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Training Day Coaching your reps on pushing a new product can help them play the selling game better.

By Kimberly L. McCall

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Evolution proved to be good for the fish, but not so marvelousfor the dinosaurs. When it's time for an entrepreneurialcompany to launch a new product, sales reps may fret that changewill leave them fossilized if they aren't able to adapt.Because many sales forces employ a brachiosaurus or two, awell-planned and effective launch is essential for product-andrep-survival. To help your sales team prepare for an upcomingrollout, consider the following training tips:

  • Beat back fear. Theunderstandable anxiety that accompanies novelty can be assuaged bythoughtful training and product introduction. Andrew Tournas,president and co-founder of ThermoSpas Inc., believes anxietyoccurs only when reps haven't been properly educated. "Aslong as a salesperson has had full and extensive training,there's no anxiety," he contends.

Tournas' Wallingford, Connecticut, business employs 80salespeople nationwide and estimates 2003 sales will hit $70million. The hot-tub retailer introduces new products each year. In2002, ThermoSpas developed the Healing Spa, designed with the helpof the National Arthritis Foundation to be easy to use and tosoothe the aches and pains of people with arthritis.

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