Event Date: 11/12/2014 (2:00 pm EST - 3:00 pm EST)
Webinar — Guess-Free Selling Four Building Blocks for Creating
Effective Training Programs hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Scott Messer.
Today’s webinar will last approximately one hour. Before we begin, note you
can submit any questions you have using the window chat area on your
control panel. This is usually located in the upper right corner of your
screen. We will answer questions as they come in live with Scott and the
end of the presentation or as follow-up by email. My name is Sara Schaeffer
and I will be moderating today’s webinar. An accomplished author and
founder of sales evolution, Scott Messer’s career as a business development
professional and entrepreneur has spanned more than 25 years. Before
creating sales evolutions, Scott was the President of Sales and Marketing
Executives International, an organization dedicated to promoting the
professional standings of the sales vocation through education. Thank you
for joining us today Scott.
Thank you Sara. Hello everyone. I’m Scott Messer from Sales Evolution.
You’ve chosen to spend the next hour on this topic — Four Building Blocks
to Create Effective Training Programs. So in order to make this the best
use of your time, when you signed up for this program, what did you read or
hear or say that made you think spending this hour on the topic would be
the most effective use of your time? What is it you’re hoping to learn?
What are the challenges that you’re dealing with relative to your attendees
to buy in to the training program that you’re putting together. Today’s
program is for you, not for me so to best engage, if you any particular
questions or issues that led you to dial in today, please type them in and
send them to Sara and she’ll pass them along to me. I don’t know that I’ll
get to them all as you’re a big audience but to the extent they can be
answered, they will be answered. So thanks for your help on that. To get
started, you may be wondering what qualifies a sales coach and trainer to
even speak on this topic; that is, say the things that you were dealing
with on the HR side of the table. The answer is simple. Getting people to
buy into your programming is a sales job. It’s an internal sales job but a
sales job nonetheless.
Additionally, it’s someone who trains and speaks at dozens of sessions
for year. I know the difference in impact that HR can make in turning a
program into a good program or having it well, not so good and how to set
the stage upfront to make it work. Another way of putting it is I’m doing
this for my own self protection because when you set the stage properly, my
job is a lot easier. Our focus today is on how to create effective training
events that have a lasting effect. How to keep the training binder open on
the desk, not collecting dust on the shelf. You’re educated top HR
professionals and managers responsible for the training programs inside
your organization and you do a good job. You know a lot. You’re obviously
very competent at putting these things on. So as this program progresses
you’re going to say to yourself, often I’m sure, oh I knew that or that’s
obvious and they’ll doubt much of what we’re going to talk about is a
glaring statement. Fair enough but are you actually doing the things that
you know? Perhaps the bigger question is not do you know what to do but
what are you going to do? What changes do you need to make to get a bigger
impact and better effect in your program? You’re on the call today because
you’re motivated. You want something better.
You’re committed to a better outcome. Plus at the end it comes down to
your accountability that you’re actually going to make these changes that
we’re going to be talking about today. Is that fair enough? Good. Finally,
most of what is going to happen on this call is my posing questions that
you have to answer as opposed to my sharing magic tricks or secrets that
bring about miraculous results and changes. After all, we’ve only got about
45 minutes of program time and not a lot can be achieved really beyond
providing a framework for action — your action. So with that behind us,
let’s dig in. Let’s get into the meat of today’s program. One of the top
complaints I hear about, just about all training programs is that it is
difficult getting buy-ins from the participants. Is that true? I think most
employees want to learn but they hate learning events that they feel are
wasting their time. Could it be that your teams really want to improve
their skills but they don’t want to learn the way you’re teaching them? In
order to get them on board, there are four building blocks to create
effective training programs. The four building blocks are trust, outcomes,
solutions and value.
At the core, it starts with trust. Trust comes from a person believing
that you’re looking out for them and protecting them, that you are putting
their interest first, ahead of your own. In training, that means creating
the certainly of them achieving an outcome they desire. The higher the
degree of certainty you create, the higher the belief that they have in you
and the program. The higher the belief, the higher their trust in you.
