral Scene)

Rehearse your pitch: While hilarious, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are well beyond incompetent salesmen. There might not be a better (worse?) example of what not to do in a pitch meeting on the entire internet. After sales training concludes, reps should have thorough practice under their belts before picking up the phone and calling actual prospects. Reps should be prepared to answer all questions a prospect could ask, and have thorough knowledge of the product to ensure they master their pitch. (Step Brothers Prestige Worldwide)

Know your audience: Deb loses a potential customer because she failed to account for the fact that she was attempting to sell a women’s hair service to a man. She also lacks several social skills required to interact with another human. Listening to recorded calls of experienced reps on your team can be extremely beneficial to new hires. Managers; use tools such as speech analytics during sales training to give reps an idea of what (and what not) to say when cold calling.

A Culture of Continuous Improvement

Our fifth, and perhaps most important sales training tip, is for managers; create a culture of continuous improvement so that reps can continue to hone their skills even after the conclusion of training.

It is only natural that reps will forget some of the information they are taught during initial sales training. In fact, Only 16% of all sales training is retained after 90 days. So, it is the responsibility of sales manager to check-in on rep performance and continue to train reps on best practices on a weekly to monthly basis.

If you are looking to improve your management skills and the performance of your sales team (and avoid scenarios like those presented in these videos), click here.

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