Without a doubt, the scariest character from my childhood memory was The Child Catcher.
A devious, cunning and deceitful villain, played by Robert Helpmann, in the 1968 classic film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
In the movie, The Child Catcher has two attempts at trying to capture and imprison innocent little children. This was at the request of Baron Bomburst, an equally evil scoundrel, who banned all ‘little people’ from his kingdom of Vulgaria.
The first attempt failed. Quite simply because he was being honest; vile, menacing and twisted rogue.
Recognising the difficulty of the task, The Child Catcher then disguised himself as a friendly, sweet-seller and enticed the innocent children into his trap with promises of “free ice cream, treacle tart and lollipops”, before heading back to the Baron’s castle with his catch!
Let me explain what this fictional character, who specialises in entrapment, has to do with the serious topic of Learning & Development.
Previously in my career, both as an employee who’s been trained and now as a professional trainer who delivers Sales Training to organisations across the UK, I’m well qualified to offer an insight into how a credible organisation delivers effective L&D to it’s customers.
Here’s what I believe are the minimum, primary requirements for every Training Provider;
To ensure that there is an effective transfer of relevant knowledge and then be held accountable so that the knowledge is applied and the desired outcome is achieved.
To support this mandate, here are just three of the nine things that I believe every organisation should understand about trainers in my industry, Sales Training, before they part with their hard-earned cash:
1. Moments of Truth
Right from the very first contact, the way they handle your inquiry is an absolute reflection of their training. These are the ‘moments of truth’ when you really find out who you’re dealing with.
Let’s be honest, if you called a restaurant to book a table for dinner and they kept you waiting on the phone, or were abrupt or you heard chaos going on in the background, an element of doubt would start to creep into your mind about the level of service or the quality of the food you might be offered.
It’s exactly the same with Sales training – remember, they’re selling you what they’re selling you! If you find them too pushy, too weak, too vague or the conversation is all about them (and a multitude of other charlatan personality crimes), then be prepared to expect this in the training they deliver to your team. What you’re seeing here in real-time, is how they sell themselves!
2. A Good Fit
They’ll want to qualify you over the phone first, to make sure they can help you. They’ll do everything they can, to discover as soon as they can, if you are their ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). This will involve a multitude of ‘fact-based’ questions.
Maybe like me, you’ve worked with customers in the past, that for whatever reason, you wished you hadn’t! Maybe they frequently delayed payment, expected a level of service greater than agreed or were not 100% committed to achieving results – trust me, people like this are not my ICP.
If the Sales Trainer wants to meet you before they’ve established the most important thing in selling – if they can help you or not – they’re either stupid or desperate. Both of these are traits that are not associated with High Performing Sales Professionals…
Ask yourself this, would you pay for your sales people to visit strangers?
3. No ‘one-size-fits-all’
A reputable Sales Trainer will bespoke build the training to meet your desired outcomes and not be concerned about explaining the reasons why, in fact they’ll insist on it.
After all, you’ve got a sales team full of different personalities, with different levels of experience and possibly different skill-sets. Think about it, how could a generic, ‘one-size-fits-all’ training programme possibly work successfully for everyone?
Effective training is the bridge between where you are now and where you want to get to – your desired outcome – and in my opinion, very few ‘off the shelf’ products can do this. All competent trainers will explore all the options you have and explain what they are.
My advice is be very sceptical of those that don’t ask you about the characters in your team – some may even insist on personality profiling at the start of any work they do.
In summary, if you’ve found this article helpful and you’re thinking about investing in Sales Training this year, then head over to the Free Resources page on the website and download the full article including the other six pieces of advice.
Irrespective of where you get your training, I want you to be confident that the provider will be the right one for you and isn’t wearing an elaborate disguise, offering false promises of short-term rewards to trick you out of your hard-earned money and leave you trapped where you are.
About the Author: Matt Sykes is the author of the book Sales Glue, Founder of Sales Training company Salescadence and host of The Salescadence Podcast. Matt works with Sales Professionals to help develop them into the most known, liked and trusted people in their chosen industry.
If you’re looking for more sales tips, head over to the ‘Free Resources’ page!