We’re going to talk about that in some detail. This may sound familiar to
most of you, there are three kinds of participants in training programs —
true learners whom we love. They’re the people that get it, that want to
improve, that are going to be there early, that are just excited about the
gift that you’re giving them of education. They recognize you’re investing
in them and they love that. The second group are the campers. They believe
they already know most of what’s being trained, whatever the topic and
they’re looking for things that validate what they already know and do.
Plus, being in a training program is better or more fun than doing their
day jobs. And finally, prisoners. These are the folks who don’t want to be
in this program and usually lets everyone know it before, during and after
the program. These folks are very dangerous because they can bring an
entire program down. I mentioned earlier, this is a sales job and the best
sales jobs are good conversation.
In order to build trust, participants and stakeholders need to be
engaged in a conversation that get these prisoners to actively participate.
I think that, interestingly enough if you give them permission to opt out
of a program, which we’ll talk about later, few will take you up on it and
this is a way you can engage the prisoners to get the behavior that you
want. At the end of it, everybody’s going to show up because they have to
but will they implement or use the knowledge after they walk out if they
don’t believe you have their interests at heart. Have you helped them
understand or believe that the program fits into their own requirements and
desired outcomes? No. Well then don’t expect them to buy in and think that
your trainer is going to convert them over. It’s just too hard. The works
got to be done upfront. Meaningful trainings irrelevant to what’s going on
in the company and they require a number of things that have to be
established before the program starts. These are all things you can do and
let’s start with top down compliance. Top down compliance means this;
you’ve got the CEO and other appropriate managers on board. The leadership
says this is what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it and they
are committed to that end. It isn’t another check the box HR program and my
apologies guys but you know what I’m talking about. They are out there.
Instead, leadership is serious and involved. The hard part about this is
the time element for the leadership. Like you, they’re busy people and
often they want to stay above the fray and leave the details to you. And
that’s all well and good but their personal intervention makes a huge
difference. Think about some of most successful programs you have put on.
Did they not include senior leadership being committed to the end? Of
course they did. Get on their calendar and help them help you because while
you have the authority for putting on these programs, they’re actually
responsible for bigger corporate goals and compliance and these are the
programs ostensibly that lead to that happy end. They’re sharing the
roadmap or the why, is important. People work for a cause and knowing where
the company is going and how each program you are putting on fits into the
big picture is massive, massive importance. Second, can you find an
internal champion or champions who are willing to spend their political
capital promoting and talking about the importance of the event? Can you
get them to help you generate interest and explain the importance of the
program? I find that my business, which is almost exclusively referral
based, is so much easier because my clients are telling my prospects about
how great we are.
It’s a lot more powerful coming from them than it is from the. And
likewise, if you can find some internal champions to talk up these
programs, perhaps they are directly impacted by the success or failure of
it or simply have an interest in the subject matter. Find them, armed them
with information and send them out to begin to build some excitement and
buzz about the upcoming program. Again, coming from a disinterested third
party is a lot better than coming from you. Third, come up with a creative
title for the class. Just as with emails that have a subject line and get
your attention, a clever or creative title to engage participants can be
effective. Maybe you can type in a few that you’ve heard of. How about for
a sales training program, stop closing sale or, here’s one for the customer
service folks, customer service or customer disservice. Sexual harassment;
well, I’m not touching that one; pun intended, etc. Again, it would be
interesting to see what some of the ones you might come up with were some
of the programs that you’re putting on some of the ones that you seen out
there. Fourth, and perhaps most important if you can do it as I referenced
earlier, engaged the prisoners before the training. Depending on the size
of your organization, you either already know who they are with a manager
knows who they are. Unless is a mandatory program such as sexual harassment
or some other program like that, I suggest that you give potential
prisoners permission to opt out of the training program. Yeah, you heard it
Let them out if they don’t want to be there or they’re not going to play
nice. They rarely opt out and once they commit to the program, you can
reinforce the behavior and kind of participation you expects before the
program starts. Now I suggest this to all my CEO and VPs of sales clients
and they’re usually surprised when I suggest it. In fact, I’ve had a couple
of them say, well if the opt out, that’s political suicide. And I say yeah,
I know but don’t you want to know who those folks are? And don’t you? And
by weeding out the prisoners, your presenter will thank you. Trust me, I
know. Isn’t this the big question? Will they implement or use what they
just learned when the program ends and they walk out of the room or not?
