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PTP News

Archive: Dec 2018

How to train the trainer

Posted: December 13, 2018 1:17 pm
Unfortunately, a bad training session is something that almost everyone has experienced at one time or another. Whether the issue was a lack of engagement, poor subject knowledge or boring content, ineffective training achieves very little. However, for those responsible for delivering training of any kind to a team or group, there are ways to ensure everyone gets more from the experience.

Start afresh every time

Managers/trainers should begin from a blank page, assuming nothing about the recipients of the training. You might know their names and positions within the business but the more important information to establish through the session will be what they actually do day-to-day, what skills they want to acquire and what issues the training needs to address.

Create some ground rules

Training sessions work better when they have a structured approach so ground rules are essential. Scheduled breaks, required participation and whether mobile phones need to be switched off – this is all essential information that is better delivered before training gets under way so that everyone there knows what is expected of them.

Focus on content that will get attention

What this requires often depends on the time of day that you’re training people. For example, if the session takes place after lunch when everyone is experiencing a post-food slump, it may be preferable to focus on tasks that involve movement and interaction than training that is based around looking at a screen. It’s always important to consider the audience and what medium they are most likely to engage with, whether that’s group working, question and answer sessions or watching video content.

Know the topic

In a professional environment, gaps in the knowledge of the trainer are not only embarrassing to deal with but can demotivate the entire group – especially if you’re their manager. So, it’s crucial that the trainer has a comprehensive grasp of the subject matter before the training takes place. It’s important to be prepared for participants who might have an unexpectedly in-depth knowledge of a topic – have back up material ready in case the initial stages of the training are completed faster than expected.

Checking in is important

Good training is delivered responsively – are the participants engaged, are they enjoying it, or do they look ready to walk out at the next break? It’s key to check in regularly to establish whether the pacing of the session is right for the group, the level of difficulty is well suited and that what has been delivered so far has been absorbed.

Be prepared for reluctant learners

Especially in a professional environment, participants may often feel that they have better things to do with their time. Others may have already decided that they know everything before the session even begins. It’s a challenge to deal with reluctant learners but a little humour and helping them to identify the relevance of the training can often create that essential engagement. Being able to design and deliver training is an essential component in great management. Our Train the Trainer course is designed to empower managers to assist and guide their team to their stated targets and beyond.

How to generate more business by telephone

Posted: December 7, 2018 2:31 pm
Generating business over the phone can be challenging. Many people lack the confidence or the understanding to do this effectively and negative responses to cold calls and pitches can be difficult to deal with. However, this remains a very effective way to generate positive results and drive a business towards growth, so it’s a skill worth acquiring.

Target your efforts

No matter how good a salesperson you are, or how much of an engaging speaker, you will struggle to connect with those who are clearly not interested – at all – in what you’re offering. So, the first step is always to refine your contact lists to ensure that the people you call are genuine prospects.

Step back from the selling

If you take a hard sell line from the very first conversation you could lose your prospect early on. The first conversation(s) should be less about selling and more about establishing a relationship and opening up the conversation. What do they need to know about what you’re offering and where could you add value to their experience right now? If you try to sell without establishing this essential context first then you will find it difficult to generate enthusiasm.

Your list is key

As well as rooting out those on your list who have zero interest in what you’re offering, it will also be important to refine the list as much as possible so that it is both suitable and high quality in terms of the potential leads it contains. It’s worth noting that the GDPR doesn’t prohibit cold calling but does impact the way that it is done. Essentially, you will need to have permission to call the people on your list now that the GDPR is in play. You’ll also need to be calling those people about the products and services you originally requested permission to contact them about. The new GDPR rules actually represent an opportunity to refine the list you’re using and ensure that the people you speak with want to speak to you.

Follow up after the call

It’s essential to ensure that you make contact by email after a successful phone call, as this will help to lay the ground for next steps. You may do this using CRM automation or you may be working with a smaller list that you can follow up with manually. If you’ve put in the effort of initial contact don’t waste it by failing to follow up.

Accept the numbers

It may take you 100 calls to reach just 20 people, only a few of whom will be ready to be converted. There is effort involved in generating business by phone - the number of people you need to reach out to will be high. However, more often than not, that effort put into the numbers will pay off in the results. Our Generating New Business by Telephone course is designed to help build confidence to make calls professionally – and to use them to achieve great results.