Mentor, Tom O'Toole

Is it better to do sales training in-house or get external help?

StartupSmart /

Is it better to do training in-house or get external help? I’m on a limited budget but I feel I do not have enough time to train my sales staff individually.

 

I believe staff training is vital to the success of any business. And I’ve found that using external trainers is the best option.

 

My staff are more likely to embrace training if it comes from a skilled presenter, as they tend to switch off if it’s coming from me.

 

When employing an external trainer, the training actually happens. When I try to do it myself, I run out of time, it’s not the right time or I find another excuse.

 

Using specialised external trainers has been one of Beechworth Bakery’s best business decisions, and a great investment.

 

The trainers make it fun to learn. They make it lively and relevant. They have all the props: DVDs, charts, workbooks. They use roleplaying sessions to test the newly learned skills.

 

I suggest you help the trainer write the training program. You set the standards.

 

The secret is to follow up on the floor and provide constant feedback as employees develop their skills.

 

After the training, we allocate a mentor who helps the person on the floor. We are constantly training staff.

 

People say they haven’t got the time or the money to train staff.

 

They say, “What if I train them and they leave?” I say, “What if you don’t train them and they stay?”

 

It’s not lack of time or money: it’s lack of priority. No train, no gain.

 

Staff training is the key to success. The way to grow your business begins with training.

 

You can do everything else right, but it’s your employees that have the greatest effect on your bottom line.

 

Don’t just sit your staff in front of a DVD and expect them to learn. Training staff has never been that easy.

 

You can’t introduce change with a memo or newsletter or DVD. You have to get your staff emotionally involved in the process.

 

And I’ve found that the best way is to get outside trainers and then lead by example.

 

When I employed our first trainer, he stipulated that I sit in on the training and participate. I said I was too busy.

 

He said, “Well, you’d better find another trainer.” So I did what I was told, and I learned heaps.

 

Don’t look at training as a cost. It’s an investment. An investment in your future. Make it happen.

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