And, as long as the reasons behind the program or yours not theirs, there’s
a good chance that they won’t implement it. Additionally, and this may be a
tough one for you all to accept because you often don’t have the control
after the training, but without a satisfactory follow-up after the session,
don’t expect much in the way of results. One and done training and you’ve
heard it 100 times, it doesn’t work. It just doesn’t stick the way you want
it to stick. But what are you doing about it? Without the follow-up and
reinforcement of the new skills the end result is predictable.
A couple people will pick up a nugget along the way or a magic trick
that they liked and they’ll start doing that and they’ll think they got
great benefit from the program but the other 99% of the people, the other
99% of the content just isn’t going to be put into place. Everybody just
naturally reverts back to their own hardwired behavior. Now the good news
is, is that making the training stick isn’t as much your responsibility as
it is the executive or management, stakeholder or stakeholders who oversee
the group that just got trained. For hard skill training, say an accounting
package or other heavily used software program, users are continually
working on them, revisiting their skills and through practice and
repetition, being confidence and competence but what about soft skills
training? How do you ensure what was taught gets revisited, practiced and
implemented? That’s a lot more difficult. Here’s a hard, hard truth.
Training is easy. Implementation is hard. As I like to say, any fool can
train. Getting people to implement, that’s hard work. And so you have to
ask yourself are you sacrificing efficiency; that is to say putting on a
program, arranging for people to come in, get them out. Poor effectiveness.
Efficiency is easy. Effectiveness is going to be hard. And again, I’m sure
you’ve all seen it in your programs and programming. It really is not easy
to get people to continue to use what you’re giving them once is all
Outcome effectiveness comes down to the personal, emotional goal and
outcome. This is block #2. The executive sponsored seek from the training
and tying it to the outcome the participants want as well. What
specifically are outcomes? Well, they come in different shapes and sizes
and are personal to each person involved. Sometimes they’re looking for a
positive outcome such as trying to reach a goal, achieve a priority, effect
some sort of positive change or instill a program designed to take the
company to another level. Those are examples of positive outcome. Other
times, they can be in response to a negative such as there’s a particular
concern or issue that needs addressed. There’s a particular pain or just
solving a business problem. Perhaps the best example I can give is that the
CEOs, VPs of sales, etc., HR directors, they hire me and the sales
evolution team aren’t interested in sales training and coaching for the
sake of sales training and coaching.
They’re usually looking for an outcome such as one of these things. They
don’t want to get fired. They want to earn their bonus for hitting the
sales bogey for the first time in years. They want the yelling to stop,
that they are hearing from the president or CEO about sales issues. Maybe
there is a conflict going on between customer service and sales or sales
and marketing or all three groups or there are silos over those three
groups instead of tents where they’re all working together. Sometimes it’s
a family-owned business and they’re looking to ensure survival for the next
generation and what business owner doesn’t want to bring their kids into
the business? If an owner or shareholder is close to retirement, it can be
to ensure a good sale of the company because sales are better or generate
more income so they actually can retire on time. And one of the ones you
may relate to better than some of the others is that, and this is true,
sometimes there are family issues involved. Maybe because of a problem at
work; somebody’s head work overtime three weekends in a row and then missed
the kid’s soccer games and their spouses unhappy about it.
These are data points. These are personal emotional drivers that lead
people to make decisions to change. Does your sales training lead to those
desired emotional ends? If so, you’re doing a good job. If not, well not so
much. I’ll even put it in a different frame; people do things for their
reasons, not your reason and ask yourself this question, when people look
at their calendar and they see that they’re scheduled to go into a training
program, you can ask yourself when you see yourself scheduled to go into a
trainer program, although I would imagine you’re better than most, are they
saying to themselves, aw man I can’t believe I have toâ€¦oh gosh; it’s
going to be a whole day out of the field were away from my desk. Who’s
going to do the work? Total waste of time. I can’t believe they are making
me do this. And of course with a walk and with that kind of mental
attitude, they are merely punching the clock. Let’s be honest. They’re
looking at their watch the whole time and they can’t wait until it’s over.
That’s one scenario. The next scenario is they understand why they’re
there; they understand how it relates to them in their job; it relates to
outcomes that they’re seeking and they’re going to be active participants
in the program.
