The Covid years saw a rise in the prominence of online training. After all, if we wanted live training, that’s the best we could do, right?
At Pittard, we were giving online presentations six years before Covid. We believed then, as we do now, that online training has its place in the delivery of quality training. But it’s important to know its limitations. Online training will take you only so far.
Given a choice between online training and in-person training, face-to-face training is still the best way to absorb training. I believe that now the market has shifted, face-to-face has an even more important part to play in team development.
In 2014, Pittard moved away from delivering training via CD. We developed our streaming app, iTrain®, and eight years later it’s still a valuable tool for salespeople and leaders, allowing them to stream quality training wherever they may be. And they always have the latest version available to them because iTrain is updated regularly.
Despite the amount of training material available to them, our clients still say that they prefer face-to-face training over any other delivery method.
The reasons they prefer face-to-face are:
- Absorption: they find that they are more absorbed in the learning experience. It’s much easier to ‘zone out’ online. They take more notes, and remember more after an in-person event. Rookies who studied our Winning Ways program first on iTrain report that attending Winning Ways face-to-face helped them understand the program better, to ‘join the dots’.
- Networking: during the breaks, salespeople and leaders network with other agencies. Pittard clients who are also in franchises tell us that they’d prefer to refer clients to salespeople they met at a Pittard event than they would to a salespeople in their franchise, because Pittard salespeople are better trained and are more likely to win the business.
- Team bonding: having the team together at a face-to-face event helps with team bonding. The team have meals together, talk about what they learnt that day, get to know each other better. Leaders report that this is especially important now the market has shifted.
- Spot those who regard training highly: our leaders report that watching their salespeople during training helps leaders discern which team members value training and which ones don’t. Salespeople who sit back with their arms folded and who do not take notes do not value training, do not have a winning culture, and will always be mediocre. Even worse is the inevitable negative impact they have on other team members, particularly rookies.
I agree that attending face-to-face events takes more time, cost and effort. Not wanting to take time out of the office is always going to be an excuse, but it’s a lame one at best. It’s a very dangerous attitude for a leader to have because the team will follow the leader and use the same excuse. Leaders should lead the way by attending seminars with their teams. A culture of learning is very profitable.
This effort is part of your investment in your team. If you and your team won’t invest in high quality and regular training, their incomes, and your profit, will suffer as the market shifts more towards a buyers’ market. Training helps you to make your business market-proof.
Pittard recently held its annual Leadership Conference, face-to-face for the first time in three years. The program was Leading a Real Estate Business Beyond You, presented by Andrew Trim. Eighty of our leaders attended, and there was a palpable atmosphere in the room – we were all so happy to be around each other, learning and sharing ideas during the breaks and at dinner in the evenings.
I don’t care what anyone says – you cannot get that atmosphere online.
Don’t let online make you lazy – get to a live face-to-face event with your team as soon as an opportunity presents itself. It’s still the best way to train.