Transfer Strategies-What the Heck are They (and why are they so important to our survival)?

I just realized yesterday that I’ve been using transfer strategies since I was 18 years old and brand-new in sales. I didn’t consciously know I was using them and I never had a name for what I was doing. So, I’ve been living, breathing and eating these transfer strategy things for years, but never really codified them. In other words, never organized and taught them.

So what’s a Transfer Strategy?

We will get to that, but I have to back up a minute.

I met a guy on Saturday morning at the National Speakers Association monthly networking meeting. I sat next to him at a small table. Just me and him. His name was Bob. He’s an older guy…told me he was 70. Said he’d been training and speaking for 48 years.


I immediately began asking him about his background. Turns out he’s the real deal, the kind of guy that I would describe as a player, versus a pretender. He’d built and sold several companies, I’m sure for a ton of money, but I was too polite to ask how much.

My small epiphany came when I started to pump Bob for information.

(Cause that’s what I do)

When I meet someone who seems like he or she has game, I try to extract information from them—trying to mine some free golden nuggets. We all know that people LOVE to talk about themselves. It’s their favorite subject. If you wind them up the right way they will tell you their life story. But you have to ask the right questions. My wife, Beth, is always amused when I meet someone and two minutes later they’re spilling out their guts to me, telling me stuff about themselves that you wouldn’t believe. I guess it’s a gift I have. Maybe I just have a trusting face.

But I digress.

So, Bob is rambling on about what he does and he explains that his target clients are Fortune® 1000 companies that have some sort of established training philosophy and systems, but are questioning the effectiveness of their own programs. They hire Bob and his team to do a fairly exhaustive analysis of what is working inside of the particular training program, and what is not.

Bob goes on to tell me that, “Approximately 40% of what most companies spend time and money teaching is, fairly insignificant.” This news doesn’t really surprise me. Many organizations waste the time of their salespeople with training content that is outdated, not applicable, theoretical, or just plain flawed. But then Bob says something that catches my attention. I become very interested when he says:

“And they don’t even know how to exploit the other 60% of the training—the good content they teach. They don’t have any clue of how to help people implement the good ideas through solid transfer strategies.”

I had to stop him and ask, “Bob, what are transfer strategies?”

Bob goes on to explain that “Transfer Strategies” are like when the ‘baton’ is passed along. A proven strategy or method is taught (handed over), to a trainee, and then he or she successfully runs with the idea. The process works well when a person can take the skillset, best practice or mindset that’s being taught and they relate it to their own business model. Then they actually employ some or all of it.

Bob said:

“Joe, these companies will spend a fortune cramming training and information down their employees throats, but they invest very little, if any, time helping their team transfer these practices to function and use. So, the result is, there are no different results than before the training—no return on investment for the organization.”

I get it. I’ve seen this in action!

The way I heard Bob, was that he was saying that we can hear good stuff (or teach good stuff), but unless we have a way to transfer what we’ve learned into usable stuff, methods that can improve our own business model, the time and money spent learning it was totally wasted. Squandered.

Joe B. has been around for a while, not 48 years like Bob, but 35 trips around the sun in sales leadership isn’t too shabby. I’d never heard or used that term, “transfer strategy,” used pertaining to training. Bob was simply referring to a practice I’d employed unconsciously, subconsciously, by accident, whatever you want to call it, since day one in sales.

I’ve always sought out people that I thought could offer me mentorship. I didn’t go to college. I felt like I had to self-educate and make up for a loss of formal education somehow. It was natural for me to ask bright people as many questions as possible when I had an audience with them. And then, once I got them talking, I would actually LISTEN to what they had to say. (A more rare and undeveloped skill than you know) I was also a sucker for books, tapes, DVDs, seminars. I was an information junkie regarding sales and leadership topics. I couldn’t get enough of it.

What I was always trying to do was to find the nuggets and then figure out how to use them—employ them—in my sales process and business.

And it turns out, that’s all a “Transfer Strategy” really is!

I’m now reflecting on what Bob said to me on Saturday—about the training process weakness of Fortune 1000 companies, how it may relate to any of the entrepreneurial organizations I work with, and how I can use this information

The training I want to offer you on this subject may be more than I want to put into just one blog, and I haven’t even processed (in my head), all of the facets of this topic that apply to what we do as salespeople, entrepreneurs and leaders.

But, here’s what I want you to think about today…

…I would like you to just ask yourself a few questions. These questions will, for now, simply drive awareness. I just want to get this subject on your radar for now.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I seek out smart people and ask them questions about their business?
  • Have I trained my ear to actually LISTEN to people and hear the nuggets?
  • Am I taking the time to REFLECT on what I hear and learn?
  • Do I consider HOW and WHERE I may use a best practice I learn?
  • Do I invest the time to TRANSFER these strategies into my business model?

Again, I’m going to process this stuff and probably spit out another training piece or two on this topic, but for now, just consider the questions above. Doing that may spur or sharpen your creativity in respect to identifying all of the best practices at your disposal. There are so many resources and answers all around us. There are Acres of Diamonds at our feet.

Okay-Look for some additional training material on this subject in the coming days.

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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on the roles of direct selling, entrepreneurialism and leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his platform, and The CAP Equation©.


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