You know that’s where we want to go but ask yourself if now on a
percentage basis you’ve got even 10% of people that go into training
programs, or 20%, let’s be kind, let’s be charitable, that are going in
with that latter attitude as opposed to the former attitude. And that’s
pretty expensive and I think we can all agree on that. So going back to the
example of what stakeholders want relative to sales training, the no
arguments with their spouse, the getting their kids into the business,
those sorts of things. Can we agree that those things are personal? I think
we can. See nobody wants to sales train. They want what it gives them. The
training and coaching are free. If the items on that list that I read off
are the kinds of things that have value that people buy and so it is with
every program you offer. What are the outcomes your executive sponsors want
from the training program? What are the outcomes the participants want from
the training program? Your job as a chief learning officer inside your
company is to uncover everyone’s desired outcome and deliver a solution to
them not a training program. As I like to say, the training and coaching is
free. What we charge for are the outcomes that our stakeholders are
They’re not buying training, they’re not buying coaching, they’re buying
outcomes that are personal to them and regrettably, your presenters’ genius
is not enough. I mean you decided you’re going to put on a program, you
went out and you found the best person for the job that you could find.
They had credentials, they had references; heck, they even had great
YouTube videos. But they missed the mark with the team. How can that
happen? And what kind of a mess did that create internally? And what kind
of credibility issues is it going to create for you and the executive
sponsor? Has this ever happened to you? Wouldn’t be surprised if it has.
And what was the fallout or the blowback on you for not delivering the
results that you had no control over because there was no ongoing follow-up
and reinforcement. That logically brings us to the third building block —
the solution. And there’s a great expression. I love this one. Prescription
before diagnosis is not practice in medicine and it’s not practice in
training. Only after everybody’s desired outcomes are known can you really
craft the right solution for the stakeholders and audience.
Is not a question of offering up a smorgasbord of services but offering
actually those that connect with the audience within the scope of their
articulated goals and outcomes; the things that they want, not the things
that you want. Have you ever heard this, the program is what I asked for
but it wasn’t what I wanted. I sold software for lot years and I will
periodically hear that. And by the way that was my fault, not the customer
because sometimes what they’re talking about, what they’re asking about is
merely the symptom and you address the symptom as opposed to going deeper
in addressing the cause. So make sure that you know what they are really
looking to do before you prescribe a solution for it. To put it
differently, in order for a solution to be accepted, it has to be in
concert with everybody’s dream outcome, whatever it may be. And remember,
it’s different for every individual stakeholder so you need to discover
them all. Let’s face it; it’s not too hard to sell somebody back their own
dream. The thing is you have to discover what it is first.
On the other hand, how difficult is it to sell somebody your dream? It
is significantly much harder and you are not in the convincing business.
You’re in the business of having the right kinds of conversations with
people where they trust you and they self discover that what you’re looking
to do is in their interest and helps them accomplish what they’re looking
to do. Is this making sense? I hope it is. Block #3 is value. Once the
training program is over, what did the executive sponsor and participant
gain? That’s an important question. Was the value received for the expense?
And be careful because this is a bit of a trick question. Because as you
know there are many expenses that happen when you’re putting on a great
program and depending on the size and nature of your company, they can
include the value of employee wages and commissions that are spent from
having these folks out in the field, away from their desks. There can be
hotels, plane tickets, rental cars and meal expenses. Presenters usually
don’t come for free either.
What about opportunity costs? And the biggest cost, the biggest expense
of all doesn’t even show up in the account. I’m going to pause and count to
three. Think about for a moment what the biggest expense of all is and it’s
not a dollars and cents expense. It is the expense of political capital.
Yup because somebody has said we need to do this program. It’s going to
deliver good results for us. Other people bought in and then on top of it
all even if you were right about that, you’ve got to bring in a presenter
that’s going to resonate with the entire group. Value is more than money.
The big question from your stakeholder’s perspective is what did I get from
the program? What did I gain and when speaking to folks like you or the
CEOs I work with, this is the point I emphasize that as much as those other
things cost, the hotels, the hourly rate of having 25 people in a room; I
mean how many thousands of dollars per hour is that by itself right okay.
As much as all those other things cost, they pale to the political risk if
the program isn’t successful. And I see a lot of heads nodding out there
over the internet; why? Has this happened to you?
