In my practice as a sales and management trainer, I have participated in one thousand selection procedures, acquisition talks and trainer castings for many years.
I have gained a wide range of experience in the process.
I have come to the following conclusion: As it starts, it usually ends!
What I want to say: In those cases in which the companies make the selection professionally, the project will generally also go well – if it starts bumpy during the selection, it usually doesn’t go very well later either.
However, it must also be said that the market is very in transparent and those responsible are often in a difficult situation!
Without getting too close to my trainer and consultant colleagues, there are also many providers in this market who consider themselves competent for all training topics, but are not. Of course there are also a lot of serious providers with a clear orientation and core competence.
The companies are faced with a huge range of atomised suppliers:
From lone fighters to large companies – everything is included. This prompts many to rely on recommendations or to start large-scale selection procedures – also known as tenders.
A lot of energy is invested in selecting the right partner. However this is only a part of the truth. Beside the suitable coach it depends at least on further four very crucial success components. To ignore them or not to include them in preliminary considerations is, in my opinion, grossly negligent!
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But let us proceed one by one and take a look at the most common mistakes in the organization of trainings in my opinion…
Wrong trainer selected
Fatal! The feedback of the participants after the training is underground, the time is wasted and the costs – as they say so nicely – for the cat. The nightmare of every personnel developer or client. Not so rare – unfortunately! Because it is an imposition for all involved ones.
Here are a few thoughts to help you choose the right trainer:
- How clearly are the expectations of the trainer formulated? (Competences, experiences, references, etc.)
- Who decides on the selection? How well does this person actually know the participants and their needs?
- Have selection criteria been defined beforehand? (We have developed a checklist, which you can request here!)
- How do you find possible trainers? (Recommendation, Internet, advertising?)
- How professionally did the trainer present his offer?
- How well was the trainer felt?
Also in our team we ask ourselves again and again the question, who is the right colleague for this mandate.
For years I have had a rule of thumb (with four questions) for our trainer selection:
- is the trainer with his personality a possible accepted leader of the target group?
- does the trainer have the necessary skills?
- does the trainer fit the type (appearance, CV, etc.) of the client?
- how well does the trainer know the customer’s industry?
A quick thought on the subject of “trial training“: I think it’s good if the situation isn’t set directly in a pitch for approx. 30 minutes. This does not lead to a realistic situation, which should show the actual competence of the trainer. (I will be happy to show you further ways how you can safely work out the competences of a trainer!)
Request: Checklist “Right trainer selection” – Here you can request further information from us!
Contents of the training not precisely defined
Often the customer wants to see a seminar description or even a trainer’s guide before the assignment. I recommend the other way around: The user should articulate his goals and wishes exactly and discuss the content with the trainer via this step. It is not uncommon for me to see trainers want to do “their thing”. This shortens the preparation times for the trainer.
A clear compilation of the most important contents and the resulting key learnings avoids unpleasant surprises – by the way on both sides! Of course, a professional trainer must have sufficient flexibility on the day of the training to be able to react to unforeseen surprises (the participants have a completely different problem) without losing the thread completely. This should also be clarified with the client before the start of the measure.
Caution is advised if the trainer does not want to be seen in his cards! It is not about the provision of trainer guidelines or dramaturgy descriptions of a training. This should remain the intellectual property of the trainer. Rather, it is about the exact definition of a service that you as a customer want and will pay for in the end.
Request: Checklist “Definition of Training Contents and Key Learnings” – Here you can call up further information from us!
Participants not professionally prepared
Please do not underestimate this point! It is unbelievably important for the success of a further qualification or training to have maximum approval from the participants right from the start. If this is not the case, reservations as hurdles must be cleared during the training.
If some participants are not convinced of the sense, e.g. of a sales training, valuable training time is lost. Of course a good trainer is also able to act during an intervention – nevertheless experienced providers recommend a good preparation!
The professional preparation of the participants – for example a communication training – includes the following positions from my point of view:
- Preliminary discussions with the participants by the respective executives (in the context of meetings, etc.)
- An adequate inquiry of the expectations of the participants (it is not said that all this will also be considered, but wrong expectations can reveal a lot about the participants’ point of view).
- Personal (written) invitation – together with the trainer – with justification for the necessity of the qualification project
- Avoidance of the “prescribed effect” through early involvement of the target group
- Presentation of the acting persons (trainers), if necessary with a short video
- The early scheduling of the project is also part of an – from the beginning – appreciative approach.
- Information to the participants about exactly what the expected contents of the training are (exception: surprise for didactic reasons) and how the circle of participants is composed.
In addition, we recommend that the managers of our participants conduct so-called “secondment interviews” with their employees in which the following topics are exchanged: Motivation to participate, wishes and expectations of the management and particularly important training content.
Request: Checklist “Conduct secondment and return interviews correctly” – Here you can call up further information from us!