At Kingsgate Logistics, we believe training and ongoing mentorship are vital to success. We strive to empower our team to take on the tough tasks of the logistics industry, so we encourage employees to seek opportunities for professional and personal development. I’d like to introduce you to our new Sales Trainer, Melissa Wilburn. We brought into the Kingsgate Family about a month ago to help train, mentor and support our team.
Melissa has been in the logistics industry for ten years. For seven of those ten years, Melissa has specialized in training. With this addition to our team, we’ve overhauled our entire training program. We want to teach our new hires everything they may need to know, from logistics basics to the nuances of the industry. We provide training throughout an employee’s career, and provide external training when necessary.
I asked Melissa a few questions about her passion for training and wanted to share her answers on this week’s blog.
1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED IN TRAINING? WHY DO YOU LIKE IT?
I’ve been a trainer for a little over ten years now. Overall, I like being a trainer because I have a direct influence over the success and happiness of the people and organization I serve. But there’s more to it than that. It’s a rewarding and fascinating job, and is 100% in the service of others (individuals as well as the organization). The job is not without frustrations, and it requires the ability to solve puzzles and think strategically, which is interesting to me. I love the coaching piece, asking questions that help the other person see different perspectives and find that “lightbulb” moment. That success is even sweeter when the lightbulb moment becomes useful, tactical knowledge they can apply in their jobs.
2. WHEN TRAINING A TEAM WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MOST IMPORTANT?
Sharing ideas, especially when it comes to sales. It’s important for salespeople to have a solid conceptual foundation of what they are doing, yet also have the perspectives of other people. No two salespeople are the same. No two clients are the same. A salesperson’s skill set must be fluid and flexible in order to fit prospects and clients. They gain that fluid skillset by sharing ideas, listening to others, and exploring different techniques.
3. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS STARTING WITH KINGSGATE AND ABOUT TO GO THROUGH YOUR TRAINING COURSE?
Have an open mind, and be ready to share your ideas. Sales is not a black and white skill. We all learn from each other. I learn from my trainees every day.
4. DESCRIBE YOUR STRATEGY WHEN BUILDING KINGSGATE’S TRAINING PROGRAM?
Well, it’s a work in progress, but there were two things I wanted to keep in mind.
1: Is the information relevant to the audience? I wanted to be sure my trainees were getting the information to do their job, without the “extras.” I’ve seen training programs that had redundant courses and/or courses that were required, but unnecessary for the job function. That frustrated trainees and wastes time.
2: Is this a program that can grow and change with a company that is growing and changing daily? Training needs to be flexible and adaptable. Right now, our training focus is on our sales representatives. As our company changes and grows, we will add on to that training to include other departments and roles, such as account managers, track and trace and carrier sales. Our training can be easily adapted into virtual sessions when we grow outside of the Cincinnati market, and we’re currently working on a method to deliver micro-learning for software updates and other company changes.
5. LIST 3 SKILLS EVERY TRAINEE SHOULD HAVE AND WHY.
1: COACHABILITY! This is my biggest skill requirement. Every other skill out there can be built if the person I’m working with is coachable and willing to try.
2: The ability to listen. A common misconception among young sales representatives is they need to be good at talking to people. Our sales method requires the ability to listen well to our customers and prospects, so we can deliver the best possible service. It’s not about us, ever.
3: Be willing to fail. This is a hard one for a lot of people, but the reality is, they will see a lot more failure in our industry than they will success. The problem with that is people see failure as a bad thing, but it’s not. Failure is an opportunity to learn. What went well? What didn’t? What needs to change, if anything? How do I do it better? If I have a trainee who can look at their failures, ask those questions, and be willing to make the adjustments (coachability), they find success. And when they do find that success, it’s much sweeter than if it were to just come easy.
6. WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT WORKING AT KINGSGATE?
This really is a family. Kingsgate has welcomed me in with open arms, no hesitation. I’ve been here a short time and already feel like I’m part of the family myself.
7. HOW IS KINGSGATE DIFFERENT THAN OTHER 3PL’S YOU’VE SEEN?
There are a lot of ways Kingsgate is different. For starters, the brokerage division of our organization is fairly new, so we are learning by trial and error, one of my favorite ways to learn. It requires strategic planning and flexibility from leaders all the way down to salespeople. We’re not afraid to try new things, and we’re not afraid to say something has failed. There’s also a lack of corporate politics. Everyone is valued here, everyone has a voice. No one is looked at as more or less important than anyone else. That’s a great feeling.
8. BIGGEST RECOMMENDATION FOR CONTINUOUS TRAINING AND IMPROVEMENT?
Never stop learning, and stretch out of your comfort zone. If you’re not comfortable doing something, it’s probably something you should be doing (unless it goes against policy, of course). I learn every day, and with this position, I will have opportunities to stretch and develop my own skill set. I’m excited for that.
The Kingsgate team has always valued coaching and success. We are so excited Melissa has been able to give our team new skills and better training opportunities; we love her passion to help everyone be restless in their pursuit of success.
All the Best,
If you’d like to join our team apply today – click here!