I mean you put on a program that well to be charitable, let’s say you
laid an egg with it and the blowback went on you. There is a big difference
between the CEO or president coming down to your office and saying they
heard things went great and the training. Good job, thank you very much as
opposed to where in the heck did you find that presenter? What were you
thinking? I never want to see that guy or gal in the building again. It’s a
big deal, isn’t it? And it reflects and relates directly back on you. It’s
your political capital as much as anybody else’s that’s on the line here.
So you’ve got a make sure that value is delivered. So how do you measure
the actual impact of an event? Well, results can be measured a lot of
different ways — dollars, efficiencies, resolution of a problem,
achievement of a dream, installing new processes, increasing input or
output; but whatever the value is they, meaning your stakeholders, meaning
the attendees, have to determine the value, not you. Stay away from
providing ROI or return on investment because the sound of their voice and
reasonableness of their calculation is much more powerful than your
Looking at it a little bit differently, look at it this way, the last
time you bought something where the salesperson or influencer told you that
the ROI was going to be whatever it was they told you. Has it ever been
accurate? Was it anywhere near accurate? And I’m hearing your laughter over
the internet. Of course not. ROI’s that are given by others are rarely
accurate. Therefore, internally, when you promote an ROI the executive is
not likely to believe you either. It’s not you they don’t believe, they’ve
just never heard one that was anywhere near to what they heard it was going
to be. And besides, ROI’s are more about price and cost. The difference
being that price is dollars and costs can be many things. And this relates
back to this previous slide where we were talking about discovering their
dreams and then selling them back their own dreams. What’s the value of
achieving anybody dream? Usually a lot more than the price spent to achieve
it. As the expression goes, no one will spend $500 to fix a $100 problem
but they’ll spend a million to fix a $10 million problem and frankly,
dreams usually fall into the $10 million category.
You build trust by demonstrating an understanding of everybody’s dream
outcome. You put together the best training solution to achieve those
dreams and the value will be realized. To summarize, to oversee a
successful training program, keep your discussions with all the
stakeholders focused on strengthening each relationship with them within
these four building blocks — trust, outcomes, solution and value. These
are the drivers for ensuring that each and every one of your programs has
the best internal sponsorship, the most enthusiastic participants, and the
greatestâ€¦and I think this is the most important frankly, the greatest
impact post training. Again, it’s not hard to train; that’s easy.
Implementation is the key and right now where we see most people falling
down is on the post training experience. Imagine a scenario where you
worked hard to strengthen a relationship and create a sense of certainty of
outcome with all the folks, with all the stakeholders involved in the
training using these building blocks. And you set expectations on what
happens before, during and maybe most importantly, after the training is
What does the picture look like compared to what you’re experiencing
now? I would think it looks a lot better. It’s hard to do. You’ve got to
engage. The best sales calls are good conversation; be it an internal sales
conversation, selling up the organization or selling your programs down the
organization. It all starts with the conversation centered on trust. So I’m
glad to help anyone with any questions regarding today’s discussion and
I’ll leave my contact information up for a moment to allow you to take it
down. I don’t see my phone number on there so if anybody’s interested in
having a chat about what we talked about today, please feel free to reach
out to me. It’s my way of saying thank you to you. The number is
610-353-8686 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll spend as much time as we need too talking about some of the issues
and problems and challenges you’re facing on putting out good training
programs that engage people. And by the way, it’s coming to the time of
year when a lot of you may be looking at sales implementation, training or
coaching programs for the new year and I’m glad to talk to you about that
as well but that’s not the purpose of making the offer for you to call.
It’s to help you with the things we talked about today. So thank you very
much. I certainly enjoyed the time. Sara, I’m going to flip it back over to
Okay great. Thank you so much Scott and we do actually have some time
for your questions so attendees please send them in now. And actually while
we wait for those questions, let me tell you a little bit more about
Scott’s book. The book is called The Outcome: A Novel Approach to Selling.
