Make Training Pay

training_payWhether you use external training, use video or audio programs, or whether you or one of the team presents a training session, you must make your training pay.

By pay I mean that it should lead to results – listings and sales made because your team attended training. Leadership is the necessary ingredient to ensure a return on the training investment.

A dangerous pursuit

For many years I have witnessed leaders and salespeople saying, “We need something new”. This is a dangerous pursuit. My experience with such people is that they have never effectively used the ideas they have, and will not do anything more if they were ever given anything new.

Good training is not about new ideas. For new recruits, pretty well every idea they learn at training is new – to them. But once people reach a certain level, they won’t hear many – if any – new ideas. For experienced people effective training takes the form of REINFORCEMENT – experienced people benefit mostly by being reminded of what they should be doing. After a time this becomes training’s main purpose.

You are the trainer

In professional speaking, there is something called The 3:1 Rule. This rule states that for every hour you present, you should spend 3 hours in preparation. It’s a good rule-of-thumb. Preparation leads to confident and dynamic presentations.

Never rely on video or audio programs to do your training for you. Over-reliance on ‘canned’ programs will quickly bore your audience.
If you are leading the team training session, as facilitator, you should view or listen to any program you plan to deliver at a training session. Watch each video, or listen to each audio program, and determine your ‘stop points’. Where will you stop the program to involve your team in a discussion?

You have to stop the program every five minutes – not much more than six – and ask a question. This keeps the team on its toes and keeps them listening.

Always watch for ‘zone outs’. This is a sure sign that the team member has stopped listening and has retreated into his or her head. Stop and ask that person a question. Keep every team member mentally present during training sessions.

Follow up and follow up the follow-up

Before the end of your training sessions, ask each team member what he or she learned. And then ask each team member what actions they intend taking. Get commitment to action.

A few days after the training session, follow up on the follow up: approach your team members individually and remind them of their action commitments – what actions have they taken since the training session? Inspect what you expect.

Treat training seriously. The results it produces depends on the quality of the training, the quality of the delivery, the quality of the commitment the leader extracts from each salesperson, and the quality of the leader’s follow up.

Training can be like a movie if you don’t deliver it properly – the team will just watch the video presentation or hear (not listen) to the audio… if you allow this to happen. But little action will follow without good leadership.

Plan your training sessions, extract commitment from each team member and follow up afterwards. Make your training pay.

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