My “train” of thought for this week

So there I was stood in the Tata shop waiting to see if the techie guy here has fixed my Tata Photon stick coz my laptop keeps throwing a wobbly when I have been connected for too long. I have to wait at least 15 minutes before it does its wobbly thing so I am whileing away the time by thinking about what to write on this blog.

Then I suddenly remembered that my friend recently said to me – why not write on your blog about the training you do in Sales Marketing etc?

So today I thought I would kill 2 birds with one stone by writing a blog telling you a little more about what I do (whether you are interested or not! LOL) and at the same time I can plan my next session of training.

This may not appeal to many reading this but this is MY blog and is about me putting myself out there so if you want to click off – please feel free to while away your time on Facebook or Twitter instead. LOL

Firstly let me say that I don’t believe that you can actually train anyone to do something unless they are willing to learn!

It is as a result of my total love of learning about anything and everything I can, that I have arrived at a place where I have developed into training others and it is something I absolutely LOVE to do. After all it is really only another form of helping others to develop themselves. and thus ties in with all my other beliefs and practices.

At the current time I am running training course in a call centre – the object being to get the staff up to speed on making bookings for promotional holidays. The promotional offers are to get people down to Goa for a short stay, during which time they will spend one morning or afternoon being shown around and told about the various holiday club memberships that this Company offers.

So there are 45 staff all not doing as well as they could do and they all need to be brought up to scratch or got rid of so…………..

Phase one for me is always DISCOVERY – to identify why people are not performing to expectation. In order to do this I spent half a day call monitoring them all. Some were OK in certain areas of work but lacking in others. However, there was not one person I listened to that couldn’t do with improvement and the major problem in this area was the fact that no-one (team-leaders or managers) was running on-going skill sessions or training of ANY kind other than induction.

The three main areas I had identified as needing immediate work were:
1. Urgency – staff were too complacent re getting a booking and were PUSHING instead of PITCHING urgency in respect of making the client WANT to act quickly.
2. Listening Skills – Most staff were not allowing their contacts to finish what they were saying and were not LISTENING to what the clients answers to certain questions. When they were listening they were not HEARING the client as they were to busy thinking about their next question to that client.
3. Questioning Skills – Staff were asking questions to quickly identify whether the client would be a person they could book and were not really engaging in conversation. Thus when they ask the client for money or try pushing them into holiday dates that don’t suit the client they pissed the client off! In fact, many were burning leads in this fashion!

Sideline on leads here – Many sales people say there are bad leads and good leads -you need to watch brilliant films like “Glengarry Glenross” (one of my faves) or Tin Men to see what I mean.

However, there is NO SUCH THING as a bad lead – there are only leads and sometimes they are suited to what you want and other times they do not match the criteria for qualification that you seek. BUT they are ALL leads that should NEVER be burned – you never know when you may want to get in touch with them again!

Anyway, back to the training programme.
Having identified areas to be covered for training I devised an initial 3 x 2 hour skills/training sessions to be given to 15 staff at a time.

To devise a 2 hour skills session takes skill itself as you need to plan to cover the right amount of material and not too much so as not to overrun or “fact-dump” information on people. From scratch to a 2 hour session will usually take me a day – 4 hours preparation per 1 hour training. This is because I believe that really effective training needs good research on a number of ways of presenting facts and role-playing with the trainees. We need to make the training pertinent to each trainee, cover all the important areas needed and at the same time add some fun to it so that it is enjoyable. When I am preparing more than one course I also like to have them link so that the next session flows out of the first, etc.

Many people think training is adequately done by standing at the front of a class full of people and telling them things. This can work for induction of a company or product on occasion. However, “telling is not selling” – you ever heard that before?

I DO NOT stand at the front and teach things to people. My method of working is an interactive training one. This involves game-playing, role-playing and feedback. I quite often begin by asking the staff to tell me what they need training for and we make a list of the things they want covered on the subject of the session (We have always covered the areas because I have properly prepared the course).Then after the session has finished we review whether we covered those points and what they have learned including any new points.

Interactive training is also an effective method as it prevents people from being able to “zone out” at any time, it enables them to “teach themselves” as well as to feel good about themselves, as whatever level they are at in their job we only focus on the good things so no-one ever feels like a fool!

Having said that we always identify the few fools along the way (there are always a few dotted about there) but these will soon get naturally weeded out. Often they themselves will realise that they aren’t making it and will resign – though some do need a push!

Between each of the 3 sessions I have run so far, I got on the phones call-monitoring these staff to assess results and then talk to the individuals for one-to-one coaching. I only focus on the good and give them suggestions for improving. If they have to be reprimanded I use the “sandwich” method of Praise, Rebuke, Praise to ensure they end on a positive note. Where staff are really not making it I talk to their supervisors and managers and suggest one-to-one monitoring and/or re-training.

To date I have discovered that the majority of the staff here love to have training and develop their skills. In fact, with the current bunch of people I am finding them ASKING me when I will be running the next session.

So now I must end this blog to get on and prepare for my 4th session starting in February – this will cover Benefit Selling (not Fact Dumping) as well as incorporating the urgency, listening and questioning skills learnt to date – progression I trust.

Tata for now – Note the link to the start of this blog! Hahaha.

Oh and if you want to know more about me OR offer me a job please check out

About travell1ngthroughl1fe

I am a fun-loving person who goes with the flow and travels through life most of the time though sometimes I have to be responsible when others try to get me on their track! Most of the time though people tell me I am barking mad! hahahaha! Life is short but oh so sweet so I believe in looking out for the bright side of life and I can always find a positive in everything! Half-empty glasses are not for me. Negativity is an ill I want to cure in everyone. Only after you heal your own soul can you help to really heal the world. So when you need help, ask for it and where it is offered, gratefully accept it as a gift.
This entry was posted in 2013, How to, Life, Philosophy, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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