Follow Jane’s seven day saga negotiating millions in business agreements
all while struggling with her role in the tragedy and the questions it
evokes about her work, her career and the nature of human doubt. Sales
professionals and business owners will find the book useful for the
powerful lessons about selling and business development rooted in this
story. And then also if you would like to check us out, please visit
HRDQU.com and there you can register for our Webinar Wednesdays as well as
connect with us on social media. And don’t forget, you can also use your
special offer you’ll receive by email after our session to shop at
HRDQStore.com. Okay and it looks like there are some questions coming in
now. So why don’t we get started. Our first question is from Dan — What is
a good resource for identifying good trainers and presenters?
Dan, thank you for joining us today. That’s an excellent question.
Frankly, I think word-of-mouth is probably the best. I don’t know of course
what your specific business or industry is about but talk to some of these
folks at the associations that cater to your industry or other folks that
you know that have used that type of person before. That gives you an
ability to collect a couple of names. If you’re a LinkedIn person and
belong to any groups, that’s not a bad place to post the question either.
Who do you know? Would you recommend? And at that point you’ll collect a
ton of names. You can do your research and identify a good person for your
event. Thank you.
Alright great and our next question is from Mary — You’re a sales
trainer, why doesn’t one and done training work?
Great question. To give a simple and to the point answer, I will just
say that sales, in particular, probably more than anything else is not so
much about process as it is about the relationship that we all have with
ourselves and outcome stronger to salespeople than anybody else. As I like
to say, there are two sides to relationship management. The relationship
first between you and your prospect, but the second and most difficult
relationship is the relationship that you have with yourself and frankly,
if it could be taught; if anything could be taught in a one and done
scenario, everybody would be great at sales, everybody would be great at
everything. Ask yourself the last training program or two that you had if
it was one and done. What kind of lasting impact did it have without the
reinforcement? And there’s the answer right there. Thank you.
Okay, perfect. Oh this is a good one. Tony asks — Say your sales team
is out there on an island. How do we get them back on the reservation?
Well, that question can have a couple of different interpretations so
I’m going to speak to the one that I hope you are referencing and that is,
oh gosh; you know, there’s no â€œIâ€ in team. You know, how flocky is that
but people need to be working to a common good as well as their individual
good. They need to recognize that the greater good is important to their
own success. I often get calls from sales managers or VPs of sales. They
have a terrific, terrific business developer but he or she is causing
problems inside the organization. They’re riding roughshod over customer
service or they hit their number every year but they don’t make the right
amount of calls to develop new business. They’re just milking their
existing account. There’s any number of those kinds of issues and it really
comes down to a longer answer than I really can give in a webinar but
again, that’s a great one to call me about and talk about afterwards and
again, I’m glad to do it as a thank you to you guys for sitting in
Okay, well thank you Scott for sharing your sales knowledge with us
Thank you Sara. Any other questions?
None right now. If there will be any after, we will always email you the
Excellent. Well I’d like to thank you Sara for hosting me today and
thank everybody for sitting in and listening. I hope you got some good
benefit out of it and again, it’s easy to want better results, it’s easy to
say you’re going to do it, but actually doing it is the hard work and I
hope you got some tips here that will enable you to do it. Thank you.
Well great, thank you. We appreciate your time and we hope you found
today’s webinar informative.
End the recording
A well trained, solid sales force is essential for the execution of any business plan. And that’s why it’s so important to carefully stack the building blocks of an effective development and sales training program. After all, the stronger and broader the foundation, the better the sales results. So what do you need to do to ensure your sales team will implement—and use—the knowledge you instill after they step out of the classroom?
Join author and sales training expert Scott Messer for a powerful hour of learning. Focusing on the four key building blocks of successful training—Trust, Outcomes, Solution, and Value—he’ll help you to create a sales training program that is top notch… and guess-free.
Participants Will Learn
- Learn how to build rapport and to garner Trust and gain access to the participant’s world.
- Discover how to uncover as much about the desired Outcome as possible to develop a solution.
- Learn how to craft the right Solution to connect with the audience.
- Determine how to estimate the Value achieved from the program.
Who Should Attend
- Organization development professionals
- Sales managers and team leaders
An accomplished author and founder of Sales Evolution, Scott’s career as a business development professional and entrepreneur has spanned more than 25 years. He has built strategic alliances, co-founded start-ups, overseen mergers and acquisitions, and constructed new business units. Scott is the past President of Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI), Philadelphia Chapter, an organization dedicated to the promoting the professional standing of the sales vocation through education.